Women @ Windmill – IWD 2021 #ChoosetoChallenge

Windmill Editorial Team Windmill Editorial Team

In March, Windmill held its first roundtable in support of International Women’s Day (IWD).  We facilitated conversations with women in tech, design, human resources, and management and found a unified voice that honored the day and the careers development of Women at Windmill. 

With offices in the US, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Switzerland, and India, Windmill’s diversity is one of our key strengths. And as a company with large tech and IT teams, it is Windmill’s responsibility to make sure those career pathways are as open to women as possible.

What does IWD mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a day like any other but also one for remembering that, for the most part, the world is inching closer to gender equality. As a company whose workforce is so internationally diverse, the question of the personal significance of IWD produced a broad range of perspectives. 

Every day is women’s day according to Susana in Portugal, and similarly in Ukraine, where IWD is a National Holiday, Khrystyna feels that a kind of restrictiveness around March 8th, of that being the one day to platform women’s views, has been shrugged off, women’s voices are heard every day.

In contrast, for Luidmyla, IWD is a day to celebrate women in a literal sense – to be waited on and to receive flowers and presents, not even leaving bed to make coffee! A “Queen day” as she calls it! Additionally, Sarika based in India spoke of an office culture at a previous workplace where the men brought in gifts for the women. 

It is great to see the different way IWD is appreciated and regarded around the world, and specifically within Windmill.

Challenging oneself

The theme of this year’s IWD is #ChoosetoChallenge, and challenging oneself was a common theme during the discussion. A point of unity was the importance of determination and belief in yourself in handling difficult situations at work in the face of doubts and fears. Susana was not afraid to share her strategy of having a “little cry” in the restroom to gather herself; while when faced with a difficult task, such as submitting an important application, Khrystyna reminds herself of a Scarlet O’Hara quote, but inverses it: Instead of “thinking about it tomorrow” she acts now and deals later with any negative feelings that arise.

For Christina, visualisation is a powerful tool that should be used from early in one’s career. “If you want something, believe it first then be it, she said. One of the biggest obstacles we face is that we don’t do ourselves justice in imagining success — we do it for others but not ourselves. Moenika, based in London, echoed those thoughts, saying that sometimes the best opportunities are scary and that we are more capable than we know — facing down self-doubt and untrue opinions of yourself is crucial to self-development.

Akshata sees speaking your mind as key to inner peace. For her, it’s important to put your point across even if you think it’s “crappy” as it will put your mind at peace and you won’t be regretful for not having said anything at night. There’s not much to lose, so don’t be afraid to fail.

Challenging externally

The IWD roundtable turned from challenges of the self to to ways women had challenged their external environments. Representation of women in senior and managerial positions was commonly identified as being important to see as well as to become oneself. Sarika was encouraged to become the first woman from her group to leave India for Europe, while Moenika was successful in becoming the president of her university’s computer science club to show that women belong in such professions — in many ways embodying Christina’s mantra of believe it then be it.

Windmill is committed to supporting women in all roles and believes that with this stance, more people will be inspired to excel in their careers without gender stereotypes.

View Windmill’s current vacancies, including design, developer, and engineer roles, on Windmill’s careers page.

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