Is Tech Really a Man’s World?
It’s a man’s man’s man’s world, as sang James Brown in 1966. In 2022, despite significant progress in closing the gender gap in several spheres, women are still largely underrepresented in the technology workforce.
Let’s look at the facts. Only 17% of the STEM workforce is made up of women, and this number is as low as 5% for leadership positions. Women are also the minority in executive positions, making up only 31% of senior management roles globally in 2021.
Outnumbered or overlooked, women have extra hurdles to overcome to be perceived as influential, competent, or to have their voices heard in the workplace. This inequality is even more apparent when it comes to women from traditionally marginalized communities.
Pareto is on a mission to tilt this uneven scale and help talented women access high-growth careers by building an empowering women-led and operated community. Flexible virtual work supported by an uplifting network of peers is at the center of Pareto’s mission. Through economic empowerment, Pareto is bridging the gap between underrepresented talent and the startup landscape, laying the foundation for a more diverse entrepreneurial fabric.
What Is Pareto’s Founding Story?
Pareto’s origin story can be traced back to 2020, when Phoebe Yao, founder and CEO, recognized a lack of assistance for new businesses that were trying to get off the ground. Very quickly, Phoebe realized the incredible potential to impact both businesses that heavily relied on data operations and the professional growth of those who were carrying out these foundational operations.
Being a female founder in a male-dominated field (take, for example, how only 2% of venture funding went to female founders in 2021) played a big part in determining Pareto’s direction. Phoebe recalls the external friction faced when building a company, from investors doubting her ability to build a company without a male co-founder, to incorrect assumptions about her background and skills.
From the beginning, a high emphasis was placed on creating a safe culture for other women. This translated into cultivating vulnerability between shared identities and destigmatizing honest conversations. From discussing menstruation, to the experience of pregnancy, to breastfeeding during meetings, Pareto meetings are tabu free and don’t shy away from women’s issues.
At the same time, Pareto was growing as one of the few women-led and operated companies and proving that a female task force was fully capable of achieving great results. Solidifying the mission to empower underrepresented talent and revolutionize the outsourcing paradigm, Pareto has had a direct impact on the professional and personal goals of team members and addresses industry inequalities hands-on.
How Is Pareto Addressing Inequalities Through Economic Empowerment?
“Our mission is to empower those in vulnerable communities who don’t have access to opportunities, social systems, and infrastructure to access high growth careers and become leaders in their personal and professional lives.” Phoebe Yao
What is Economic Empowerment?
Economic empowerment is in direct opposition to insecure, low-wage jobs with little room to grow. It promotes autonomy and provides the tools to better allocate time and resources to the personal and professional development of communities facing economic and social insecurity.
Through economic empowerment, we can uplift marginalized communities, build resilient economies, and promote diversity. Through this lens, Pareto is not only supporting the team of data experts by providing job opportunities but also by cultivating self-confidence in their abilities and skills, pushing them to step outside their comfort zone, and building the skills that will help them grow.
How Is Pareto Changing the Outsourcing Paradigm?
Building a truly supportive working environment goes way beyond who gets the job opportunity. Anyone that is welcomed into the Pareto team is encouraged to step outside their comfort zone, build new skills, and try different roles. As Phoebe expands, “Pareto was designed as a workplace where people actually enjoy the work that they’re doing, they see a future for themselves, and they never stop learning. This is achieved first and foremost by having a nurturing and supportive environment to grow together.”
How economic empowerment comes to life
First of all, data experts at Pareto enjoy fully remote flexible work. This allows working moms to still be able to support their families and not have to choose between building a career and watching their children grow up. Fun fact: 50% of Pareto data experts are work-at-home moms!
Here is how Pareto further builds a supportive community that fosters upskilling and growth:
- Quality training is part of the day-to-day work. Constantly updated and expanded training modules provide industry knowledge, promote confidence and autonomy, and keep the Pareto team updated on the latest trends.
- Community building is at the core of Pareto’s culture. A supportive culture helps build resilience to tackle challenges and constantly improve. Through weekly social activities, the work of community leaders to mediate and build connections, and a strong emphasis on creating open dialogue all across departments, team members support each other regardless of department or seniority.
- No stagnation. Through goal tracking, Pareto is able to monitor which skills team members are trying to build and help them get there. Plus, internal mobility is encouraged and team members can trace their own career paths, prioritize new skills, and actively contribute to the future of the company.
- Keeping up with industry trends. To better deliver customer needs, the Pareto team is constantly looking for ways to upgrade the software used in this ever-changing industry, whether proprietary or external software.
Over the past 3 years, the team has evolved, grown, and learned together but the focus on strengthening the community has always been at the forefront of Pareto’s social mission.
Let’s share the mic and see what the incredible Paretonians have to say about working at Pareto. The next section’s testimonials will illustrate the powerful bond within the community and how much team members want to see each other succeed.
What Do Paretonians Have to Say About Pareto?
Arianne Biligan, Project Partner
What Arianne wishes everyone knew about Pareto: “How fun it is to work here! It’s rare to find a company that focuses on the people behind it, not just building a business for profit. We take care of people, we listen to them, and we find ways to make our operations team feel valued.”
Arianne Biligan has been at Pareto since April 2020, starting her Pareto journey during a time filled with instability and uncertainty. Motivated by her interest in trying different roles and avoiding the contagion risk for her family of an in-person job, she jumped headfirst to the opportunity to become a data analyst. As Arianne recalls, she was immediately impressed with how tight the culture was and how thoughtful and personal Phoebe was.
Throughout her time at Pareto, Arianne has worked through different roles and currently, as a project partner, oversees project delegation, communicates thoroughly with customers, and ensures deadlines are met.
“Family comes first” is a common motto at Pareto and it certainly holds true for Arianne. The flexibility of virtual work was one of the main reasons she changed her career path. Virtual work means better supporting her family and being present with her son while he grows up. The team culture played an important role as well, highlighting how everyone is encouraged to support each other, celebrate each other's accomplishments, and look at failures as learning opportunities.
The impact of her work is twofold. As a project partner, Arianne plays an important role in supporting her team and relating to their struggles, especially as a working mom. As she comments “It’s rewarding to see people starting from scratch and finding themselves again after being unemployed or underemployed for a long time”. On the other hand, it’s rewarding to see how impactful the work is for the customers as “we’re not just working on data collection and giving it to them for the sake of getting paid, the most important aspect is the impact we are having in seeing users achieve their goals.”
May Montenegro, QA Analyst
What May wishes everyone knew about Pareto: “At Pareto, working moms are not confined to the “mom box”. We have the opportunity to keep growing. We feel valued, our voices are heard, and our skills are not overlooked. I am really proud to be a part of Pareto because of that.”
May Montenegro has been a part of Pareto since December 2020. When the pandemic hit, May was a new mom looking for an opportunity that allowed her to stay at home and better support her family. The fear of bringing the virus home, especially having a background in teaching, pushed May to branch out and join the team.
Having had the chance to work on different projects, May is now a QA Analyst. Her attention to detail is crucial in assuring customers are getting the right data sets, whether they are lead lists, candidate sourcing, or competitor research. Through her QA checks, Arianne is also contributing to the growth of her team. Her teaching expertise was not lost either, as she is part of the growth team and contributes to the training of team members.
Besides being given the chance to practice new skills and bring her teaching expertise to her work, May highlights how the team has been an important factor in her personal development. From sharing goals, to learning investment tips, to motivating each other, or sharing productivity tricks, the bimonthly syncs with the team are an important place for the team to come together and see each other grow. As May assures, “the team has helped me become a better person!”.
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