November 3, 2022

Is Your Business Recognized as a Great Workplace for Women?

Bitwise Industries Will Show You 5 Ways to Get Started

Bitwise Industries is a company known for creating solution-based products and services in the tech industry and that feels great! The only thing that feels better, is knowing that our company puts inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of every decision to drive the company forward—while leading by example when it comes to putting humans first. Bitwise Industries’ list of accolades primarily celebrates all of the efforts made to create a workplace culture that promotes a positive environment for all employees, especially those from marginalized identities. Here are five ways Bitwise uses intentionality and resources to ensure that this is a great workspace for women.

1) It Starts with Culture

The culture at Bitwise Industries is the backbone of our employee experience, setting the tone for the community and atmosphere of our workplace environment everyday. It only takes one visit to any of our campuses to realize that Bitwise is not your normal office—but behind the colorful murals and fun activities are specific priorities to help folks feel a sense of belonging. Diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging are at the heart of our office culture, because without these values we isolate individuals who might not fit into the standard tech employee role. 

Bitwise provides a variety of in-office and out-of-office activities for employees to attend, focused on professional development, wellbeing, and bonding with other team members. Employees have access to free coffee, snacks, and a variety of workspaces to complete their work, providing flexibility and spaces that make all people feel welcome and comfortable. And most importantly, this positive culture has buy-in from all employees. It’s emphasized at all levels of the organization, from new hires to senior leadership. Together, these aspects and more help us live out our motto, that “No one belongs here more than you.”

2) Represent Women at the Senior Leadership Level

Great workplaces for women should feature women at the senior leadership level, acknowledging that women not only deserve a place at the table but that they can positively contribute in a variety of ways. Here’s a quick highlight of some of the incredible women in leadership at Bitwise.

You probably recognize our rockstar Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Irma Olguin Jr. Between her TED talk and dedication to Bitwise’s continued growth, Irma always makes sure to care for our team and everyone on it. Alongside her are some incredible ladies helping make sure the Bitwise ship sails smoothly! Bethany Mily not only serves in executive leadership as our company President, but also mom to her two adorable sons, Emmett and Eamon.

Chief Operating Officer, Channelle Charest, oversees Bitwise administration and operations, and is also a talented tattoo artist, inking many Bitwise teammates and friends. Chief Marketing Officer, Jeanáe DuBois, leads a 60+-person marketing team on a variety of digital and physical projects, and somehow still finds time to hit the trails on her mountain bike for countless miles and miles. And keeping our buildings in tip-top shape while leading the Real Estate team is Sandi Olguin, Chief Real Estate Officer, who has a smile that can light up a room and make everyone feel right at home with her infectious humor. Together, these ladies help pave the way for Bitwise to do everything that Bitwise does.

At Bitwise Industries, sixty percent of our C-suite executive leadership—and sixty-seven percent of our VPs—are women. This is obviously a dramatic increase from the corporate average (especially in technology). In fact, Fortune Magazine awarded Bitwise one of the Best Workplaces for Women, landing in the top three of twenty-five companies recognized. Overall, Bitwise’s full-time team is made up of 51 percent women—proving that we not only talk the talk, but walk the walk too.

3) Take into Account Employees’ Demands Outside of Work

The term “work-life balance” has been in the headlines more than ever recently, as employees begin to self-advocate for themselves as holistic individuals at work. There are endless things that happen outside of the office that impact someone’s work—food, rent, medical issues, childcare, etc. This doesn’t even include leisure activities like paid time off to rest and recover from the day-to-day routine of going to the office. Employees traditionally spend 40 hours a week at work, and subtracting sleep hours, only leaves 72 hours per week to handle everything else.

Companies must take into account employees’ demands outside of work in order to holistically support them. Flexible schedules, adequate PTO, and open lines of communication between leadership and employees help individuals feel comfortable balancing work and life. At Bitwise, we emphasize the idea of working to live, not living to work. We understand that our employees work to support their families and outside interests, so we pay all employees a living wage to make sure that’s attainable. The end result? Employees who love where they work, and feel holistically fulfilled in the work they do.

4) Put the Person First

Along with taking into account demands outside of work, a “Put the Person First” attitude goes a long way to create a great workplace for not just women—but everyone at your company. Bitwise Industries has always been about humans, but we are also about putting the human first with all of our team members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our company established Wellness Groups that allow team members to connect with each other to discuss challenges in life and share resources. Originally a temporary benefit, these have grown into a whole department focused on employee wellness after folks identified the benefits of group meetings and resources. 

Additionally, every employee at Bitwise Industries receives a benefits package with full medical, dental, and vision insurance—allowing our team to take care of their physical wellbeing without feeling restrained by cost. And when individuals feel the need to take a break from work, especially after stressful projects or presentations, all employees can take advantage of our unlimited PTO benefit, giving them the ability to take a day or two off occasionally instead of accruing PTO over time. All together, these aspects truly showcase how easy it can be to put the person first in your company—creating team members that feel cared for as humans, not just employees.

5) What Can You Afford Not to Do?

Along with all of these practices we’ve listed above, there are a few practices that should be retired. Just because they’ve worked well in the past, doesn’t mean they can’t be adjusted or removed in order to help create a more fulfilling work environment for women and other marginalized groups.

First and foremost, employers should not brush off mental health as a priority for employees. Mental health leave wasn’t always granted for workers, and should be embraced as an actual health concern that warrants just as much care as physical health. Next, close the pay gap. Experts estimate that the gender pay gap may take as long as 30+ years to close. Don’t let your company wait—embrace equitable pay now and the results will be worth it. Along with closing the pay gap, don’t lose focus on closing the gender gap in leadership roles. This helps fight gender bias as a society, and increases the amount of women in the workforce. Next, reevaluate your parental leave policies. Parents work too—and if we want women to advance their careers, we can’t afford to make work more difficult just because someone is a parent. Finally, don’t sleep on your company’s diversity training. This not only benefits the women in your company, but also BIPOC individuals, LGBTQIA+ folx, and other marginalized communities.

Why This Matters

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging seem like buzzwords in workplace discussions, but at the end of the day these efforts are focused on taking care of everyone who works at your company. Every company has some existing gender/racial/etc. bias that needs dismantling, Bitwise included. What’s important is doing the work to help chip away at these systemic inequities. It takes time, but every effort helps your entire team feel more comfortable and cared for at your company—leading to industry recognition, high productivity, and employee longevity.

Leah Sadoian is a Content Writer for Bitwise Industries, who primarily writes marketing material, website content, and narratives for Bitwise Stories. In her free time, she enjoys Law and Order SVU reruns, a good weightlifting session, and spending time with her cat, Marge.