Today is International Women’s Day and celebrating and supporting women is very important for us. Especially in the technical industry where diversity is still a challenge! The origin of International Women’s Day, at the beginning of the XXth century, was to build support for women’s rights and their participation in the political and economic arenas. In 2018, 8th of March has an extra special meaning with the centenary of women’s voting rights, time’s up movement and growing support for removing gender and pay gap. This makes us reflect not only on progress made. It’s also a moment to celebrate the courage and initiatives of women from around the world. To mark this significant day at Rakuten Aquafadas, today we’re mixing business with pleasure and charitable cause too!
Swap a frock for charity on International Women’s Day 2018
First time ever to enjoy the International Women’s Day we’re hosting the “Women in Dress Code” lunch. It is taking place in our new and shiny Rakuten Crimson House Montpellier for all the women at Rakuten Aquafadas to enjoy the fun moment together (men are allowed too of course!). The name has been inspired by our ‘Women in code’ initiative launched last year designed to encourage and empower young women at the start of their careers. And to help us close the massive diversity and gender gap in technical companies.
The event starts with a jewellery and cloths swap party. Good for a spirit and looks but also for the environment. And all the rest of the unwanted garment will be offered to a local charity to help other women in need on International Women’s Day 2018.
It is then followed by an open discussion with our CEO addressing what it means to be a “woman at Rakuten Aquafadas”. It will allow us to discuss what it’s like to work as a woman at Rakuten Aquafadas and what could be changed and improved.
Our values – team spirit, diversity and empowerment
But why do we do it? The “Women in Dress Code” celebrations are not only a way to keep our spirits up and feeling like at home (as one of the Rakuten values says). It’s also a way to celebrate and empower women from all backgrounds and their achievements. And to stress the importance of gender parity in the work space. This event highlights some of the values that we hold such as sharing, uniting, sticking together as a team, empowering and having a laugh of course!
International Women’s Day in the tech sector – stories to inspire
While we’re busy organising our own celebrations, what are other technical companies doing? We had a quick look and what a busy International Women’s Day it is today! These are only a few initiatives we found.
They started today with a nice google logo representing women’s rights. They are also running a series of The Women Techmakers Global Event Series to celebrate. All hosted by Women Techmakers at Google offices and other Meetups hosted by Google Developer Groups around the world. They also simply highlighted games and apps created by women developers on their Google Play.
Aimed at their Apple Watch users they are running a Watches Activity Challenge focused on celebrating International Women’s Day. The goal is to double the Move ring on March 8th to commemorate women’s rights around the world. They also debuted a series of female-focused spotlight categories in the iTunes Movie.
Role models in tech – join us
We hope that all these ideas and celebrations inspire you too! If you need any more incentive here are a few fantastic female profiles from the technical world.
Grace Murray Hopper. After her PhD at the university of Yale in mathematics in 1934, she worked as an engineer at Harvard and paved the way for programming languages’ standardisation. Because she understood that non-user-friendly computers were the biggest obstacle to their democratisation. Thanks to her great contribution, developers and engineers around the world today are able to work in different languages and still work together.
Annie Easley, was the first African-American woman to start working at NASA as a “human computer” in 1955, performing mathematical equations and calculations by hand. She created and implemented code for researching energy conservation technology now used in hybrid cars. She also was a strong advocate for education as well as female and minority rights.
Mary lou Jepsen, changed the game for screen display by not only reducing screen sizes but also pushing down the power consumption of screens by up to 10 times. The result was the creation of the XO, the cheapest notebooks ever made and the backbone of the One Laptop Per Child organisation. Granting access to children around the world to a new way of learning.
Roberta Williams paved the way for today’s gaming experience, by co-creating some of the very first adventure game series (King’s Quest) with complex puzzles and detailed storylines. Forever changing the way we view games, not only as a form of entertainment, but also as a way to develop problem-solving skills.
Elizabeth L. Reede, co-founder and CEO of WoofbertVR, revolutionized the way we interact with art and culture thanks to Virtual Reality. She created a platform that allows the users an immersive experience and enhanced content to encourage art education.
Claudia Zimmer, last but not least we cannot miss our founder. She launched Aquafadas in 2006 and grew it to a successful, internationally recognised mobile apps and content company. She decided to move on to pastures new in March last year. She trained as an architect and had an architecture practice before co-founding Aquafadas with her husband. In her own words: “I jumped in technology via our shareware project: software that we designed to manage personal videos at at time when there was nothing on the market to fulfil this need. So we decide to create a video tool and then launched a company to provide more solutions for creative people.“
Did we convince you? We hope so! May your International Women’s Day be a good day for you! And don’t hesitate to check our job offers if you want to work in the ever-so-vibrant tech sector with us!