It’s Tuesday 8th March, and it’s International Women’s Day. This year’s theme #BreakTheBias aims to challenge the unfair gender bias that women face in today’s society.
Sarah Ouellette is the Founder and CEO of Kindora, a platform to buy, rent, and sell baby goods. We had a chat with her to explore how motherhood has impacted her career, and how she tackles gender bias in her own company.
Has motherhood changed how you operate in business?
Without being a mother, Kindora would not have existed, or in my opinion, even mattered to others. That being said, it is an everyday mental workout to manage everything. I'm more efficient with time and I make decisions faster but it's hard.
What advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your career?
It's okay not to know everything! Take the time to learn and unlearn!
What are the biggest challenges you face when implementing gender equality in the workplace?
We want to hire smart people across the board in our business – from sales to marketing to business growth. We've intentionally focused on finding as many women as possible to add to the team, but there are times where there just haven't been as many women in the candidate pool. The same thing happened with Angel investors in our business. Although our biggest investors are women, more men are on our investor list.
What do you think the biggest misconception is regarding women in business?
In the early stage of startups, I'd say there's a sense that women need more advice or mentoring – often discussed in Sifted. In fact, women are statistically better at pitching and need investment more than advice. Tessa Clarke, the founder of Olio, just wrote a great piece in Sifted about this.
Do you experience gender bias as a woman in a C-suite management position?
Early in my career I progressed quickly to C-suite and was often the only woman at that level. It wasn't until I was pregnant and had a baby that I felt the real difference in how I was perceived and treated.
How does your company culture address the gender disparity between men and women in the workplace?
We have a 50/50 split in our staff but, most importantly, we are constantly walking the talk in our investor set and advisors. We're currently raising our seed round – as we speak (!!!) - and have prioritised VC funds with at least one female decision maker in the fund.
Europe's platform to buy and sell baby goods
Kindora is an award winning platform to buy, sell, rent premium baby and children’s items that are not just as good as new – they’re better than new. Every item you buy, rent or sell on Kindora is one item less added to the mountain range of new goods manufactured each year.
Follow Sarah on LinkedIn
Check out our interview with Flash Pack's Radha Vyas on International Women's Day 2022 here.