Article contributed by GIT volunteer, Liz Ifaturoti.
Liz attended the SAAStr Europa conference as part of the GIT Paris invited community. Thank you Deborah of SAAStr for this opportunity!
You want to have your dog walked? get your hair done? Control the temperature in your home?
Collaborate with team mates who are far away? Find a baby sitter or organize neighborhood activities?
SAAS to the rescue software as a service; Instantly delivered, subscription based software has
permeated our lives, think of one service you need and there’s most likely a software solution for it. On
the contrary, the tech workforce is not nearly as gender equal as the tech industry remains largely male
dominated. Girls in Tech is a global NGO whose primary mission is to tilt the gender equality ratio in
favor of women in tech through awareness and outreach campaigns, networking opportunities for its
members and skills and coding boot camps for prospective female candidates.
SAAStr Europa took place in Paris last month and one of the hot topics evoked during the event was that
of Diversity and Inclusion. It might appear that these words are bandied about a lot in press publications
on STEM but the good news is some companies have decided to move from talking about these issues to
actually implementing change. The diversity and inclusion workshop that took place on the first day of
the event set the stage for spontaneous interaction about tackling the lack of diversity in the tech space.
SAAStr CEO Jason Lemkin opened the discussion by reflecting on the company’s efforts
towards a more diverse industry, , SAAStr educates business founders on inclusion and diversity issues,
the complimentary tickets that were extended to the GIT Paris allowed for more women at the event,
invitations are also extended to minority speakers. He concluded with a call for help “anyone out there
with concrete ideas on increasing diversity in tech and at SAAStr, reach out”
Attendees discussed about concrete solutions like paid paternity leaves so mothers can return to work if
they so wish to, remote working opportunities to eliminate precious time that would otherwise have
been spent commuting and mentorship programs to help women climb the corporate ladder if that is
their goal. Obviously, child care solutions during corporate events like SAAStr was also a major point.
How about women who are already in STEM? women are more likely to abandon careers due to
conflicting work-life responsibilities. Some women feel the need to hide pregnancies or child care
related issues at work. Companies would do well to create policies that allow women focus on their jobs
without being scared of discrimination.
So how can you help ?
If your organization is in the SAAS space, take a look at the SAAStrs equality and diversity page , apply
and reach out to Jason with your ideas. Then check how your company stacks up against others on
Finally, if you have women in your company and none of the above measures have been implemented,
forward them this article.