We spoke to the founders Helene Aagaard and Ewelina Reszke about developing GoGetty, the state of women in Denmark compared to the world stage and the importance of data in the fight for equality.
Co-founders Helene Aagaard and Ewelina Reszke
Let’s talk work, work, work, work, work. Despite the fact that gender inequality in the workplace has come into focus in recent years in several capacities, through different outputs of the #metoo movement as well as general awareness of the wage gap and perhaps a collective understanding that white men seem to overwhelmingly occupy positions of power, it is no secret that women face real challenges that require a certain amount of vigilance and preparation. According to the founders of the Danish startup company aimed at leveling the playing field for women, GoGetty, diversity numbers may be the first step in helping women make the right decision when it comes to their career.
Furthermore, in holding companies accountable for the reality of their workplace makeup on a fundamental level, i.e. through numerical data, job candidates can get an accurate view of the diversity setting and their own place within a given environment. We spoke with founders Helene Aagaard and Ewelina Reszke about the process of developing GoGetty, the power of forthrightness in gender equality and the state of the workplace for women in Denmark.
Can you give us a bit of background on yourself? What brought you to where you are today?
Both of us are passionate about diversity, inclusion and gender equality. Throughout our whole career, given both of us are women and one is a foreigner, it has been essential for us to work for inclusive and international companies, where we could excel in any career despite gender and birthplace. However, we have also seen a lot of talk throughout our career and not so much walk. That’s why we wanted to give talents the opportunity to check gender, and now also ethnicity data, before applying for a job. It is the most empowering way to move the journey forward, towards more diversity and inclusion. We wish we had the same opportunity when we started out!
How did the concept for GoGetty come about and how has the concept developed over time, if at all?
GoGetty is built on the vision that we can strengthen the push for diversity and inclusion in companies, as well as society as a whole through digitsation and making data on diversity and inclusion easily accessible to both talents, authorities and companies. Data speaks volumes and makes it easy for everybody to determine whether there is action behind the words and progress on the journey towards more diversity and inclusion. Even more importantly, it makes it so much easier for you as a talent to make the right choice, when looking for a new employer.
We know that gender diversity often works as an accelerator for other diversity parameters, such as ethnicity, age and sexuality. That is also why GoGetty started with focus on gender. However, the vision has always been to broaden GoGetty to other diversity parameters, which is why we have just added an ethnicity score.
What is the biggest goal of GoGetty, on a small or large scale?
We aim to become the go-to diversity platform not only in Denmark, but globally. In the end, hopefully ensuring that no talents goes to waste, no matter their gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, religion or handicap.
Do you think that women should always be aware of diversity data of all kinds in making job decisions?
Yes. In the end, it is all about choices and realizing that your talent is a scarce resource. Just like you can use your money to invest in companies working on making a positive impact on the wold, you should also use your talent to impact the companies you work for by choosing employers who actually walk the talk, when it comes to diversity and inclusion. It ensures better rights and opportunities for you as a talent, and it also makes for a better workplace.
How do you feel about the current climate for women in the workplace, as a whole?
Overall, it is moving in the right direction. The focus is there, however, companies are still dealing with a lot of internal bias. For example, the stereotypical picture of a leader or manager is a white male, who is about 42 years old. Companies are not promoting men to be mean to women, however, it takes hard work dealing with a culture who favors a specific gender or race. And just like society, companies also have work to do in this area. The same goes when we talk about parenthood – it’s often the mother who we consider, meaning that men get cut off as caregivers for their children. That may have worked in the 1950’s, but it’s now 2019.
By starting with data, companies are able to map their status and create goals for more diversity from there. You need a plan. When you want to expand your business to a new market, for example France, you don’t go around saying that this will come and time will work in our favor and then suddenly there is an office in Paris. You make a plan and follow through on that. The same goes for diversity – no matter if we are talking gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, religion or handicap.
How do you think Denmark compares to the “world stage” when it comes to women’s issues? I believe Denmark is pretty high on the equality balance in equal pay, internationally speaking, right?
The biggest issue right now in Denmark is the perception that we have gender equality. Looking at The Global Gender Gap Report from the World Economic Forum, Denmark is no. 13, surpassed by the Nordic countries, but also countries like Rwanda and Namibia. We are resting on our laurels. We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to rape legislation, equal pay, paternity rights and women in top management positions. It is absolutely doable, especially if the talents entering the workplace demand more diversity and inclusion in the companies they work for.
What are your hopes for the near or not-too-distant future?
We have many… But overall, just more diversity and gender equality. A recent study made by UN Women shows that by focusing on Gender Equality (the Sustainable Development Goal no. 5), we actually come a long way in solving the 16 other UN Sustainable Development Goals, as Gender Equality works as an accelerator for the rest of them. That is some serious food for thought.
Can you name your biggest piece of advice to fellow girls or women in the work force? Or just in general 😉
Make informed decisions and choose wisely. Make your talent count.