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Inner Musings

Mutually Exclusive? Working in an All Female Team vs working in a High Performing Team.

Charlotte, Supporter of Not Being an Arsehole

06 March 2018

Ahhh, the age old requirement of the need for labels. Yes, it’s true. SkinNinja, is an All Female Management Team. It’s also a High Performing Management Team which is multi disciplined and frankly, punching above it’s weight when it comes to volume of output vs resources. Regardless of gender – we’re fast, on the ball & fiercely ambitious. However, we acknowledge that we women have a tougher time and have ceilings to shatter and myths to bust but it’s something we just seem to absorb in our never ending To Do list.

  • Fix the website
  • Reply to users on email
  • Break the ceiling
  • World domination

No. Big. Deal. So if we have to have a label, I’ll take High Performing, thank you.

So how have we gone about creating a high performance team? Well, there’s a myriad of reasons but the number one that jumps out is creating a culture centred around the core requirement of ‘Don’t be an Arsehole’. That means, No politics. No unreasonable demands – don’t ask something from someone that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself. No leaving your personality at home. Just say what you mean and cut to the chase. In fact, everyone is actively encouraged to bring their quirks, voices and ultimately, diversity to the table. We’re all figuring out something new and we’re truly doing things which haven’t been done before by ways of technology, growth and business. We’re all in it together, and with that comes a bond which is centred around riding the highs and lifting each other during the lows.

I believe another factor which contributes to our success is that we’re pretty international team, with a broad range of life experiences. We’re all successful women in our own right. We’ve all had established careers and/or studies. We’ve all loved and lost enough to realise life is too short to sweat the small stuff. And instead. We’ve created a culture which is centred around direct communication that gets to the point of any issue. Deals with it. And moves on. We’re all here at SkinNinja because we truly believe we’re doing something for the greater good. That sense of purpose is whats unites us and keeps us focused and grounded.

Of course, our subject matter is reason enough for a unity around women’s equality and rights too. Skincare & Cosmetics. I’d never really thought about this as a feminist issue but since joining, I’ve quickly woken up to how skincare & cosmetics and the risks associated with this category is something women are more likely to be exposed to. That’s not to say men aren’t dealing with it also – in fact, it’s a growing issue for men too but at this time, we believe it’s still fair to acknowledge that women are subjected to pressures and standards which lead to an increased use of makeup and rigorous skincare routines. For example, a recent US study revealed, the average woman applies 16 products to their skin everyday. That’s an awful lot of ‘stuff’ when you start to add up the number of ingredients in each product – and we know that a little of something not very good for you – such as carcinogens – quickly adds up to a lot and runs the risk of posing a serious threat to your health.

Another area which I had never considered as an area of inequality is that of funding. I mean, it’s just something I’ve never had to think about before. I have never questioned that my gender has negatively impacted my ability to get something. Be it VC ££ or my own personal success. I’ve just always put it down to my own misgivings – not smart enough, not driven enough, not educated enough. And perhaps that still is the case but then, I read articles such as Fortune.com reporting that $58.2 billion was invested in companies with all-male founders in 2016. Meanwhile, women received just $1.46 billion in VC money last year, That’s 2%. I’m pretty sure that ideas aren’t gender exclusive and we all have the ability to dream up ideas. So why are only 2% of startups founded by women securing funding? It’s time for a radical change in the way we are fostering ideas and bringing them to life – be it access to education, mentors or funding itself.

As for working in an all female team. I love it. We have all brought our no BS attitude to the table. We have built a bond which is based on trust, respect and a greater output of the sums of our individual parts. Put simply. We need each other. No, it’s more than that. We want each other. Which means, my colleagues’ success, is my own. If they are stepping in to the lime light. If they are receiving accolades and awards, it is something I am incredibly proud of. I work with incredible women. Doing incredible things.

I hope there are many teams worldwide who have this work culture (regardless of gender) and that it isn’t just unique to us. However, I can for sure say this is the first time each of us has felt this way and it’s something that we cherish and will protect as core to our business values. Don’t be an arsehole.

Perhaps that’s the secret? We’re all in tune with our ‘feelings’ – but it’s bizarre for me to even think someone wouldn’t be, we create & curate for a minimum of 8 hours a day (to be fair, for the most of us, we do a lot longer than 8 hours). And if you’re not feeling it. Then what’s the point??

As a team who most definitely are feeling it. What’s even better is we’re a growing team. More women, and amazing men, will get to benefit from the culture we’re creating.

Pretty cool.

This post is also available to read at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mutually-exclusive-working-all-female-team-vs-high-charlotte-morris

 

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