Fostering a balanced workforce at Openprise
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, Cassandra Ho, VP Finance, Emily Salus, Head of Professional Services, and Janis Weiss, Head of Corporate Marketing share their thoughts on how Openprise is creating a balanced workforce.
A recent Pew Research Center survey revealed that a majority of Americans would like to see more women in top leadership positions—not just in politics, but in the corporate world.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme, “balance for better,” gives us an opportunity to share why we’re hopeful about the future of leadership. Not just for women, but for anyone with talent and a desire to succeed.
We’re fortunate to work in an organization that makes it a point to develop and promote folks who work hard, play well with others, and have a strong sense that we’re all in this together trying to build something great.
We’ve intentionally grown a diverse group of employees where balance is one of our biggest strengths. It begins with our corporate values:
These values are the starting point for every interaction we have, with our customers, with each other, with our partners, and with our investors. And these are the qualities we look for in our new hires.
To make sure we live these values every day, we’ve named each conference room after one of our values. Not only do we work with trust, respect, and openness, we work IN Trust, Respect, and Openness. The names on the rooms are a daily visual reminder of what our balanced and culturally diverse workforce stands for.
Unlike many startups—which can bear a striking resemblance to HBO’s Silicon Valley—we are diverse by gender, by country of origin, by age, and by experience. What does that look like? 30% of Openprise employees are women. 75% of the customer success team are women, 2/3 of whom are engineers by training. The marketing team has a 50/50 male to female split. Almost half the leadership roles are occupied by women. Our employees range in age from their 20s to their 50s.
But the stats only tell part of the story. For example, our culture at Openprise supports a balance of maturity as well as youthful exuberance. This has nothing to do with age! We’re quirky, we appreciate a good laugh, and we refuse to take ourselves too seriously.
We’ve each arrived at Openprise with different stories and different reasons for being here. But we can all agree that this company is the antithesis of the stereotypical homogenous Silicon Valley culture. As we grow, we’re not looking for people who replicate our skills, backgrounds, and viewpoints. Our goal is to build a complementary culture by balancing out our teams with different strengths and qualities. Even if (or maybe especially if) that means challenging our own perspectives—because that diversity makes us stronger, more creative, and more dynamic.
As leaders, we’re looking for people from all backgrounds and at all levels who have the capacity to mature inside the company so that we can grow our own talent and develop our future leaders. To this end, we also sponsor the Notre Dame Belmont TigerBots, an all-girl high school robotics team, to encourage young women to develop their technical skills and pursue technical education and careers and to ensure that the future job candidate pool is rich in diversity.
Prospective employees need not look any further than our leadership page—represented by a mix of genders and backgrounds—to see they have the potential to become leaders at Openprise.
It’s no secret that the tech industry has long suffered a gender imbalance. But our company today is made up of a diverse collection of extremely intelligent and innovative individuals. And it’s that diversity brings us all together. There’s some evidence that companies with a balanced and culturally diverse workforce tend to perform better. So we plan to continue down this road. Because more and better ideas can only make us a better, stronger, and more fun team.