After spending 10 years in tech, I grew frustrated working in boys’ clubs. I saw sexism first hand. Unfortunately, the examples are many. During my first week an older guy said ‘she’s got beautiful blue eyes’ and another guy in his sixties said, ‘she’s got beautiful big boobs too’ — that was in front of a group of men. To be honest, I hadn’t had an extensive work history before and I just thought that was what work was like.
DESPITE BEING A YOUNG WOMAN IN TECH, I PROGRESSED VERY QUICKLY IN THE WORKPLACE
In my early twenties, I was at the same level as middle-aged men, and as a consequence of that I’d walk into meetings with clients and they’d assume I was my male colleague’s assistant. I’d be asked to make coffee, take notes or collect stationery for male colleagues — despite being at the same level of seniority. At one stage, I was regularly sent very sexually explicit messages from a male colleague. When HR investigated, the colleague claimed his phone had been hacked — and HR believed him. The texts only stopped when my ex-partner warned the colleague to back off and leave me alone. It wasn’t until I joined an incredible company, where there were women managers, I saw myself able to progress. In conversation with other women I realised I was not alone in my experiences.
THESE ISSUES AREN’T JUST IN TECH
I knew there had to be a better way for women to identify supportive employers. In 2015, I left my stable job and a six-figure salary, dropping down to less than a quarter of what I was on. I rented my apartment, moved into a share-house and sold my car to save money.
I WORKED 16-HOUR DAYS, 7 DAYS A WEEK FOR OVER A YEAR
This was to follow a burning passion of mine and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I followed my dream to start DCC Jobs, which improves workplaces and connects only the best employers with women. We pre-screen employers on initiatives such as flexible working, pay equity, women in leadership and much more. Our determination to change archaic workplace cultures sees DCC Jobs reject around 10% of employers who do not meet our criteria, 80% then go on to improve. Transparency is key and female job seekers can be sure to only find jobs that we have approved against strict criteria to identify a genuine support for women in the workplace.
DCC JOBS IS FAST TRACKING GENDER EQUALITY ON THREE SIMULTANEOUS LEVELS
- We identify employers who support women and allow these companies to post jobs on our jobs board.
- We also host events and networking evenings on topics relating to career progression, personal development and well-being. Any surplus from these tickets sales are donated to charities. Our last one was supporting one of our DCC members who was raising funds for her White Ribbon, Trek 4 Respect Kokoda mission. In between these events, women are encouraged to join our Facebook group to connect with like-minded women thus creating a national network of professional women who will not settle for second best.
- Finally, we are securing the future pipeline of female professionals in current male dominated industries. This is achieved through our events such as Superhero Daughter Day which has to date introduced over 1000 girls in year 1-7 to the exciting world of STEM.
DCC Jobs has gone from strength to strength. I’m so proud of our growing team and honoured to work with incredible companies truly committed to supporting women. If you feel a burning desire to create change, 100% I say take the risk. I did, and it’s been the best decision of my life.
Gemma Lloyd, Co-Founder, DCC Jobs
In addition to co-founding DCC, Gemma is Company Secretary of the Diversity Practitioners Association. Gemma has served on two not-for-profit Boards including IT Queensland and Females in Technology and Telecommunications.