For too long, women have been undervalued and underrepresented in the tech industries. With over 70% of leading roles being held by men according to a report by Tech Nation, it is clear businesses need to take a long, hard look at the gender makeup of their staff. One company pioneering equality and diversity within tech is KlearNow, whose story can be found HERE.
KlearNow is a one-of-a-kind logistics platform, simplifying shipment and customs processes for importers and freight forwarders. A key tech innovator, KlearNow is also at the forefront of a drive for a more inclusive industry, with almost 40% of key roles being held by women. We had the pleasure of talking to three female KlearNow leaders, each of whom heavily attribute their professional growth to the company culture fostered within the business.
Our first interviewee, Michelle Riber, boasts an impressive resume and skill set. Coming from a background in IT consultancy, Michelle is now the Marketing Director for KlearNow. Sitting at her workstation, affectionately rocking her new born child Maximillian gently back and forth, Michelle told us about her successful career as a competitive female golfer, alongside her other interests in outdoor sports and love for music. Clearly a focused, hardworking individual; Michelle highlighted the pressure she felt in “not letting female boundaries keep you in the back”.
Having just given birth to Maximillian, Michelle noted the overwhelming support she received from KlearNow, as she decided to cut her maternity leave short in order to return to work, as Brexit was increasing her colleagues’ workload. When asked why she made this decision, Michelle quickly responded “Why? Because I love what I do, I believe in our product and in our team wholeheartedly”. Throughout our time together, Michelle repeatedly remarked how the company culture and approach to flexible working made juggling a job, new born child and personal life so much easier.
Another female leader and mother Shikha Kothari, currently the HR lead at KlearNow, similarly noted KlearNow’s commitment to diversity and nurturing of female talent, as a key component of her glowing success.
We loved Shikha’s positive demeanour and conviction that being female gave her an upper hand in the workplace, believing she has a natural ability to “multitask and put (her) heart into creating the space the team enjoy coming to everyday”. Clearly a force to be reckoned with, Shikha, through her own efforts, has become a HR powerhouse, handling a “gauntlet of HR and consulting services through her career spanning 14 years”. Being a dedicated mother and professional, Shikha interestingly highlighted the value in understanding your own dreams and ambitions, “while motherhood may be one of the most wonderful blessings known to womankind, it is surely not the end of your individuality”. Similarly to Michelle, Shikha stressed the familial, tight knit culture KlearNow fosters within the business, noting how she was only able to “take up responsibilities with (the) constant support of the co-founders and management of KlearNow”.
A tech trail blazer taking the male dominated industry by storm and our final interviewee was Angela Aaron. She is the Senior Director of Compliance for KlearNow and she told us about her career and path to success with KlearNow. Attending a predominantly male class at university, Angela graduated as a tenacious go getter, stating she found “you didn’t have to be born into the club if you could find a way to establish why it was in the club’s best interest to want to include you”. Defiant from a young age, Angela has over 20 years of professional experience, undertaking an array of occupations, from being an analyst to consultancy work. As with Michella and Shikha, Angela also pointed towards KlearNow as a key driver behind her success, as management help build women into senior, experienced members of staff. We all shared a laugh as Angela said, without trying to be cliché, how she wholeheartedly believes KlearNow is a family, with the co-founders providing “fatherly care for the company and employees”.
We need more female leaders like Michelle, Shikha and Angela in the tech industry, alongside more companies committing to equality and diversity, like KlearNow. KlearNow is an excellent example of how having the right approach to staff, nurturing, and cultivating their skills, can have amazing, ground-breaking results.
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