For over a century, International Women’s Day has been reserved to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. When we look back at the last hundred years, it is undeniable that women have made great strides in all of these domains. But current predictions say it will be another 135 years before we achieve global gender parity.
Among the many problems that gender inequality underpins are employment and financial exclusion. Gender equality in the workplace is multidimensional and includes barriers to promotion, bias against mothers, and unequal pay — to name a few. Women in the United States still only make 84 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. And the economic divide grows even larger for women of color (55 cents for Latina women, 60 cents for American Indian and Alaskan Native women, and 63 cents for Black women) and transgender women (60 cents for every dollar). There is still so much work to be done, especially at an intersectional level.
From employment and leadership opportunities to basic access to financial services, women are still underrepresented and more likely to be unbanked when compared to their male counterparts, which is why we’re committed to creating an empowering and supportive workforce. It’s also why we’re working to power the future of banking, where good financial health will be within reach for everyone.
As we take time to honor Women’s History Month and celebrate women — their history, their successes, their strength, their impact — we are also mindful that dismantling the systems that perpetuate discrimination on all levels is a daily endeavor.
Investing in women
In terms of numbers, the tech industry is dominated by men. Overall female representation is currently at around 32%, with women holding 24% of technical roles. It’s time to change that landscape.
A critical part of our mission is creating an open and equitable consumer lending ecosystem, and we believe in leading by example. If we’re going to effectuate large-scale changes for accessibility in the financial services industry, we need to apply those same principles to our workforce.
We are actively working to remove potential barriers and bias in our recruiting and hiring processes. In 2021, Blendkind became majority women and gender diverse folx, with over 52% representation as of March, 2022. Although the industry standard for female representation in technical roles is currently at around 24%, our aim for 2022 is to increase the representation of women in technical roles to 33%. In addition to refining our hiring practices, we also launched programs and partnerships that bolstered our progress.
Our first department affinity group, Eng-Womxn, exists to connect, support, and empower women and gender minorities in engineering. You’ll find us at the Women in Product conference again this year, where our product managers and recruiters gain professional development and connect with an incredible pipeline of intersectionally diverse talent. Going beyond technical roles, we also worked with the National Association of Women Sales Professionals (NAWSP) to uplift the accomplishments of women in sales at Blend, and we are excited to be sponsoring the launch of their newest program, NAWSP: Mentor, later this year.
As we continue our mission to provide a brighter financial future for all, we will continue our efforts to maintain gender parity while increasing broader representation within our workforce on all levels. But inclusionary practices are not limited to our internal community.
Proactively preventing inequity
We might have come a long way from the separate sphere ideologies that dominated perceptions of gender roles through the 19th century, but it is still not enough. Gender equality is critical for so many reasons: preventing violence against women and girls, generating economic prosperity, creating societies that are safer and healthier on every level.
Reevaluating hiring and recruiting practices, breaking down arbitrary barriers to employment, and researching products that can prevent inequity — instead of merely reacting to it — are just some of the ways that Blend is standing up against gender bias.
Everyone — women, men, trans, and gender diverse people — is affected by persistent gender inequality. And increased visibility is essential to addressing these disparities. International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month are both great opportunities to jumpstart important conversations. But we also need action. We need to give our perspectives a wider lens, and then work to create sustainable change.