In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022 today, we are pleased to present the first installment in a four-part series shining a spotlight on some of our exceptional Phiturians – who happen to be women. With women comprising 59% of all Phiture employees, this holiday particularly resonates with us.

While International Women’s Day is a way to recognize women’s achievements and mark significant historical progress, it’s also a time to highlight the challenges women continue to face around the world and help #BreakTheBias. Such issues include securing pay equity, reproductive freedoms, LGBTQ+ rights, and maternity leave, as well as fighting discrimination against women of color, minorities, and trans women. Women’s rights are human rights, and advancements in women’s equality move us all closer to inhabiting a world that’s more inclusive for everyone, regardless of gender. 

I spoke with Phiturians Joy Staples (South Africa), Anne Heau (France/Gabon), Deeksha Basavaraju (India), and Lamiaa Hilali (Morocco) about their experiences in their home countries and in the workplace, and they offered their unique perspectives on a range of topics affecting women today.


What’s your favorite part about your work at Phiture?

Joy: The company values, employee benefits, challenging work environment, and incredible people who make up the teams.

Anne: If I had to choose only one aspect, I would say that Phiture offers the opportunity to work with people of different backgrounds in terms of profession, culture, language, philosophy, etc. I love the idea that we can all contribute to projects at Phiture because we have different ways of interacting with each other and interpreting information. This is definitely a strength. 

Deeksha: The diverse group of lovely people who are always a pleasure to work with, alongside an extremely friendly and cordial environment and work that fulfills me. 

Lamiaa: I enjoy research and A/B testing the most in my job – understanding user behavior and preferences in terms of design and messaging, studying competitors and what they do best. I try to involve myself in research topics that involve psychology in marketing as much as I can. 


In what ways do you think Phiture supports the professional career development of women?

Joy: Phiture places a lot of emphasis on being an equal employer that provides equal opportunities to all employees. We have multiple women in leadership positions, which can inspire other women joining the company.

Anne: I believe that Phiture supports women by providing equal pay among its employees, acknowledging that it’s only experience and skills that should be the main reason that determines a pay difference between two employees – not their gender.

Deeksha: With the majority of the employees being women, Phiture helps us expand our network of strong and independent women. The company provides us with a unique opportunity to further women’s holistic development. 

Lamiaa: I am really proud of the women role models we have at Phiture. Since I started I’ve only had women as managers, and I’ve seen more women leaders here than in any of my previous jobs. I remember my first day; I had my onboarding, and all the newbies were women. I remember thinking that it was the first time in my life I was in meetings with only women.


Have you faced any obstacles in your career or in your home country due to being a woman in your industry? 

Joy: Luckily not – I can happily say that I’ve only had positive experiences in the workplace thus far! 

Anne: I did face obstacles because I belong to a “minority”. However, I would not say it was ever linked to the fact that I was a woman. 

Deeksha: I am grateful for being given equal opportunities in India, as well as in Germany in my chosen career path. 

Lamiaa: I have experienced and seen many discriminative and sexist behaviors in my home country, where most of the top positions are held by men, and where women work 10 times harder than men to reach equal salaries and positions. When I was a student, I felt that I was always given much harder feedback and tasks than my male colleagues. 

What is an issue affecting women (anywhere in the world) that you would like to see resolved?

Joy: Having to prove your worth more than you should need to, just because you’re a woman. Many “conventionally beautiful” women need to constantly work to prove that they are also cognitively capable, while women who place less emphasis on their appearance need to find ways to “sell themselves”, as they may not always receive due respect for their work capabilities.

Anne: In the workplace, I would say pay equity is the main issue society should focus on today. From my point of view, this should not even be debated. If we are two individuals providing the same work or service, why should you be paid more than I am simply based on your gender?  

On a personal level, I would love for certain men to stop thinking that women are not good enough for certain jobs or tasks and stop linking personal behavior with what they think a woman is: fragile, weak, or hysterical, etc.

Deeksha: One change I would like to see is that sometimes many female pioneers who reach higher positions through hardship often adopt the unreasonable work cultures of their male-dominated industries. It would be really lovely to see these pioneers run positions from a perspective that is all-encompassing, nurturing, and wholesome, which would lay out a path for future generations to adopt a more compassionate work culture. 

Lamiaa: I am dreaming of finally seeing women owning the public space and being able to go out any time of the day, without worrying about what she is wearing, which neighborhoods she is in, whether she is drunk or not, or if she could be kidnapped, raped, or killed by going out late. I am not saying that all men are harassers, but if you were harassed only by men, you start to take more precautions in the public space in an effort to not experience that again.


Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

Joy: Countless women fought for their right to vote and for their place in society, and I admire their courage. It’s only fitting that we have a day to celebrate their past efforts, as well as pay our respects to the women who are currently contributing to society, in whatever form that may be. I’m proud to be surrounded by such a wonderful team of both men and women who support women’s rights and respect their place in society! 

Anne: It allows people to realize how important women’s contributions have been to society historically and inspires new generations of women to go further and higher. It also educates young men to empower their female friends or relatives and believe in their capabilities. It’s definitely important for the world to acknowledge women’s greatness. 

Deeksha: In my opinion, this one day acts as a stepping stone to educate and further the cause of women in societies for future generations, where women are recognized throughout the calendar year and not just for one day. 

Lamiaa: I think it’s a great initiative – though it’s important to fight for basic human rights every day. With social media, everyone’s ideas and concerns can reach a bigger audience. I love to take this day to recognize strong, resilient women everywhere and also to shine a light on women in my family. Their stories, struggles, and achievements are a part of me, and today I have a voice and am able to speak about my ideas freely and loudly because they fought for it. 


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