Insight, advice, news and chit chat

International Women's Day 2011

Today marks the 100-year anniversary (or Centenary) of International Women’s Day!
Since 1911, the 8th of March has been recognised as the day to celebrate the fairer of the species. As we know, back in “the old days”, women were treated very unfairly, and denied the right to function in society as an equal to the dominant and sexist male contingent.
Looking back, things have changed quite a lot, and for the better! Once upon a time, (and this is no fairytale), women had to fight for the right to work, vote, be trained, hold public office, and end discrimination. And some would say that this fight is not yet over.
I look back on the last 100 years and it baffles me as to how badly us blokes acted, and makes me ashamed to be linked (by a Y chromosome) to such blatant discrimination! Well things are quite different nowadays, and this is extremely evident to me especially, working at a Web Design agency, and being the only man in an office of 4 other women! Has it affected me? Well I do go shopping a LOT more since working here…
Not that I am complaining of course, the women I work with on a daily basis are amazing – I wouldn’t trade them for anyone else. Each are extremely proficient in the work they do, and there can be times when a project requires that softer touch, and a woman’s perspective. And the stereotype of women being able to multi-task more easily than men (whether true or not) is a definite advantage when it comes to juggling 15 projects at a time!
So, without further ado, here is what “Michael’s Angels” have to say about working at Top Left Design, and what it means to be a woman in society today!
(Read more about International Women’s Day and it’s history on the official International Women’s Day website)

Tamlyn’s take on things

Tamlyn Hall
Hearing that your prospective work place is a studio made up of almost entirely women can be a little intimidating the first time you walk through the doors. However, it was a thought that flitted across my mind so briefly here at TLD that it’s barely worth mentioning. Working with the amazing women here at Top Left Design has been a purely positive experience right from day one. There is an overwhelming sense of togetherness, support and understanding within the office, all which makes for an incredible and positive work environment. Even with Amy being halfway across the world (boooo), we are still a very close team – there is always someone there to lend an ear, a heart or give a hug (sometimes a virtual one), whether they are standing right next to you or sitting in sunny SA 5630 odd miles away (thanks Google!).
Of course, we mustn’t forget that whilst TLD is predominately women, we do have Michael representing the boys! At times I’ve wondered what it must be like for Michael working in a predominately female environment – almost a role reversal in a world (that world being web design) that is fairly male orientated. In fact I’ve ALMOST (not quite) felt sorry for him at times, having to deal with female sob stories, and tears on one or two occasions. But then again, he gets to work amongst four extremely talented and GORGEOUS women on a daily basis.. All sorry feelings gone!
And anyway, just between you and me, I think he quite enjoys being the only boy here!!

Amy’s advice

Amy Senyard
Women speak two languages – one of which is verbal. ~William Shakespeare
Being a woman in an almost solely woman inhabited company means that we get to speak our own language. We understand one another and bouncing ideas around at Top Left Design, well… it just works!
Arriving at Top Left Design to a company of 3 women was a pretty daunting experience. Aren’t a few women together in one room meant to be a recipe for catty remarks, bitchiness and having your every outfit scrutinised? Maybe I was still thinking back to school days as this was not the environment that I found myself in. It’s amazing what a sense of companionship you can find from a company of women. The people you have to see more days of the week than not need to be people that you love, people that you respect and this is what I find everyday at Top Left Design.
The main thing I love about having these TLD women around me every day (be it only via skype and email since I moved back to South Africa) is that there is always someone there to notice when I get my hair cut, or hug me when I am feeling sad, or convince me that I won’t get fat from that one more cupcake as long as we eat them together. And even though I miss out on seeing these women face to face I still feel their love and respect.
…And Keren still makes sure to send Tamlyn home every now and then so we can get a TLD manicure and pedicure together.

Tina tells us how it is

Tina Webster
I have been working in web design for 2 years now and it has been great to work alongside so many lovely/passionate ladies in the company. This was my 1st “proper” job (in the sense that it was related to my creative degree) after university. I knew from the start that web design was a rather male orientated world and it was so nice to come across a team of mainly women who were and still are driven, committed and striving to rid the world of bad website design!
A lot of our clients are ladies and again working with so many women who are professional, in tune with their clients’ needs and are overall all round lovely people is so very inspiring!
Whilst at Top Left Design I was also introduced to networking, by Keren, and for the past 2 years I have been a member of the Athena Network which is a networking lunch for women in business. This has given me a great opportunity to meet other driven women in business from lots of different industries and also forge some great alliances.

Keren’s Comment

Keren Lerner - owner of Top Left Design
I decided this morning to put this post up as it’s the 100 year anniversary of International Women’s Day and I wanted to show how – even on a day when I had 6 meetings, including a 7am BNI breakfast, 8 calls to return, and a speech to prepare for tomorrow, I could still pull it together. Granted, I asked for my lovely team to contribute but they did – and this proved what we women are capable of (with the help of one great guy!)

Tagged in:
  1. 2011
  2. International Women's Day

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