International Women’s Day: Building A Diverse Business Culture

Nehmi Klaassen
Mar 6, 2020 · 3 min read

When Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic in 1928, I am sure she didn’t imagine that women would still be fighting for their place in aviation. Yet, here we are. As we mark International Women’s Day on Sunday, it’s important to recognize that there is still a lot of work left to be done in fixing the gender balance in the aviation industry.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported back in 2018 that women made up only 3% of C-level roles in aviation. However, by 2019 IATA announced they aimed to rectify the gender imbalance with their 25by2025 campaign. With women representing only 5% of pilots and 3% CEOs, the campaign looks to increase the number of women in senior roles by 25%.

And while we applaud the initiative, we need more than just commitment. Based on our value of ‘inclusivity’ as we build Kambr, our own leadership is reflecting on how we can increase the diversity within our own leadership team. Driving diversity and inclusion are not easy tasks, given the unconscious biases we all hold when selecting people.

We know it is more than just acknowledging there is a problem but taking action to overcome unconscious bias while making sure everyone across the organization is involved. We are a workplace that understands inclusivity and diversity can only happen when it is more than just a recognized part of your culture, but an active part of your culture.

Many companies know by now that diversity and inclusion are good business, if not great — in fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, companies with higher-than-average diversity have 19% higher revenues.

But it’s key that diversity and inclusion is more than just a box to tick but a need and priority for any organization. We can set targets and goals, but unless we hold ourselves accountable, nothing will change.

We are holding ourselves accountable in two ways. First off, through our values. By laying a foundation of clear, strong values such as ‘inclusivity’ and ‘adaptability’ we are saying: we prioritize and dedicate ourselves to lifting each other and ourselves, through our actions.

We are accountable to our values. We are not afraid to grow and change where needed. In fact, in order to stay true to our commitment we have incorporated working groups around our values which reinforces our commitment to build on these values and keep them as a central part of Kambr, as we grow.

Secondly, we are distributed workforce. With a bigger pool of talent at our disposal, we benefit from purposefully seeking out diverse candidates. By default we are challenging the status quo, not only in our way of working, but making sure we provide a culture and environment that invites all professionals to the table inclusive of all geographies and life situations (e.g. working parents, digital nomads, etc.).

We may not be able to fix the aviation industry overnight, but today at Kambr, we are 40% female, which is great compared to the industry standard (both in terms of aviation and tech/software), but this is just the beginning for us.

As we scale we put the onus on ourselves to continue to build a team of Kambrians as diverse and far-reaching as possible from top to bottom. And to quote Amelia Earhart, “the most effective way to do it, is to do it.”

Kambr

How Lift Happens

Kambr

How Lift Happens

Nehmi Klaassen

Written by

Head of Agency & PR at Kambr

Kambr

How Lift Happens