Honoring International Women’s Day by recognizing shared values

Promoting diversity everywhere decisions, innovations, and developments are made.

Today, around the globe, people are honoring International Women’s Day (IWD). It is a day to celebrate in the achievements of women while also bringing attention to the challenges that still lay ahead. At Q-Free, advocating for gender equity is part of our DNA. We believe diversity of thought, skill, and backgrounds is not just a societal good but a necessity for doing business.

“We see leveraging diversity as a real competitive advantage and are continuously working to improve,” said Thale Kuvås Solberg, President and CEO of Q-Free. “A diverse workforce broadens our perspectives and approaches, which robust decision-making in a complex business environment highly depends on.”

Breaking down stereotypes

There are two primary themes for this year’s International Women’s Day: #EmbraceEquity and #digitALL from the official IWD organization and United Nations respectively.  Today, we are focusing on what unites these themes by breaking down stereotypes and looking at the positive image  that both feminine and masculine traits and characteristics play in our everyday lives.

Just as we all have a right and left brain, we also all have both female and masculine traits. Located in the left side of our brain is the masculine force. It is the part of us that is assertive, logical, and analytical, always pushing us to survive. The right side of the brain is the more feminine side embodying creativity, intuition, and our more nurturing aspects with roots reaching deep into the heart.

Here are how these traits present themselves in the workplace:

CHART: Characteristics stereotypically coded as masculine and feminine in the workplace

Stereotypically masculineStereotypically feminine
Analytical Caring/compassionate
Confident Generous
Risk Taker Trustworthy
IndependentWilling to compromise

Many companies reward, promote, and recognize stereotypically masculine traits over stereotypically feminine ones. For instance, “competitiveness” and “confidence” are traditionally masculine traits that tend to be recognized in the workplace over “collaboration” – a traditionally female trait yet. For us, acknowledging this is the first step towards changing it.

Promoting diversity

At Q-Free, we believe success requires both stereotypically masculine and feminine characteristics. Acknowledging this, we strive to remove gender bias from job descriptions, create equitable opportunities based on strengths and backgrounds, and promote diversity and inclusion everywhere decisions, innovations, and developments are being made.

One of our immediate goals is to increase the number of women in the company to 25% by 2025. By doing this, we believe we will promote diversity and help address the growing #digitALL divide. It will also ensure our solutions consider all users and ensure we continue to be a competitive, innovative company.

What we value

We decided to use this year’s International Women’s Day as the catalyst for an exercise in self-inflection and to measure the general feeling of the Q-Free team globally. We conducted an internal poll to gauge the general feeling of our global team regarding the ten characteristically masculine and feminine traits.

Regardless of location or gender, the two overarching traits valued most were collaboration and trustworthiness. The results are encouraging and show an appreciation for feminine values within our traditionally male-dominated industry and field.  While this is something to be celebrated, there is still a lot of work to do to create a workplace free of gender stereotypes.

It’s vogue to express yourself

We encourage everyone to reflect on how they view these traits in themselves and their colleagues, to freely express themselves in the workplace, and challenge gender stereotypes. Only together can we forge positive changes and change the movements of life.