The Intentionality Behind The Hiring Process Of Women In Startups

Stephanie Chizoba Odili
The Startup
Published in
5 min readMay 4, 2020

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Recently, I got hired in a managerial role, and my first task was to build my team. The budget was small and we were going lean; so, I figured we first start with four people on the team, including myself. I knew ahead of time that my team was going to be worth emulating in the company and serve the purpose for which it was created. But what I didn’t know, was that I was going to do more than expected when hiring. It was no longer about skills and experience; I added opportunity and advantage to, and for women.

I hear some startup CEOs speak about getting a CTO and a COO. As per usual, filling up the co-founder list with a group of guys names. There is always a successful guy they reach out to—equipping one person, a man, with 12 titles of co-founder. Meanwhile, there are so many qualified women who lack the opportunity and are never able to make it on these lists. I believe it’s wrong and archaic. We need to —as a matter of fact and progress— be more intentional with our startup founding members. Think outside the boys club of hiring all our best boys and instead look inside your office. Pick Brittany, the best backend developer to become the company’s CTO, or pick Stephanie, the most operationally effective person to become your COO.

Another thing that should be looked into when hiring women is sexism in the industry. I recently wrote an article about sexism in the workplace, and how it has to be annihilated when hiring into a team. Imagine a Marketing department headed by a Head of Marketing. She has 5 team leads reporting to her—content, design, visuals, digital & events. Payday comes and each of these leads are earning different salaries with content and event being the least paid. Why? because they’re not as ‘technical’ as visuals or design? This is sexism in the industry that must be looked out for and destroyed, especially when it relates to hiring women in those ‘less technical aka masculine’ roles.

Speaking extensively with the founder of Fliqpay, here’s what he has to say —from a male CEO’s point of view—about being intentional on hiring women in startups.

Q: Do you believe equity should take centre stage in the workplace?

A: Yes. I believe equity must take centre stage in the workplace, and I think…

Stephanie Chizoba Odili
The Startup

Novelist, poet, & school teacher. Visit