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How do you build a "cool" company for women?

Tuesday, 1 December 2015 | By Cyan Ta'eed


The company I co-founded, Envato, recently won the title of Australia’s Coolest Company for Women - a new accolade from careers website Job Advisor.


We were very happy to receive the award and the affirmation that people are noticing the work we’re doing together to build a company where women are safe, welcomed and empowered to be their best selves.


It shouldn’t be rare, but it still is.


And it made me reflect on what a cool company for women means in 2015.


There’s the obvious (though still too rare): Pay equity. Flexible working. Maternity leave. Equal opportunities for promotion and development.


And the less obvious: Eye contact. Respectful exchanges, face to face. Colleagues that demand the best and don’t tolerate complacency. The ability to bring your whole self to work - imperfections, passions, quirks - and feel at home.


At Envato some of our coolest stories come from our community of designers and developers. These are women and men all over the world who are building a life doing what they love.


I’ve seen women transform their family and community using earnings from our digital marketplace. Enabling these transformations is what gets me out of bed each day.


This is a mirror of our internal culture. We carefully scrutinise the ways we hire to make sure we’re attractive to great women. We take care not to hire people just because they remind us of ourselves (because unconscious bias is the root of so much), and we challenge each other to be change agents and make an impact every day. We pull each other forward - women and men.


A great company for women should leave them stronger, better able to create their own positive ripples through entrepreneurship, leadership and mentoring.


Here’s the thing. I was surprised when we won the award. Because in my mind, most of what we’ve done is the low hanging fruit. It’s taken effort and it’s taken time, but every tech company - every company - in Australia should be doing all that right now. It shouldn’t be award worthy, it should be standard. A cool company is an engine of change, until it no longer needs to be.


Article originally published on Women's Agenda.

Cyan Ta'eed will be participating in a Q&A with our Editor, Jane Gilmore, at the last Women's Agenda Network Breakfast in Melbourne, this Wednesday, 2nd December. Women's Agenda still has a few tickets left, so grab yours now.