SheWorks: “We want to close the gender gap through technology”

Silvia Castro Betancourt

November 19, 2019

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This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

This platform that will soon arrive in Spain connects women who want flexible job opportunities and telecommuting with companies that provide them.

Reconciling family and work has been understood in many cases as a reduction in working hours; however, there are other formulas to offer it. SheWorks! advocates flexible models with where there are options to work remotely.

This platform helps women become mothers and enjoy the care of their children or home without losing professional opportunities. In fact, they put them in contact with organizations with a more open philosophy that understand these needs and provide facilities for them to meet them.

Its founder and CEO, Silvina Moschini, talks with BYZness about its operation, about the barriers that are being encountered, entrepreneurship, the masculinity of Silicon Valley, and more.

How did the idea of ​​founding SheWorks! come about?

SheWorks! is a platform that economically empowers women through flexible and cloud work. It is a comprehensive solution to train and connect professional women with job opportunities that fit their lives.

We created SheWorks! because the labor market still uses obsolete and rigid models that cause more than half of women to leave their jobs when they become mothers. A paradox, since women make 80% of purchasing decisions and in many cases have more university degrees and qualifications.

Companies say they proactively seek to hire more women, and they worry that there is no women's pipeline for management positions. But they expect people to continue to show up at an office and meet a fixed schedule, when computer work can be done from anywhere.

They are tied to rigid models of 9 to 5, incompatible with the lifestyle that women lead, especially when they have children. The labor market is broken. It is difficult for companies to find talent and it is difficult for women not only to find jobs, but also to remain in the workforce.

With SheWorks! We created a job market with pre-qualified professionals so that companies can find them and have no excuses that there is no pipeline and that they cannot have diverse equipment because there are no women in the labor market. We also give them the tools to make remote work much more productive and efficient than work in the office.

What are your goals or purposes?

We break the barriers that separate talent from opportunities. SheWorks! It uses technology to create a job market where we join companies in search of talent, with professional women from anywhere in the world, through flexible and cloud opportunities.

We want to close the gender gap through technology. We create SheWorks! so that thousands of women do not have to choose between their family and their professional careers, and can have a job that suits their needs.

We have professionals from all over the world who work for organizations such as PepsiCo, Mastercard, Google, the IDB, among others.

Last year we participated in W20 Argentina – the G20 affinity group focused on the economic development of women – to present SheWorks! and how it generates labor inclusion for women through technology.

How do you achieve that professional match? How do you connect professionals who are looking for flexible work and those companies willing to offer it?

Any woman who wants to be part of SheWorks! You must register on our website: www.wheresheworks.com and complete your profile. It is very important that you include your experience, skills and a portfolio of work you have done.

When the profile is approved by our team, it is part of our talent cloud to be considered by our clients. If a company needs an expert for a project or to incorporate for hours, contact us and our team looks for the most suitable candidates for the position to interview them and thus incorporate talent from anywhere.

What other services do you offer at SheWorks?

We train thousands of women through SheWorks! Academy, our global academy that promotes technology and leadership skills. With this objective we partner with companies such as Facebook, SAP, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Google.

SheWorks! Academy is an online learning platform so that women can develop in skills they don't have, in a cost-effective way and in a short time.

Once the courses are completed, we test and evaluate the knowledge. If the exams are passed, they receive a digital stamp that they can share with any employer or add it to their resume.

Today the skills are more important than university degrees and that is why we seek to train women and then insert them into the market through SheWorks!.

What partners have you associated with?

We have a strategic alliance with EY Women Fast Forward to generate 100,000 job opportunities and generate economic development for women around the world.

With Everis in Colombia we have an agreement to bring digital transformation in the world of work that will help companies scale their businesses by taking advantage of “Cloudsourcing” and managing talent in the cloud.

Everis works with SENA (National Apprenticeship Service in Colombia), a project to close the talent gap in software development in Colombia. With these clouds of talent, graduates will enhance their job opportunities locally and internationally.

With the IDB in Guatemala we work on a project to train thousands of women through SheWorks! Academy and then insert them into the labor market through our platform that connects talent with opportunities.

Another very interesting agreement we have is with TeleworkSaudi, in Saudi Arabia. This program is part of SaudiVision2030, and seeks to generate employment opportunities for women in the kingdom. There women can work in places where there are only women with some exceptions, but with SheWorks! These women can telework and develop professionally in their careers.

What barriers are you encountering?

Some companies are still managed with 9 to 5 work schedules and are afraid of losing control of tasks and projects with a remote workforce. Having technology that allows transparent and collaborative management of distributed teams is essential to change this paradigm. It is also necessary to implement processes and policies that accompany this change of model and cultural change.

SheWorks! It has tools to manage distributed equipment, our TransparentBusiness solution solves three challenges associated with telecommuting or remote work, which are trust, coordination of remote equipment and the commitment or ability to verify work.

Silvina, you have a lot of experience in the technological world. In your opinion, has Silicon Valley stopped being macho? What is necessary for certain behaviors to be banished?

I would not say that Silicon Valley is macho but that most technological ventures are led by men, it is a reality.

There are very few women who start high-impact and high-scale ventures, this has to do with the fact that culturally women are more likely to develop ventures linked to education, beauty, fashion, cosmetic production and not high-tech companies that are the which generally exist in Silicon Valley.

Another important point is that access to capital to build high-impact, large-scale businesses is limited for women.

Many times women are conditioned psychologically and question our ability to acquire capital on a scale. In general, women are more likely to ask for loans rather than investment in many cases and that is why it is very difficult for them to build companies with venture capital.

That the companies that receive capital from VCs are so few cannot be explained solely because most of the VCs are men. The reality is that there are 50 women and 50 men asking for venture capital. Very few women choose the path of financing via venture capital, which has expectations of growth and return in the company that are very aggressive.

This means that, as there are more men, there is an unconscious bias about the type of business in which women develop, based on the practical learning of what the majorities are.

This can be changed if greater visibility of the data is achieved when companies are managed by women. The return you have is extremely positive and in many cases is greater. Some statistics show that they get 28% more return on investment in profit. But it would also be necessary to have more women when deciding on investments or more men who do not have an unconscious bias, who invest in women.

In my particular case, most of my investors have been men. I think the key is also to build diverse teams. If a woman has a male partner, she has many more opportunities, not only to add different points of view, but also to be able to balance that predisposition that exists in the market that suggests that women are not completely committed or that they do not have the vision or energy or risk aversion to achieve large companies.

Do you think part of the problem is in the shortage of women in venture capital firms?

It is very difficult to make a generalization in relation to this. Yes, it would be great if there are more women as investors, but what I think even better is that there are men who can see business without a bias or a gender-based precept.

Are there still many Harvey Weinsteins or Dave McClures that have yet to come to light in the ICT industry?

I believe that to the extent that it is clear to both parties what is acceptable and what is not, and that women feel comfortable putting limits and clear points, inappropriate approaches will be less because the feeling of impunity will be reduced. It also requires women to have a more assertive and shameless attitude for reporting if you feel that you have not been treated with respect and quick and immediate action.

How many users does SheWorks currently have? What countries does the majority belong to?

We have more than 20,000 women on the platform. The countries with the most participation are Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

We have Spanish representation, but we want more people to take advantage of this opportunity to develop their careers with a job that allows them to be with their loved ones. We work in strategic alliances to represent thousands of Spaniards through SheWorks! and soon we will make the official launch to recruit more women.

What is your opinion about the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem and our entrepreneurs?

There are wonderful tech tech entrepreneurs like Laura González Estefani, the former Facebook executive who created an investment fund and an accelerator called The Venture City that is transforming entrepreneurial ecosystems not only in Spain but also in the United States.

Spain has one of the most powerful accelerators for technology entrepreneurs, Wayra, which not only invests in startups but also makes the entire Telefónica network available to offer digital solutions. There are also initiatives such as Endeavor that cultivate opportunities for entrepreneurs.

The number of women in high-impact enterprises is smaller for many reasons. One reason perhaps is access to venture capital and another is also that there are fewer women who take – due to a generic predisposition – risk aversion and challenges of building very large companies. The road is super hard and is not for everyone.

This year at IN3 I met Pepita Marín, CEO and co-founder of WeAreKnitters, also an Endeavor entrepreneur, and Laura Urquizu, Founder of RedPoints. Together we participate in a panel about entrepreneurs who triumphed in the United States, led by Miguel Arias, Global Director of Entrepreneurship at Telefónica.

Women entrepreneurs are less and I believe that the combination of personal and style issues that women have, plus the difficulties of access to venture capital, are the main limitations.

What can we expect from the platform in the future?

We hope to grow exponentially through the scalability we have with strategic alliances with companies and governments, such as we have with EY Women Fast Forward to generate 100,000 job opportunities for women.

We will launch new SheWorks features! Academy to propose more personalized courses according to each profile. Work on employability and make a learning path. In this way, propose courses according to the strongest skills, market demands and the courses we have available. We will also certify in “Cloudworking” or Remote Work.

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

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Acerca de Lucas Vargas:

  • Empezó en Grupo ZAP como el VP de Sales y en 2016 cuando la empresa tenía 60 empleados. Fue nombrado COO de VivaReal tomando el mando de Brian Requarth el Co-Fundador. VivaReal lanzó en Colombia y se trasladó a Brasil. En 2017 se hizo CEO del Grupo ZAP.
  • Ha trabajado en Mexico en PWC y en el Banco Santander
  • Tiene un Master de Business Administration de Harvard
  • En noviembre este año después de la fusión de OLX Brasil y Grupo ZAP fue nombrado el CEO del OLX Business Unit. Lidera la empresa junto con Andries Oudshoorn y Marcos Leite
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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.