To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, we’re profiling some of the amazing women that work and drive with Gett.
Starting with Holly, who is the Senior People Partner at Gett, working on everything from recruitment, to employee engagement, to writing our corporate policies. She joined us after an amazingly varied career – she’s trained for the navy, studied dance, and helped Amazon launch their in-house delivery service in the UK!
What does International Women’s Day and this year’s theme of embracing equity mean to you?
To me, International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us to amplify women’s voices and celebrate the achievements of women. I feel proud as at Gett we’re able to celebrate women’s achievements, represent women in the tech industry, and showcase how well we’re doing. Embracing equity for me means ensuring fair treatment. I feel an essential part of this is acknowledging certain advantages, understanding barriers do exist, and realising what has prevented certain groups from involvement and advancement in many areas. Let’s break down those silos.
It’s still quite rare in the tech industry to have a balance of men and women, but Gett has an almost exactly 50/50 split – what do you think has contributed to that?
I think we’ve achieved such an equal balance due to our female managers. They are very strong leaders across the business, and it’s been obvious that what they bring to the table positively impacts the business.
Since joining Gett, we’ve been really working on empowering women at all stages of their journey, so, for example, we’ve recently enhanced our maternity leave policy in the UK. But there’s always more to do. I’d like to open up more focus forums for women to talk freely about their achievements and their working experiences so they can really build their networks in dedicated spaces where they can get support.
What do you think the tech industry can do to attract more women, and support and empower them?
I feel like we need to shout more about women’s achievements internally and externally. You don’t hear a lot about women dominating the industry. Let’s take Youtube, the CEO for the last 9 years was a woman and she actually smashed the market, but a lot of people don’t talk about it.
Michelle and Ellie
Michelle and Ellie are a mother and daughter power duo who have been driving black cabs for nearly 20 years combined. They’ve both been driving with Gett for years, and also work as our ambassadors, helping other black cab drivers get set up on the app.
What inspired you to become a black cab driver?
Ellie: Watching my mum work and study inspired me. It was amazing to see how much information she could retain while she was studying for The Knowledge. Seeing how our lives improved after she passed the test and started her career motivated me – I thought if she can do it then I can too! Growing up, I had a lot of health problems, so I knew I needed a flexible job where I could decide my own hours. I also loved going into London when I was little – I still do. Having this job gives me the flexibility I need and allows me to drive around our amazing city all day so that’s the best possible thing for me.
Have you learned anything from your daughter since she started driving a cab?
Michelle: She’s a real inspiration to me because she’s so determined, and just gets on with everything. I was feeling a little bit stagnant, but her enthusiasm towards the job helped me realise how lucky we are to work when we want, for as long as we want, and be our own bosses. There aren’t many jobs out there where you can decide that morning whether you’re going in or not!
What would you say to young women starting out or thinking of becoming a cab driver?
Ellie: If you want a job for life then becoming a cab driver is great because it will be there for you, for life. You can go off and do something else, you can have time off and have children, or start another career, and it will always be there for you to come back to. If you want something like that then I’d definitely recommend it. It is hard work but the rewards at the end are great – the freedom, the flexibility, the people you meet. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but nothing worth doing is easy!
Vaneesha is our Call Centre Manager, and makes sure that our 24/7 customer support operatives have everything they need. She has been working in customer support since she was 16, working up the ranks until she got where she is today.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Recently I read that men apply for jobs when they only meet 60% of the requirements for that position, whereas women tend to want to be perfect for the role before they’ll apply. I think that we can undersell ourselves. We could probably go for the same exact role with the same qualifications, but the fear of failing keeps us away from it. So that was a valuable piece of advice for me – don’t sell yourself short!
What advice would you give women starting up or want to get into tech?
I think we feel that we’re at it alone when we do these things. So I think my advice to anyone starting out would be you’re not alone – there are thousands of people in the exact same position as you, with all kinds of different backgrounds. And there’s also plenty of people that have been where you are now, and would love to help you! I always encourage the people in my team to start conversations with me about developing their skills and how they can move up the ladder. A lot of people have successfully been promoted into other positions across the business from my team, and I think that’s awesome.