“You Can’t Snap Your Fingers, And Expect Things To Look Different Overnight”: How SafetyCulture Is Fostering Women In The Tech Industry

“You Can’t Snap Your Fingers, And Expect Things To Look Different Overnight”: How SafetyCulture Is Fostering Women In The Tech Industry

From humble beginnings in a garage in regional Queensland, SafetyCulture has grown to become a $2.7 billion technology company helping teams around the world drive daily improvements across their organisations.

The company wasn’t an overnight success, but it was created from a desire to help solve a big customer problem. How could more injuries in the workplace be prevented?

Today, customers remain at the heart of what SafetyCulture does, and they know it’s essential for their employees to be a reflection of the customers they serve.

Christina Lord, head of product marketing at SafetyCulture, plays a key role in championing the needs of customers. She sat down with Women Leading Tech to share how she came into the tech world from a rather unconventional background but how, ultimately, it was timing, hard work and mentorship that helped her get to where she is today.

“I don’t come from a business or marketing academic background. I fell into the roles I’ve had, but if I look back, I think the throughline for me has been having really supportive mentors. They helped push me towards a career I never knew existed when I was in school,” said Lord.

After graduating with a political studies & sociology degree right in the middle of the global financial crisis, Lord dove into grad school, focusing on diversity and inclusion. She found her footing in sales, which then opened the door to move to Canadian tech company, Shopify. “It was very much the right place, right time. The opportunities that I had to grow were very specific to that early time in the company, but it taught me so much and set me up for the rest of my career”.

Following her time at Shopify, she went on to move to Australia, working at Canva before landing at SafetyCulture.

“I’m a big believer that how you do anything, is how you do everything. No matter the task, applying yourself and saying yes to opportunities outside your job description will always set you apart. Throughout my career, that’s one of the biggest things that have been noticed by my peers and leadership, and it’s what has given me the chance to have a massive impact in every role,” she said.

As a Canadian with Sri Lankan heritage, Lord is also a vocal champion for the importance of diversity in any organization. “Diversity is important for a number of reasons, particularly if you are a company like SafetyCulture who is customer-obsessed. I’ve seen first-hand that a diverse team, mirroring your customer base, is more likely to create products and experiences that are accessible, resonate, and address key pain points,” she said.

“And on the flip side, a team that’s all the same probably has a limited worldview and can easily fall prey to groupthink, which doesn’t drive creativity or innovation”.

Lord believes that the formula for attracting more women to the tech industry is something anyone can adopt and that things are changing for the better. “Tech remains a male-dominated industry. But more and more, we’re seeing really great examples of companies supporting and championing women into leadership positions”.

“At SafetyCulture, one of the areas I’ve seen us making progress on is introducing better support for female talent. We now have a Women’s Network, which was established to help create more mentoring opportunities, improve the visibility of different career paths, and provide opportunities for women in the industry to network. We also have updated policies to make them more accessible and beneficial for women. We do things like extending super payments during unpaid parental leave, and in the last few years, we’ve introduced things like paid miscarriage leave and paid domestic and family violence leave”.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and there is still a long way to go toward ensuring that people from minority backgrounds see themselves adequately reflected in the teams they work with. “You can’t snap your fingers, and expect your team to look different overnight. Particularly at a leadership level. It’s about getting a commitment from the top and growing people throughout their careers. I genuinely believe everyone can play a part in that”.

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