Embracing Equity in Data Science - IWD 2023

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The 8th of March is celebrated as International Women’s Day (IWD). It’s here to remind us about women's achievements, raise awareness about discrimination, and motivate us to take action to tackle gender inequality.  This year’s theme of the celebration is <a href="https://www.internationalwomensday.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener"><b>EQUITY</b></a>. And it comes with a call for all to embrace it #embraceequity. The idea behind it is to draw people’s attention to the differences between equality and equity. And the shortcomings of equality-based solutions when striving for a truly inclusive, diverse society or workplace <h2>Recognizing the faults in Equality for an Equitable Workplace</h2> Equality is a great idea in principle. Providing individuals and groups with the same resources and opportunities seems fair. But it neglects the fact that we don’t all have the same life experiences and needs. It does not address that the starting line varies for individuals and groups.  And that’s what equity is all about. It takes into consideration individual needs, recognizes the imbalance in opportunities, and strives to address them. When equality is discussed, equity is essential. This is not limited to gender disparities.  <b>An equitable workplace is a place where everyone has a chance to succeed, progress and feel like they belong.</b> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-11869" src="https://webflow-prod-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/6525256482c9e9a06c7a9d3c%2F65b01bb8afc0ff7c65778f9f_appsilon-day.webp" alt="Appsilon Retreat 2021, an opportunity for Appsilonians to get together" width="500" height="243" /> <h2>Appsilon's approach to a global, Equitable Workplace</h2> Here at Appsilon, we want everyone to feel comfortable, safe, and respected, regardless of race, religion, background, gender, or orientation. And we embrace equity, as a crucial element of that. A key part of our wider DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) efforts.  To honor this year’s International Women’s Day call, we made a list of all the ways we embrace equity to create a welcoming, inclusive workspace for all. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-16460" src="https://webflow-prod-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/6525256482c9e9a06c7a9d3c%2F65b01bb81887a9fd4c533514_Untitled_1.25.1-scaled.webp" alt="" width="500" height="281" /> <h3>1) We acknowledge the importance of equity</h3> Building awareness and making a case for equity is the first step. We make sure all Appsilonians know and understand why it is important we adopt an equity-based approach. To quote IWD’s organizers “It's not just something we say. It's not just something we write about. It's something we need to think about, know, value, and embrace. It's what we believe in, unconditionally.” <blockquote>“<i>It’s important to speak out about our beliefs and code of conduct. We believe all people have the same human dignity and should be treated fairly. They all deserve the same respect. [In the workplace] people should not be differentiated for any reason other than the quality of the work they do</i>.” - Filip Stachura, CEO.</blockquote> <h3>2) Everyone has a voice</h3> To make sure our initiatives, policies, and strategies are equitable, we constantly evaluate them. To ensure we address all individual needs, we use employee surveys to assess and improve solutions. We invite everyone to share their views and provide feedback in non-violent and constructive ways. We make it easy to approach managers and board members to discuss ideas or things we can improve. We create spaces where people can voice their concerns and needs or share suggestions—both in an open discussion and anonymously. <img class="aligncenter wp-image-16466" src="https://webflow-prod-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/6525256482c9e9a06c7a9d3c%2F65b01bbae63c79485da6c78d_Untitled_1.193.1-scaled.webp" alt="" width="500" height="281" /> <h3>3) Guaranteed equal pay</h3> We disclose the salary range for each position within the job listing. It’s not only beneficial for new candidates, who know if the job posting meets their salary expectations. It’s also valuable information for our current employees. We regularly review current compensations and set aside time to talk about the salary structure. This way, we can guarantee all team members are compensated fairly and based on clear, structured merit.  We have also Career Paths with Key Skills Which are available publicly. All applicants can visualize and plan their career steps before joining our team. <h3>4) We set goals and track progress</h3> We take equity seriously. This means we set goals and track the progress we’ve made. We want to be held accountable. We want the world – our employees, business partners, and clients – to know that equity is part of our development strategy. It’s a pledge we make and an objective on which we want to deliver. In the spirit of transparency, we track all goals and progress in a public (internal) manner.  <blockquote><i>“We are currently in the process of developing our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategy. We have invited all members of the Appsilon team to participate in this task and gave everyone an option to provide their input through an anonymous survey. We want to ensure that the solutions we implement are based on the real needs of our employees.”</i> -  Paulina Kaczmarczyk, Head of People.</blockquote> <h3>5) Inclusive hiring process</h3> Our recruitment process is flexible for each candidate, as we adapt it to the requirements of every open position. It is important we implement solutions to mitigate unconscious bias. We use gender-neutral job descriptions to make them more welcoming. We also promote our roles on different sites or forums, that are only accessible to women. We use standardized questions for each role, which helps limit any unconscious biases and compare all candidates equally.  <blockquote>“<i>After each interview, I always allocate the time to reflect on my reactions to candidates. I make a conscious effort to consider what biases may have come into play, that could have impacted my impression of each candidate and how I can navigate these biases accordingly</i>.” - Morgan Krakow, IT Recruiter.</blockquote> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-16488" src="https://webflow-prod-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/6525256482c9e9a06c7a9d3c%2F65b01bba179da235d6e26500_Untitled_2.35.1-scaled.webp" alt="" width="500" height="281" /> <h3>6) Equity as a priority during onboarding</h3> We see onboarding as a chance to level the playing field. We make sure all new employees receive more than just standardized information about the company. With the individualized approach, we can cater to the different needs of our employees and make sure they are set for success from the beginning.  <blockquote><i>“[Appsilon] employs people from all over the world, men and women, from different cultures and different timezones. [This is taken] into consideration during onboarding. We provide recordings so that people can listen to the information when it suits them best and as many times as they need to. [There’s] a vast library of tools and resources available to all new employees. We ensure all new team members are allocated to projects which do not interfere with their private lives and best suit their individual needs and requirements.”</i> - Ewa Filipiak-Rokicka, People Specialist and Good Mood Manager.</blockquote> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-16484" src="https://webflow-prod-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/6525256482c9e9a06c7a9d3c%2F65b01bbb37b62c9453610a43_Untitled_2.11.1-scaled.webp" alt="" width="500" height="281" /> <h3>7) We are a family-friendly company</h3> We embrace and celebrate the fact our employees have families. We offer flexible working solutions and paid, maternal and paternal, parental leaves. Our leadership team openly communicates their time off away with family to set an example and prove we really do practice what we preach. We encourage people to take time to attend family functions or work around them. We are dedicated to creating a company culture that makes all working parents feel supported and cared for. <h2>Appsilon's continuous journey for an Equitable Workplace in Data Science</h2> Today is one for acknowledgment, awareness, and inspiration. Tomorrow is one for action. We hope to inspire other teams to include a similar level of adoption and constant re-evaluation <img class="aligncenter wp-image-16060" src="https://webflow-prod-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/6525256482c9e9a06c7a9d3c%2F65b01bbccb85d9eead72f627_IMG_0299_1-scaled.webp" alt="" width="500" height="376" /> If you would like to learn more about Appsilon, our company culture, and values, check the <a href="https://appsilon.com/careers/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Appsilon Careers</a> website. To read more about our code of conduct, and the values we hold dear, read our <a href="https://appsilon.com/code-of-conduct/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Code of Conduct</a>. To verify our stance and methodologies, reach out to <a href="https://appsilon.com/#contact" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Appsilon</a> or start a discussion with an <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/appsilon" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Appsilonian</a>. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-16091" src="https://webflow-prod-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/6525256482c9e9a06c7a9d3c%2F65b01bbd314317dbcb957048_IMG_0867-1.webp" alt="" width="1920" height="754" />

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Damian Rodziewicz
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