IWD 2024: How Qwilt is Inspiring Inclusion in Ways You Can Too

This Friday (March 8th) marks International Women’s Day (IWD), a day when people and organizations worldwide reflect on the progress made towards gender equality and the work that still needs to be done. As a woman who started her career in streaming media in 2004, I had a lot to reflect on, especially with this year’s IWD theme being #inspireinclusion – a call-to-action that deeply resonates.

In my 20-year tenure in the media tech industry, I’ve often found myself as the sole woman in the room, the only female on the team, the singular woman speaker at conferences, or even the lone female in the entire company. At many of those moments, and without any other frame of reference, these situations felt normal. It’s only after having experienced the richness and strength of greater diversity in the workplace and being surrounded by teams where DEI is a priority that I have come to realize how much not just I, but all of us, were missing out on.

Fast-forward to today, I’ve been fortunate to witness Qwilt’s remarkable journey over the past two years while also learning about the incredible achievements our unique start-up has accomplished in the years preceding my joining. Maintaining our incredible culture throughout our team’s rapid growth and global expansion has been nothing short of inspiring.

Moreover, this expansion has been accompanied by a steadfast commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, evident by the following facts, which I am tremendously proud to share as a Qwilter on this International Women’s Day:

  • 45% of our extended leadership team are women.
  • Women author 50% of our thought leadership article placements.
  • We are hiring women at a rate well above industry averages.

Women are a significant part of our leadership and voice, and in turn, we are attracting great talent with greater momentum towards closing the gender gap than even the largest tech companies. This is all possible thanks to the positive culture Qwilt has created, where diverse voices are encouraged and championed.

Three ways to inspire inclusion that anyone can do today

Here are some practical steps I challenge others to take today to actively help close the gender gap by inspiring inclusion:

1. For your brand: Representation matters – bake it into your brand

Your company or team’s gender diversity might not yet be where it should be, but don’t let that stop you from embracing a fully equitable mindset today. Some things, like your company’s voice, are completely within an organization’s control and responsibility to correct without any prerequisites.

Ensuring that all of our Qwilt employees, partners, and customers feel represented by our brand is a priority that touches all aspects of my work. In fact, for the past two years and counting, we’ve made it a daily practice at Qwilt that our company’s voice be diverse, equitable, and inclusive across all content we create. One of our practices, for example, is to ensure that our female spokespeople and authors are heard as loudly and as frequently as our male spokespeople and authors.

2. For hiring managers: Hiring is not about picking a candidate; it’s about putting together a team

Hiring is regularly approached as a task to find the most qualified candidate, but that also means the opportunity to round out a team is often forgotten. Anyone who’s ever been part of a truly great team can tell you there must be diversity of thought; teammates must be capable of challenging one another while being supported in taking risks.

Qwilt’s SVP People, Hadar Vaturi, never ceases to amaze me with her ability to foster such an open and inclusive work environment. She and her team, instrumental in Qwilt’s ability to grow so rapidly, have embraced challenges that come with rapid scaling with enormous enthusiasm, persistently filling Qwilt’s pipeline with a diverse mix of candidates. Every hire is handled with tremendous care, taking all the steps necessary with emphasis on seeking the right teammate. Always remember that building a great team is worth the work and worth the wait.

3. For anyone feeling less than inspired: Surround yourself with a team that makes DEI a priority

Remember, finding inspiration in your work is essential for personal growth and job satisfaction. By seeking out environments that align with your values, you can thrive professionally while positively impacting the world around you. When searching for employers who value DEI, look for signs such as diverse leadership teams, employee resource groups, inclusive policies, and training programs. There are also some incredible industry organizations that can provide some added inspiration – please check out one of my favorites, Women in Streaming Media, and sign up to be a mentor or mentee in the next cohort.

Lisa Aussieker
SVP, Marketing at | + posts