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March 8, 2024
min read

International Women's Day 2024 at ZILO™

The ZILO™ team gathered this morning for a coffee and an informal chat to delve into topics surrounding Women. We discussed various aspects related to International Women's Day, such as unconscious bias, gender representation in technology, challenges women encounter in the workplace, and ways to promote gender equality.

We’ve captured several key points from the discussion below:

Gender Representation in Tech:

The conversation sheds light on the gender split within companies, especially in the tech industry, noting a significant disparity between male and female representation.

We discussed our gender split across the UK and Thailand locations.

"Right now, at ZILO™ in Thailand (with the data we have) it looks about a 50-50 gender split which I think's great and very encouraging. That is very rare within this industry." remarked Vanessa Gallagher, Head of People & Culture

Unconscious Bias:

Our conversation touched on how people subconsciously conform to traditional gender roles, such as thinking a pilot or a CEO must be male. This highlights the deep-rooted nature of gender biases in society.

"As part of a previous inclusivity training session, we were given several scenarios... And they asked at the end, what did you visualise? People automatically saw a pilot or a CEO as male, they saw a couple as heterosexual etc... it's all about unconscious bias, the way that we see things," shared Vicky Albury, Financial Controller.

The team recognised the importance of highlighting these unconscious biases:

“It takes a discussion like this to open your eyes and change your perspective on these matters. In future, when you think about a pilot or a CEO, you might now picture someone different, it’s all about mindset.”

Supportive Work Environments:

Our colleagues discussed the importance of flexible working conditions, particularly for parents, noting that such support can greatly alleviate stress and enhance job satisfaction.

"ZILO™ really supports me with flexible working and the team, everything. I've got two children, I'm a single mother as well so there are many challenges, but I've not always had such support at work... here, you receive that flexibility, you feel supported, and it transforms your entire attitude towards work." stated Kat Reader, Information and Data Governance Administrator.

Challenging Gender Stereotypes & Imposter Syndrome:

We conversed about societal pressures that often lead women to undervalue their skills. There's encouragement to embrace abilities with confidence.

"...males are more inclined to apply for job roles even when they lack the full skill set and experience... Women, on the other hand, may hesitate, only applying where they fully meet criteria," Vanessa added.

Empowering Women in the Workplace:

Women were urged to communicate assertively and eliminate any diminishing phrases from their speech or written communication. The aim being to overturn the historical social conditioning that has often silenced women's assertiveness.

"...over 50% of women have admitted to softening their language in professional settings...the best advice I received was to eliminate diminishing phrases like 'I just would like to say…' and ‘I think we should maybe …’ from my communication," Sophie Nelson, Senior Integrated Designer, pointed out. “We are all experienced in our field, we should be making statements. We should never ask for permission to share our valuable insights.”

"Everyone is an expert in their field. We should step into that and make sure that we're behaving in that way. And I know it's difficult because we are a minority in the industry... But the acknowledgement is there that we have brilliant women in this business. As a collective, everyone is good at what they do. It's crucial to assert your presence and express your opinions confidently, knowing that you've earned your place here " Jayde Agius, Chief Innovation Officer, noted.

Leadership's Role in Gender Equality:

Acknowledging the importance of gender diversity and inclusivity at all levels in our business, emphasising the need to challenge and change the status quo.

"As a mission driven start-up, we have a deep sense of purpose. We work on solving problems through transformative technologies. Some days we all feel out of our depth, but we step forward, learn, and evolve. Our constant curiosity and desire to deliver propels us forward. Every day I learn and grow. Our great people are here because they are capable and powerful both as individuals and collectively.

As an organisation, balance is hugely important. We don’t discriminate– we value our differences, they bring the benefit of diversity of thought. Breaking historic norms and ensuring women, and all people participate equally in the success of our business is non-negotiable to me at ZILO™.

On Women’s International day I salute the outstanding and powerful women who support our business, and industry and look-forward to supporting their further empowerment" stated Phil Goffin, CEO

Suggestions for Improvement:

Ideas for enhancing support for women include creating forums for sharing experiences, establishing mentoring programmes, and encouraging open discussions about gender equity and professional growth.

“While important, equality and inclusivity are not just about seeing each other as people; it's about acknowledging the subtle and pervasive effects of inequality that women face... it's hard to change because it is deep-rooted from an evolutionary perspective, so it is a major thing to turn around. But from my perspective, it's essential to have these discussions, they're so important. It brings together our unique perspectives and talents. It reinforces the desire to continuously push for that inclusivity, equality, and empowerment to our team, no matter who we are." Ian Barrett, Business Analyst reflected.

This marks the beginning of many conversations the ZILO™ team will be having, and we're eager to share our future discussions.


A special thanks to the ZILO™ team members for their active participation and to the below people for your quoted insights.

Vanessa Gallagher, Head of People & Culture

Vicky Albury, Financial Controller

Kat Reader, Information and Data Governance Administrator

Sophie Nelson, Senior Integrated Designer

Jayde Agius, Chief Innovation Officer

Phil Goffin, CEO

Ian Barrett, Business Analyst

Contact details

Andrew Wilson
ZILO, Chief Commercial Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7920 3150
Tim Pearson
Tavistock Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7920 3150
Katie Hopkins
Tavistock Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7920 3150

Other Insights