March 11, 2019
March 8, 2019 marked the day that TandemLaunch held its first International Women’s Day panel discussion. The panel consisted of both female and male Co-founders and the event featured a warm crowd made up of our core team staff and project members. As a company that works primarily in the tech industry and in academia, most of the time we are working in industries that are mainly male dominated. Therefore, as a company, we wanted to take the chance during International Women’s Day to address this issue and to hear firsthand from our female Co-Founders on what they face on a daily basis that the rest of us may not see. This was a great chance to learn how we can better support and champion our women leaders and Co-Founders.
At TandemLaunch, we are fortunate enough to have a diverse gender group with close to 40% of our Co-Founders being women and with half of our core team members being women. We work and operate in a space where we acknowledge the benefit of having a mix of both men and women in leadership positions, working in STEM as well as building startups.
Many of us were exposed to the realities and viewpoints on many aspects of working in the startup world as a woman. We learned that there is often a subconscious bias among us, occurring throughout our undergraduate or post-graduate studies and solidified during our work in the tech field or startup world. There is a subconscious bias that is built by being in mostly male-dominated classes and work fields that you may not notice. One person on the team pointed out that it was similar to a deep neural network, and how training with a particular dataset without addressing any biases is dangerous. This is why we need to talk about it, to avoid our subconscious bias being the main driver in how we act and what we say.
Another team member said he never gave thought to outfits but during the panel discussion, he learned that women are quite often judged no matter what they are wearing, and that their choice of outfit tends to receive more judgement than a man’s choice of outfit would. For men, it’s normal to wear whatever they feel like but when a woman does it, they get scrutinized.
This year, we walked away with our bellies full, and our minds filled with ideas and wisdom on how to build a healthy environment where we can support and champion women leaders in our workspace and in our lives.