Female Leadership at DocuSign
At DocuSign, we work proactively to balance the gender distribution and to empower and promote women, especially in leadership positions. In this article, you will find out what we are doing in concrete terms to push the issue of female leadership more strongly and to put it centre stage.
DocuSign Women: A strong network thanks to Employee Resource Groups
At DocuSign, the topic of female leadership has played an important role since the company was founded. In addition to women in management positions, female employees are also represented by Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), one of which is DocuSign Women.
It all started when DocuSign was still a start-up with around 150 employees - only a few of them women. These female employees began to meet regularly for dinner, thus forming a network that has grown over the years. In the meantime, this has developed into a strong ERG called DocuSign Women, which is active in several cities and countries.
One of the biggest hurdles for many women is the lack of a network. They are represented at second management level, but not on the board, which means many lack the network for further advancement. A network that is far too often still male-dominated. Support is offered by ERGs, for which men should of course also be involved.
After all, female empowerment is a social issue that must be supported by men as well in order to break down the prevailing structures. The more visible an ERG and its success, the more power and opportunities it gives to the people behind it. The ERG DocuSign Women would like to actively support female employees at DocuSign in their careers and place female role models at the centre.
3 Focus Points of DocuSign Women
DocuSign Women has three focus points to connect, empower and support female employees internally and externally:
- Internal talent programmes
- External focus
- Creating role models for women
Programmes for internal talent
It is important to promote talent within the company and to openly address issues that are important to women in their careers across the company. Talent needs to be supported internally so that a community of female employees can emerge.
"DocuSign Women is a community of strong women who support and empower each other." Daniela Becker, Area Vice President, Commercial Sales at DocuSign
DocuSign Women is committed to ensuring that the next generations of women also consider careers in IT and technology and set goals for themselves in these industries. The initiative therefore works with schoolgirls, students, career starters and career changers, and forms internal and external networks of women in business and technology. These women's networks offer girls and women the opportunity for professional exchange and encourage them to explore new career fields. All members can benefit from this community and expand their skills.
"Many young women or career changers often do not have the courage to start their career in a male-dominated industry like tech and IT. DocuSign Women therefore focuses on addressing these issues externally to create awareness. Our goal is to inspire young women to enter different industries and jobs. " Daniela Becker, Area Vice President, Commercial Sales at DocuSign
DocuSign has many inspiring female employees in all kinds of business areas as well as positions and DocuSign Women wants to shine a spotlight on these exceptional individuals. Daniela Becker emphasises that role models are very important for girls and women. Therefore, DocuSign Women is committed to presenting and promoting female employees and also female customers internally and externally and to celebrating successes together.
More ERGs for women and allies at DocuSign
DocuSign WISE: DocuSign Women in Solution Excellence (WISE) creates a forum for women and allies in solution engineering to reinforce DocuSign values such as networking, diversity, inclusion and work-life balance.
DocuSign WIPD: DocuSign Women in Product Development (WIPD) advocates for the advancement and support of women in the technology industry. The ERG provides networking opportunities and fosters a community between female employees and allies. WIPD supports women to develop leadership skills and provides mentoring and sponsorship.
DocuSign WAES: Women Account Executives in Sales (WAES) is a community that supports women in account executive roles (customer service) through professional development, mentoring and networking.
Bringing women to the top
At least as important as organising and supporting resource groups is living these values and attitudes in the company culture. At DocuSign, equality is not only reflected in the distribution of women and men in leadership positions.
For us, equality also means that different perspectives, leadership styles and skills are valued and promoted. Diversity also plays a big role here, incorporating different cultures and perspectives to provide a more comprehensive view of issues. Learn here how a small group can gradually grow into a large network.
2 tips for women at the beginning of their career
Daniela Becker, Area Vice President, Commercial Sales shares her 2 tips for women at the beginning of their career:
"It is quite important to empower yourself with mentors and sponsors at the very beginning of your career. Mentors are people who can accompany you and strengthen you in different areas. The number is not limited here and you can have several mentors. Mentors can support in different ways: They can share their knowledge, give critical feedback or serve as role models. Sponsors are people who can open the way for female employees within the company. They are, so to speak, the person who stands up for you when you yourself are not in the room. They share skills and successes with senior management and open doors for new interesting roles and promotions for female employees.
A second important tip: Have courage! Many women are very self-critical at the beginning of their career, even if they are doing great work. I recommend addressing the uncomfortable questions regarding promotions, salary increases and career advancement often - based on good performance, of course."
Women in Tech
In the tech world, there is still a lot of catching up to do when it comes to equality in the workplace.
International facts on women in tech from Statista:
- Only one in five bachelor's students in the USA studying computer science is female
- In all European countries, women are underrepresented in information and communication technology subjects
- In the four big tech companies -- only about one third of the total workforce is female.
- Women in Big Tech: across all sectors, women occupy only a third or less of leadership positions and only about a quarter work in technical positions
- Women of colour are even more marginalised in the tech industry
- In 2019, only 3% of CEOs in the IT industry were women
"In many areas in the tech industry like engineering, you only see women in very small percentages. And even when you look at executive level positions, you often see a much higher percentage of men. But this doesn't necessarily refer to the tech and IT industry, because in many other industries there is still work to be done to create parity between the sexes." Daniela Becker, Area Vice President, Commercial Sales at DocuSign
Dress for Success: DocuSign Impact Week 2022
This October, DocuSign is hosting its annual IMPACT Week and ERG DocuSign Women plans to support Dress for Success. The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The organisation focuses mainly on mothers or caregivers who have lost courage by leaving their jobs and also no longer have the appropriate wardrobe.
As DocuSign continues to empower women, and promote women in leadership positions - check-out our vacancies to see if your next professional adventure awaits.