Inclusion: it’s all about the first steps

Maurine Prevel
Dec 4, 2019 · 4 min read

Last week with Mélanie Bérard and Mélanie Godard, we attended the European Women in Technology conference in Amsterdam. Our goal; Meet more women in tech and learn how to continue to build an inclusive workplace here at Doctolib. Today 22% of our tech team are women and in the last 6 months, we have grown our women developer population by ~60%.

I’m sharing some of my learnings that I believe should concern everyone working in a tech environment. Of course, as a recruiter, I’m talking to you too tech talent partners 😜.

What is good for society is good for business

Financially speaking, there is a positive effect when women and men are working together. During her keynote, Dr Michalina Seekamp from Google, shared that when women are directors, the company outperform competitors by 53%.

This concept extends to understanding customer needs and market fit too. Karen Penney of Western Union explained that the more diverse your team is, the better you understand your customers — better customer connection = better market share, but most importantly innovation.

Be Adaptable

Karen Hoyos and Noelia Cabane from Babbel explained the importance of adapting your environment (check here their initiative). At Babbel, they created training rooms, where women can prepare before talks and get feedback from their peers.

Know what you’re looking for — skills or mindset?

Bhawna Paul of Boehringer Ingelheim spoke about how sometimes it can be easier to teach hard skills if your team is willing to learn! If you think about the expertise in your company, if a few people have it, share it!

It reminds me of one challenge we are facing at Doctolib — finding developers mastering both Ruby and React.js stack, is not an easy job. So we decided to launch an internal program called “Starsky and Hutch”: once per week a senior developer works with another junior developer and teaches her/him Rails or React.Js. We continue to make efforts to mentor and grow our developers.

Fight Unconscious Bias

Your recruiting process will directly impact the decision of your candidate. Rhiannon Collins from Sky spoke about the fact that whether we know it or not — decisions are made based on a bias (take a look on this website).

Here are some tricks I learned to counter it:

  • Create a diverse panel
  • Ask for an external point of view regarding your process (candidate feedback surveys are great!!)
  • Educate your team to recognize their leadership style — and adapt to it

Stop with the imposter syndrome

Do you feel you don’t deserve your job? Do you always have a doubt on reaching your goals? You should look at the work done by Susie Ramroop from Make Life Simple.

Basically, imposter syndrome, it’s all in your head. We all suffer from it. Writing this post I definitely have that little voice in my head, which sometimes makes me doubt myself.

How could I fight against it?

  • Have positive thoughts, and stop with self-doubt (e.g “will I succeed this semester”, “It wasn’t me, it’s luck”)
  • If you want something, ask for it before thinking about why you should have it (e.g a pay raise)
  • Take initiatives and risks, you have nothing to lose. As a great man said, “I never lose. I either win or I learn”.

This talk was really empowering. I got so much from it and I have so many ideas I want to work on coming back to the office this week.

Others takeaways for you

  • Applying for a new job? Be your own advocate, work on your pitch and convince yourself you are right for the job
  • If you are just starting in tech, be brave. No one is 100% qualified
  • Asking for support and help is empowering
  • Keep learning and ask for feedback from your peers
  • Always ask the reason why, try to understand, be based on facts
  • Working with men is great, it’s ok if they challenge us — they are great mentors and help us grow
  • Share your achievements and don’t forget to celebrate them! Check #IAmRemarkable, Google’s project.

Awareness is key here.

As recruiters, we need to educate our interviewers and hiring managers. It’s our job to make sure that all of our candidates are set up for success. We need to be ready, the biggest challenge with diversity & inclusion is to do the first step.

Creating more diverse teams takes all of us. Writing this post today is my first step, what’s yours?


Maurine Prevel

Written by

Technical Recruiter @Doctolib 🚀 // Involved in #womenintech 👩‍💻



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