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How to Create an Equal Company Culture

Wilma McDaniel

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gender diversity in the workplace

Wilma McDaniel, commercial director at Cutitronics, discusses how tech companies can attract a diverse talent pool.

Equality is not a woman’s issue, it is a business issue.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EachforEqual, which has prompted me to look at our own industry and the importance of building a diverse workforce.

Technology is a typically male dominated industry but beauty is the polar opposite, with women at the helm. This presents an interesting opportunity to learn from each other and create new opportunities for all.

If you had told me five years ago that I would be working in tech, I wouldn’t have believed it. But, my life took a serendipitous turn when I met co-founders of Cutitronics Dr David Heath and Barry Hochfield and I’mI now very proud to represent women in the beauty-tech space.

We have made good progress in the quest for equality, but we’re not quite there yet. We must open more opportunities for woman and consider specific roles we can excel at. It is our job to take the vital steps to remodel the industry for the future workforce to ensure the issues we are discussing this year are not the issues our daughters have to later deal with.

With this in mind, here is the top three things tech companies should consider to attract a diverse talent pool:

1. Culture

This year’s IWD theme of #EachforEqual comes from the idea of ‘collective individualism’ which is the concept that our own actions and behaviours can help shape a culture or movement.

Great teams begin with the coming together of individuals who understand their own strengths and recognise and respect those of others. Ensuring respect is one of our core values and is at the centre of any team, great collaboration and productivity can grow to produce truly amazing results.

We pride ourselves on the fantastic team we have built at Cutitronics. They come from a multitude of industries and career backgrounds, so everyone has a fresh perspective and new ideas to bring to the table. We have set the engineer mind-set to the beauty industry and have begun building a suite of technologies that will revolutionise the way in which people interact with skincare. We would be unable to do this without every single person’s input.

2. Flexibility

The challenges I have faced in my own career have centred on work-life balance and prioritising depending on different life stages, such as early career progression and later when I became a mother. Many women have or will have a similar experience.

When I started my family, it was of the time when women did either or. They either pursued a career or had a family. Now, I believe women can have it all but there’s this on-going issue that we feel that we need to compromise family, relationships or values in the process.

By creating a work environment that offers flexibility for those big life changes such as paternal leave or even every-day life, it will build a setting where people feel valued and will see their career adding to their life and not simply a means to pay the bills at the end of the month. It will allow people to grow as well-rounded individuals and in turn produce their best work.

3. Investment

We should invest in the workforce with education and learning opportunities at every stage.

A lot of women fail to see their own potential and this is one of the main challenges they will face in their career. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and instead surround ourselves with people who believe in us and encourage us to believe in ourselves. We are all unique and if we can work together we can change the world.

Incorporating mentorship into a company can drill into untapped potential of both management and junior team members. Building people’s confidence and sharing expertise is something small I can do which makes a massive difference to people’s work life.

Soft-skills are tipped to be the most valued leadership qualities. Making others feel valued, honoured and appreciated is truly priceless as we build teams and historically this is something women excel in. I believe these are some of the most essential abilities we can bring to the boardroom and business in general.

  • Wilma McDaniel is the commercial director at Cutitronics, an East Kilbride-based business that has developed a hand-held device to assess skin health.

Wilma McDaniel, Cutitronics

Wilma McDaniel

Commercial director, Cutitronics

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