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International Women’s Day: Building Workplaces That #BreakTheBias

Today we celebrate women everywhere, including the exceptional group of women working at Symend. Symend is proud and fortunate to have a highly diverse team made up of over 36% women and 26% at the director level or higher.

Creating clear paths to advancement for women in technology is needed to work towards breaking the bias in our industry. It is exciting to think about what the future holds as women continue to demonstrate the immense value of diverse role models in the workplace.

Celebrating female leaders in technology at Symend

We are chatting with Chief People Officer Vivian Farris about her experience as a female leader in tech and how Symend is developing an inclusive culture where everyone thrives.

Tell us about yourself and your journey as a female leader in tech.

When I started my HR career in technology, I was eager to contribute and I had a lot of ideas. I quickly realized that in order to be heard I had to speak my mind and seize opportunities to engage – even when it made me uncomfortable. I have been fortunate to have strong mentors such as Brad Zumwalt who championed capability, grit and determination and encouraged me to constantly challenge myself while I was balancing a growing career with a growing family. Throughout my career, I have witnessed firsthand that great ideas can come from anyone, regardless of gender, educational background or experience level. Company cultures and leadership that encourage collaboration and participation from all employees are where biases are broken, and innovation can flourish.

How does Symend forge an inclusive work culture where women’s careers thrive, and their achievements are celebrated?

I am proud to work for a company that strives to find, hire, foster, and retain top talent with diverse backgrounds. Symend is committed to hiring the best possible candidate for all positions, while also recognizing the intricacies of bias in every workplace. The work is never done, and we are committed to leading with empathy and being bold in how we approach building an inclusive workplace.

Policy and programming provide an opportunity for us to create an environment for all Symenders to be successful, one of those being our comprehensive maternity and paternity leave programs. We offer new moms returning from maternity leave a gradual return to office and ensure Symenders on leave are included in performance and compensation reviews. Symplify, our hybrid work model, gives Symenders the flexibility to manage work and personal commitments in a way that has proven beneficial for both our employees and the company. Bias training, a compensation framework that determines pay based on the role and competencies required, and the ongoing evolution of our programming helps us to continuously improve as a company. In addition, we also attend recruitment events focused on women in tech with organizations such as Chic Geek who are making a difference for women in tech in Calgary.

We have more work to do and will continue to look for ways to ensure we are building a culture where our teams can thrive and have an impact.

What advice would you give to aspiring female leaders in tech? 

Don’t underestimate the importance of staying true to your personal values, beliefs and goals in the workplace. Look for opportunities to ask questions and speak up. Reaching your full potential is more attainable in a company with supportive mentors, opportunities to challenge yourself and the freedom to express yourself. Remember that you have a ton to offer the industry with your unique perspective and approach to problem solving.

Happy International Women’s Day from the Symend team. Today is an excellent reminder of our collective goal to break the bias as we celebrate women everywhere, including the exceptional group of women working at Symend.

Learn more about Symend’s culture and career opportunities.

Discover how you can #BreakTheBias and support International Women’s Day.