In celebration of International Women’s Day, BBD is proud to be joining the vital conversation around #BreaktheBias, a theme which highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world.
This conversation couldn’t be more relevant for the technology landscape, which continues to be largely male dominated. From equal hiring practices to grassroot initiatives geared at widening the skills pool, we are proud to be doing our part to ensure an inclusive and sustainable future for the industry.
At BBD, we believe that talent can come from anywhere. Deeply set in our culture is the belief in equal opportunity and fair hiring practices.
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“Inclusion and diversity are imperative for building a positive working environment where everyone can grow and be themselves. It’s important to create an environment that encourages women to take risks. That allows them to be passionate. To fail. What’s important is what you learn and how you grow”
“To encourage more women to enter STEM-related fields, we need to start with young girls. We should be offering platforms for them to nurture their talents and grow their interest in tech, and presenting female role models for them to look up to in the industry”
“Where different points of view, ideas, experiences and perspectives are welcomed, the chances of accurate, cutting-edge thinking improve. The quality of everything we do is significantly improved where there is greater diversity of the group”
“Regardless of who I am or what I do, it’s important to feel equally involved in my organisation. Every day, at BBD, I feel I am empowered as I have great leaders”
“Inclusion and diversity is important because it directly correlates to the quality of work that we put out. A diverse team means better solutions, particularly with software which must be used by people”
“Great organisations tap the collective genius of great humans. To be able to get this right, we need to understand how to create organisational cultures that embrace diversity and inclusion fully and authentically, so as to ensure the sustainability of the business as a whole. And increasingly important, they are topics that we need to begin embracing fully in our daily lives”
Sue van Eeden
“By embracing diversity, we open ourselves to a much wider world, to people with different backgrounds and experiences each bringing a new set of ideas and different angles from which to look at problems. Together we are more creative and design more innovative and relevant solutions”
“The thinking that women need to go into soft skills fields is still prevalent. We need to encourage the young women and girls in our families; show them that I am here and you can do it too”
“I believe that inclusion creates trust, belonging, happiness, bonding and even better engagement and productivity. However, there is a glaring lack of women in the IT space. While we’re not going to solve this problem now, it needs to be addressed at a grassroots level through mentorship and supporting learning opportunities in the community”
“Ethically, as software developers, we need to ensure we have a diverse group of colleagues, because we don’t want to fall into the trap of confirmation bias as a result of limited personal experiences. In this context, diversity doesn’t just mean diversity of gender or skin-colour or age, but also diversity of backgrounds”
“Working with a wide variety of people with different backgrounds, experience levels and views allows us not only as individuals to learn and grow, but also ensures higher success for our project teams, as having this mix brings about creativity, fresh ways to approach problems and alternative ways of thinking”
“We need to demonstrate that workplaces are inclusive and that you can reach the top if that is the path you choose. If we can support employees along their work journey to incorporate the different phases of their lives and whatever changes they might encounter, at the end you get a stronger, more dedicated workforce”
Gender inequality and an overall lack of women in our industry is a global issue. We are committed to doing our part to bridge this disparity through inclusive hiring practices and initiatives that help bring more women into the community. It will be wonderful to see a future where tech truly is gender neutral.
At BBD we live a culture that celebrates, encourages and supports the promotion of talented and passionate people regardless of who they are or where they come from.
Uplifting the communities around us
As technology experts with deep industry experience, we believe in giving back to the industry, while doing our part to meaningfully contribute to shaping a fair and equal future for all.
In line with this thinking, we are proud to be a part of multiple community and school programmes and initiatives. This includes the likes of GirlCode, Afrika Tikkun, ORT SA CAPE Education, Kidz Hub and more.
BBD is also a founding partner of WeThinkCode_ (WTC), a tuition-free programme educating the next generation of software engineers. First- and second-year WTC students complete internships at BBD, with some of the top third-year students then joining our year-long Graduate Programme – deep diving into real world project deliveries and rapidly upskilling across numerous technologies and skillsets.
Alongside our community initiatives, BBD seeks to meet talented young students at critical junctures in their skills development journey, offering training, real-world working experience, financial support where needed and exposure to our wealth of industry knowledge. This sets them up for a successful career in software development!
At BBD, we’re proud to have women at every level meaningfully contributing to our success. Not only do we aim to be a place where women feel safe and represented, but we’re passionate about showing aspiring young women that there is space for them in leadership and technical roles within the industry and that a viable and positive career trajectory in software engineering is possible!
One way we’re doing this is by addressing the shortage of skilled female coders through learnerships in partnership with Umuzi that focus on supporting un- and under-employed young women to become junior engineers.
Additionally, we offer return-to-work testing and J2E programmes in India which directly caters to those (often ladies) looking to re-enter the industry following a leave of absence. While this has only recently launched, the programme is proud to have welcomed 11 women into the fold!
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