The world is listening

Patrick Llewellyn, CEO, 99designs

International Women’s Day is an important moment to reflect on how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go, when it comes to genuine gender equality.

Achieving balance in any workplace 365 days a year relies on doing whatever it takes to recruit, develop and retain female talent.

For women early in their careers, it is critical that there is a clear leadership pathway to follow and aspire to.

During our ten year history, 99designs has been lucky to cultivate a strong and diverse global culture across our 120+ employees.

Our female to male staff ratio currently sits at 54% female to 46% male, and 48% of our total management team is female. But we realise that there is still a lot of work to be done to get us where we want to be, especially in the areas of engineering and leadership.

We have made progress with programs and arrangements to foster early engagement and career progression. As well as providing work-from-home flexibility, we try to make our office spaces as welcoming and inclusive as possible.

For mothers returning to work, we have installed a ‘wellness room’ for rest, recuperation and privacy. We also included an exercise area, showers, recreational and social spaces, to help our team feel that they are part of a community offering more than just work during their 9-5.

We support ambition and success, and many of our female employees are founders in their own right.

As a company we offer support wherever we can to help minimise the hurdles experienced along the way: our research shows that male founders are still twice as likely to raise USD $100K or more in funding than female founders.

Now more than ever, as women’s voices are getting louder and the world is listening, we need to #PressForProgress.

This isn’t a one-action fix - but the only way to a future of equality is by making changes today.



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