My name is Atika Boulgaz, and I am EVP Global Communication at Viaccess-Orca (VO), managing marketing communication activities as well as corporate and internal communication for the company. I’m working with a skillful team of experts, mainly women. But as we all know, that’s common in marketing, right?
Unfortunately, what is also (still) common, is having mostly men lead tech activities.
As 2023 has just started, I have been thinking about what resolutions we can make to foster diversity and inclusion in the streaming/video industry. Considering what has already been shared about diversity and women in tech, I asked myself where and how I could use my position to help further the cause of increasing diversity. I have come up with four resolutions for how I can contribute to improving diversity and inclusion.
- Increasing Awareness. To encourage young girls and women to widen their perspective, to explore more possibilities such as engineering studies, I’m trying to share my experiences within the technology industry to my family and circle of friends. I’m providing them examples of inspirational women through articles, books, videos, and movies (such as the wonderful Hidden Figures), to increase their awareness of the possibilities available to them. In the professional environment, I am leaning more on the great experts we have at VO, both women and men, to see how we can raise our collective voices and share these possibilities with young women directly in their schools, perhaps by organizing a kind of “open day” at VO so young women can come and discover the many kinds of opportunities available to them at a technology company such as ours.
- Rely on experts. But I recognize that it can be hard to make a meaningful impact on my own. When there is such a big issue to tackle, it needs more than just one voice. We need to work together in a collective effort. From that, though, we need women ambassadors to carry the collective message beyond justVO. In my role, I work with a lot of different representatives at VO when I’m preparing keynotes, panels, video promotions, or any of the many other public-facing facets of our company. I’m always assessing who is the most relevant speaker for one topic or another and today, I can say, I am now working with a few women at our company to prepare speaking opportunities and I have even included myself into this mix, to raise my head above the parapet and talk about our technological assets. None of this was the case a few years ago. I plan to keep doing my best to encourage more women in VO to act as ambassadors of what women in tech are capable of doing. And by continuing this effort, we can show women in other tech companies that they can have a voice too. We will all become ambassadors.
- Diversity Is More Than Just Women. Even though I have been talking about increasing the inclusiveness of women, inclusion and diversity is not just a women’s issue. It’s a global topic That is relevant to anyone who has been marginalized by the status quo. Maybe I should have started the first resolution with “educating everyone” instead of “educating young women.” Even we, as women, without even thinking about it, are still driven by some outdated patterns, so we need to increase awareness among other women and explain not only the challenges but the great opportunities that exist to foster diversity in our industry. We need to increase awareness among other women to explain not only our own challenges, but the greater opportunity to improve diversity for everyone in in not only the streaming video industry, but for any industry. It will just be better for everyone, men and women, if collectively, we always keep CSR top of mind and, more importantly, act on opportunities to improve diversity and inclusion.
- Follow the leaders. There are many initiatives to help improve diversity and inclusion, such as Raising Our Voices offered by SVTA, and I’m grateful I have been contacted. I’m grateful because it makes me aware of two things: that I can act, and that I should I can’t sit by and hope that diversity and inclusion will improve within the streaming video industry. I need to use my experience, and my position, to do what I can. There are many initiatives indeed and many groups on social media such as “Women in Tech” or “Women’s Leadership” and I’ve realized on a personal level that I do not take enough time to be involved. So, I plan to invest more time and make it a personal objective of mine to follow up on those initiatives, to be updated, and if relevant to take part.
It takes time to change society and mentalities. We tend to focus on everything that still must be done rather than being proud of what’s already being done and achieved.
I believe, however, that we are moving in the right direction, and now there are countless examples where women’s voices are louder than they ever have been before. In the past few years, many people have woken up to the understanding that gender, or culture, or the color of one’s skin, is not an indicator of skill or ability. And even if it is sometimes difficult to hear and difficult to act upon still, this awareness across industries and across the globe continues to lead us to more equality, more equity, and more diversity.
Let’s move on!