This week marks International Women’s Day on March 8th. A time to raise awareness against bias, celebrate women’s achievements and take action for equality. The campaign theme for this year is #BalanceforBetter, and to discuss this, we took some time for a coffee and a chat with Waypoint Partner, Lisa Mandell, to discuss how she has seen a shift in balance across gender roles in our industry and how she’s balancing her own career and home life.
1. As a woman in business, what challenges do you think women face and how do you overcome them?
Lisa: For me personally, since having a child, work-life balance has been tough. You’re suddenly expected to be the same successful career-woman and devoted wife, as well as now a loving mum. But I’m very lucky to have a fantastic support network. My husband helps me find and maintain that balance and working for an understanding company who are behind me is vital.
Throughout my career I’ve typically been the minority in the room and I’ve had to put pressure on myself to add value and be noticed. But this has motivated me to be the person I am today by channelling the energy and focus to succeed, rather than it feeling like a burden. As someone who has managed high performing teams, it’s actually that diversity of people in a room that also tends to produce the best outcome. So, I embrace it and encourage all women to do the same.
2. In our industry specifically, the tech and digital world is traditionally a male dominated business. How have you seen this changing?
Lisa: The diversity I’d like to see is still a long way off. I am seeing more women founders and leaders (and we work with some who are incredible), but not enough and nowhere close to the 50:50 #BalanceforBetter we are striving for.
We need more women who have succeeded to share their experiences and encourage other women to build confidence and take those risks.
At Waypoint Partners, we’re seeing more focus from businesses to invest in talent, but we need more companies to make a pledge on how they plan to create more diversity in the workplace. I’d love to see this become standard practice over the next few years.
3. What 3 tips would you give young women to carve a successful career?
- Be brave – take risks. Failure is what makes us stronger. It’s ok to fail, learn and try again. When my daughter Bella falls over, she dusts herself off and tries again. We need to keep encouraging women to adopt that mindset.
- Reach out and build relationships with peers, people/leaders you admire etc.. Don’t be shy about asking for help and remember to always pay it forwards. Build your network (and never stop).
- Do more of what gives you energy and purpose. Don’t forget to keep learning.
Follow Lisa on LinkedIn.
For more informational on International Women’s Day, visit the official site.