Feature: Addressing equality head-on 

Rebecca Quinlan, marketing manager at Synaxon, says that by making a long-term commitment to equality, putting the right processes in place, and fostering an equitable culture, channel companies can set themselves up to become better, stronger and more innovative.


Being an ambitious woman in the technology industry means you have to be a bit of a fighter. You have to be determined, resolute and fearless. You have to believe in yourself and be prepared to speak up when you’re not being treated fairly.

That’s how it has been, up to now at least. And while you do still need to be prepared to stand your ground and fight to be treated on equal terms, to be considered purely on your merits and capabilities, the situation in the IT sector is improving. There is every reason for women to be positive and ambitious in our industry today.

The IT channel is getting better when it comes to gender equality. Our own organisation is a good example of one that is moving in a positive direction. Equality is really important to us, and we are now practising it effectively right across our business – from new starter job applications, through our everyday working practices, to training and personal development, and the appointment of women to management positions.

Elevating and encouraging 

Elevating and encouraging women to apply for and take up management roles is a key initiative for SYNAXON. While this is not exactly a new ambition for us, it’s one that is taking us time to achieve – and that is something all organisations in the industry need to recognise. It takes long-term commitment to achieve gender equality, because unconscious bias is still deeply ingrained in our industry. Changing that is perhaps the biggest challenge we face, and this can only be done successfully if the perception that management jobs are for men is addressed.

Structure and process

Changing of perceptions can be done through open discussion, the setting and implementation of recruitment policy, and training. Structure and processes need to be put in place that will ensure women are given equal opportunity to be the best they can be, and a culture that ensures their abilities and achievements are recognised.

In addition, there needs to be equitable and fair recruitment that is not biased towards male or female at all levels – and everyone needs to know that this is in place and being followed. Having flexible working options is really important too. Proper allowances need to be made for maternity and childcare. Training and development opportunities need to be equally available. And, perhaps most importantly of all, women need to be encouraged to improve their skills, be positive and ambitious, and apply for management posts.

All of this is part of the essential commitment that organisations need to make if they are to move towards gender equity.

Clear goals 

At Synaxon, we have made tremendous progress in the last three years. Today, women make up almost one third of our management team. Our goal is to reach parity within management. We firmly believe that we can achieve that; the ratio on our current management training course for team leaders is exactly balanced at 50:50.

It takes time, but with commitment at the highest level and a clear set of goals, we’re convinced it can be done. At Synaxon we have laid the foundations for more women to come into the organisation and either begin in or work their way up to management posts. Our team is a good example of this, being 100% female, and we are confident that individuals within the team will go on to take up management positions at Synaxon in the future.

Following this path is of course beneficial to the business. Synaxon is a stronger, more creative and innovative organisation, and a better place to work because it is more equitable and diverse. By bringing more women into management, we can become even better.

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