At Xcite we’ve been fascinated to come across a campaign with a difference – #ItWasNeverADress. The name refers to the commonly held assumption that the “Ladies” bathroom sign portrays a woman in a dress.
Instead, the campaign intimates that it is in fact a Superman-style cape!! Or should that be Superwoman?!
The #ItWasNeverADress campaign is spearheaded by Tania Katan, Curator of Code at Axosoft – a software company based in Scottsdale, Arizona – the campaign aims to challenge commonly-held perceptions of women in the workplace.
The mission of the campaign, which was launched at the Girls in Tech conference in Phoenix, is clear and simple:
“It Was Never a Dress is an invitation to shift perceptions and assumptions about women and the audacious, sensitive, and powerful gestures they make every single day. In science, technology, arts, mathematics, politics, houses of worship, on the streets, and in our homes, insightful women are often uninvited, overlooked, or just plain dismissed.
Through storytelling, community building, innovation and creative disruptions, It Was Never a Dress will foster necessary conversations, vital voices, and images from around the world that honor ALL women. When we see women differently… we see the world differently! Stay tuned and keep disrupting.”
Catchy though the campaign is, Axosoft’s CEO Lawdan Shojaee is keen to emphasise that #ItWasNeverADress is not just about challenging conventional gender stereotypes in general, but specifically about “portraying more women involved in technology and entrepreneurship” Data released by major companies such as Google and Facebook indicates that in the technology sector men currently outnumber women 4:1.
This imbalance was reflected in Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in May 2015. Much was made of the fact that for the first time there were two female speakers: Jennifer Bailey, vice president of worldwide online stores, and Susan Prescott, vice president of of product management and marketing.
Previous to this there had only ever been one Apple conference with a female speaker. That was in March 2015 and just happened to be a former supermodel!
Christy Turlington Burns discussed her experiences using the Apple Watch to run a half-marathon. She spoke well and took the opportunity to also promote her humanitarian work in the area of maternal health but as she is not an Apple employee it seemed rather an odd choice to pioneer Apple’s increased female visibility!
Since then, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has acknowledged the company’s imbalanced gender representation, and recently told Mashable that he believes there is still much more work to be done: “If you believe as we believe that diversity leads to better products, and we’re all about making products that enrich peoples lives, then you obviously put a ton of energy behind diversity the same way you would put a ton of energy behind anything else that is truly important.”
At Xcite Digital we are ahead of the times here! We have an equal balance of males and females, including on our Board of Directors. We cherish the fact that we have a lot of strong women working for Xcite, who are specialists in their different fields.
The fact that they are female is, to a degree unimportant, it’s about having the best people for the job, which results in an award winning business. Though having said that, many of our clients appreciate dealing with females due to them either being females themselves or believing that women have a more intuitive approach.
Either way, at Xcite we value every employee for their unique blend of skills and talents and are prepared to invest time and money, training and mentoring, to help them become the best they can be. That’s got to be good for both them and for us!
*Image courtesy of axosoft