On March 8th, Authority Partners (AP) celebrated International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. AP ladies from around the world gathered online to mark this day and share thoughts around this year’s theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. Maja Karabeg, Co-Founder of AP, gave the welcome speech, Amna Muharemagic, the Program Specialist at UN Women BiH, spoke about the importance of this day and shared some interesting findings, and Amina Karic, Vice President of Operations at AP spoke about AP ladies and their successes.

In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights. Two years later, a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin proposed International Women’s Day, which was approved by 100 women from 17 countries. Many things have happened after that, and then in December of 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights.

Maja Karabeg, Co-Founder of AP, gave an inspiring speech and gave honor to great women in the IT industry and their achievements.

“For many years, we’ve been fighting for gender-equal word, for equal rights, equal pay, equal representation, and equal visibility. In the IT world, women currently remain highly underrepresented in software engineering (14% of the total workforce) and computer science-related jobs (25% of the total workforce). In fact, women software engineer hires have only increased 2% over the last 20 years. What can we do? The best way to get females interested in tech careers is to show them that tech is not a male-dominated field, and the most-effective way of doing this is by increasing the number of visible female role models in the industry.” Maja closed her speech with a message that behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, and invited AP ladies to support each other every day.

This year’s theme celebrates women and girls’ tremendous efforts worldwide in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amna Muharemovic, the Program Specialist at UN Women BiH, emphasized that it is not just up to us. A prevalent philosophy of today, promoted by Sheryl Sandberg’s, step up or lean in when the opportunity comes about without doubting our values.

“It doesn’t completely work to focus just on women, having to lean in or step up. The research shows that companies with diverse leadership outperform their competitors by about 28%; however, when we look at the top-performing company’s leadership, only 4% of these top-performing companies are led by women. So, we have shadowed the barriers in education because, in the last 20 years, there is an equal number of graduating men and women from the top universities; however, in the workplace, some things still don’t work out,” said Amna.

Amna also highlighted the balance in decision-making, empathy, inclusive and transformative leadership that women embody make companies perform better. She shared an interesting fact about the Icelandic financial sector meltdown, which caused the financial crisis, which was analyzed, that was only one survival company. That company was led by four women.

“The “Lean in” philosophy of today, only by itself, does not work because it places all the burden on the women, opens space for backlash for assertive women to those coming forward, and ignores structural barriers. We are all faced with implicit bias, unconscious ideas that guide our actions and thoughts. An implicit bias that is most likely to affect us is three biases – male preferences, in-group favoritism/ like to be among people like us, and maternal wall, an assumption that when women have children are less focused on the job, science showed the exact opposite. What can we do? We can work on dismantling our own biases and biases within our organizations,” said Amna.

Amina Karic, Vice President of Operations at AP, gave a closing speech and shared how things at AP look.

“I am happy to report that at AP, things are looking better. Especially when it comes to leadership. Almost 40% of our Management are females, 50% of our Engineering managers are females, 34% of Team Leads, 45% of Project Managers, and 32% of Scrum Masters. When it comes to QA, we have 31% of females engaged in this career path, and 17% are in Software Development. These statistics are better than 14% of the total workforce in software engineering occupied by women in the US. We are also proud to say that 46.5% of current consultants in Bosnia and Herzegovina who came to AP through our AP LAB – Talent and Innovation Center are females,” said Amina.

On this special day, we also delighted our AP ladies with symbolic gifts hoping that we will inspire them to shine on, not just today, but every day. A big thank you to all the women worldwide for their enormous contributions, especially the AP ladies, for growing together with us. Every day we have the honor to witness their successes. At AP, we will continue to employ, promote, cherish, and celebrate our female consultants with our male consultants’ full support.

Cheers to International women’s day!