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The Signicat Blog
Portrait of Alba Zaragoza
Alba Zaragoza

Communications Manager

Empowering Women in Tech: Signicat's Commitment to Equality and Diversity

When I was a child, the thought of women working in laboratories, banks, or telecoms was something I found surprising. Don't ask me why, it just seemed so.

An aunt of mine worked as an engineer in one of the largest telecommunications companies in Spain. I always wonder... how she managed to grow up in a world where there were mainly men? Did she feel lonely, blocked, or canceled out at some point? And maybe she never felt that way and her entire career developed normally. But it amazes me that, even today, those are the first thoughts I have about a woman who, a couple of decades ago, worked in a top management position in a technology company.

It is hard to believe, indeed, that 30 years ago it was unusual to see a woman working in a research lab, in a technology company, or, for that matter, in a high-level management position. Fortunately, change does happen.

According to the latest report of The World Bank, women make up about 28% of the worldwide tech workforce in 2023. This is a significant improvement from the early 2000s when women only made up 9%.

In the dynamic landscape of the technology industry, the participation of women has seen significant growth in the past years, representing approximately 19.1% of the labor force in Europe, accounting for around 1.7 million women. A paradigm shift has occurred, fuelled by technological advancements, educational initiatives, and the tenacity of women within the industry.

Companies like Signicat not only know the value of women in positions along the entire value chain but also work hard to break down the barriers that still exist in the market. Through small actions, Signicat is undoubtedly a driver for change and a company that is attentive and sensitive to these issues.

Gender diversity is invaluable for a company's success. Beyond promoting social equity, a balanced workforce drives innovation, creativity, and better decision-making. Companies with diverse teams consistently outperform others. Beyond the bottom line, gender diversity improves employee satisfaction and retention, fostering adaptability in a rapidly changing business landscape. In the technology sector, where innovation is paramount, diverse perspectives lead to more comprehensive solutions. Embracing gender diversity isn't just a moral commitment; it's a strategic imperative that ensures a company remains competitive, innovative, and responsive to the evolving needs of its workforce and market.

That’s why I felt so important to write a post to show you some of the actions and achievements of Signicat's women during 2023.

# Signicat: A Spotlight of Inclusivity

At Signicat, we take pride in cultivating an inclusive and diverse workplace, guided by our core values of TRUST. Treating others with respect regardless of their gender, race, nationality, or sexual orientation is a key component of our values and one of our guiding principles. Recognizing the strength that diverse perspectives bring, we are committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all.

Working with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a never-ending endeavor. In May 2021, our statistics revealed a gender distribution of 73% male, 20% female and 7% non-declared. As of January 2023, we've made strides, with a gender distribution of 70% male, 29% female, 0.5% non-binary, rest non-declared, showcasing our dedication to narrowing the gender gap. Equally, we have gone from having a ratio of 84% male and 16% female in leadership positions to having 75% male and 25% female in less than 2 years.

Those results don’t come alone but are the fruits of dedicated work from the People and Culture team, beginning with inclusive recruitment practices, eliminating biased language in job ads, conducting salary benchmark analyses, and supporting bottom-up initiatives like Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), where we can highlight the Women at Signicat ERG. As you may not be aware of what an Employee Resource Group is, I will try to explain it to you: an ERG is an internal, voluntary employee-led organization within a company that aims to create a sense of belonging to its integrants, provide resources, and contribute to a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture.

Sponsored by our CEO Asger Hattel, the Women at Signicat ERG, have been instrumental in creating mentoring programs, organizing webinars with industry leaders, facilitating internal networking opportunities to empower women within the company and, most importantly, to connect women across the company, and help inspire women to work towards their ambitions.

# Nordic Women in Tech Awards: Celebrating Achievements and Inspiring Diversity

This year, we proudly sponsored the Nordic Women in Tech Awards (NWiTA) 2023, recognizing the importance of celebrating women's achievements and inspiring diversity in the tech industry.

This sponsorship aligns with Signicat's roots in the Nordic region and reflects our commitment to supporting women within our organization. Notably, four remarkable women from Signicat were nominated in different categories: Dorthe Marie Kristiansen, Marketing & Communications Director, in the categories Mentor of the Year and Diversity Leader of the Year; Kamilla Saltermark, Project Manager, in the category Rising Star of the Year; Berit Margrethe Gea Fuglem, Head of Product Experience, in the category Innovator of the Year, and Hilde Asklund, VP Technology and Tribe lead Data&Analytics, in the category Digital Leader of the year, showcasing their outstanding contributions to the industry and the company.

Many excellent women were nominated at the NWiTAs but we at Signicat can proudly say that our Marketing and Communications Director, Dorthe Marie Kristiansen was shortlisted and a finalist in the category Mentor of the Year. A very well-deserved recognition of the mentoring work she does to empower other women within the company every day.

# Meet the inspiring women of Signicat

Pinar Alpay: a Trailblazing Women in Product Management

Pinar Alpay, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Signicat, recently shared her insights in an interview with 280 Group, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs of women in product management.

Pinar is, with no doubt, an inspiring example with a brilliant career. Her amazing story exemplifies the leadership, knowledge, and innovation that women bring to the tech industry: after years in the consultancy world, she started in Product Management through her own company, which gave her a 360º vision of product creation and management. And there, she found her passion for technology and product management.

What I find the most amazing is how, over the years, she has fearlessly made changes in her professional career and those changes led her to where she is now, but also how her experience enables her to be in the shoes of our customers and understand their needs and challenges perfectly.

Esther Makaay: Identity Lifetime Achievement Award

In December 2023, Esther Makaay, eID Thought Leader at Signicat, received the Identity Lifetime Achievement Award from the IDnext association. This prestigious award acknowledges Esther's exceptional and long-standing contributions to the identity community and the IDnext network, highlighting Signicat's commitment to making a lasting impact in the tech sector.

And these are just some examples of how Women in Signicat are. We recently ran a Hackaton, and the winning team was an all-female group, we also have a mentorship program driven by women... The actions and achievements are endless.

The new generations, who used technology from the very beginning, the democratisation and access to coding, and the creation of new university degrees have helped a lot to change this paradigm. But, without a doubt, what has helped the most in this change is the impulse that women themselves have given to the sector from the inside, and the Women in Signicat are an amazing example of this.

I have never been in a company with so many talented women and such an enriching environment in which to develop a career in any field. Signicat is without a doubt a caring company where there is transparency, inclusion and diversity that fosters an environment where women can thrive in their careers, learn and exchange.