DEI requires vision, persistence, and patience

Two dark haired women on a small couch: Jasmin Assulin on the left and Cassandra Shapiro on the right
March 7, 2023

Read time 4 min

It’s a welcome coincidence that International Women’s Day has fallen at the four-month mark since we got started as Reaktor’s first-ever global DEI co-leads. So where are we with our DEI progress now?

Well, we’ve hit the ground running. 

Late last year, we rolled out our first global DEI survey to try and learn where we’re at with DEI as an organization. Now we’re in planning mode, taking the insights from that survey and building them into our global DEI strategy.

We’re also experimenting with ways we can create our own pulse-style surveys that we’ve built in-house in order to get a better understanding of every Reaktorian’s feelings on these topics at a more regular cadence. 

Getting that data is so essential to help us prioritize and plan our next steps. DEI is a business and people imperative, so we’re also building OKRs, just like any other business unit.

In addition to this internal work, supporting and building diversity, equity, and inclusion comes in many forms at Reaktor. Here are some of our favorite highlights from our communities around the globe:

Lifting each other up in Lisbon

At Reaktor, we take growth seriously. We believe that all experts deserve the best possible career coaching, and that’s why we’ve tested many tools and methods for professional growth over the years. Mentoring is a great way to grow – both for the mentor and the mentee!

That’s why we’re incredibly proud to partner with Portuguese Women in Tech’s Mentorship Program this spring. 

What is it? A 4-month program focusing on the professional and personal development of women in tech in Portugal. Each month will center on a specific aspect of a young professional’s life. From networking and personal branding all the way to stress management, the themes aim to address the key challenges the program participants face in their everyday working lives. 

Four of our very own developers and designers are mentors in the program, and they just got started with their mentees. We’ll share more of their stories further down the road!

And because we can’t get enough of sharing great stories, we’re also hosting a Reaktor Talks around Women in tech this spring! 

You need to see it to become awe-inspiring in Amsterdam

There are still, sadly, vastly disproportionately fewer women than men in technology. And it’s partly because of a lack of representation that starts at a very young age: We’re losing the valuable perspectives of girls and young women studying STEM subjects in schools. In fact, there’s a theory called The Leaky Pipeline, where the girls and women — who are already underrepresented in STEM subjects and industries — are leaving them at much higher rates than boys and men. This leads to fewer women in STEM professions, contributing to the general misconception that women “aren’t as proficient as men in technical fields”

One way to start changing that is representation, which is the goal of Equals in Amsterdam.

Equals strives for equality and more diversity in the workforce. With their latest project, they showcase role-models to inspire everyone – but especially women – to take on a tech job or become an entrepreneur. 

We’re happy to have 3 of our excellent developers and designers in the project – and all over the city of Amsterdam.

Hacking our own DEI skills in Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, and beyond

Last autumn, we launched our first internal Fundamentals of DEI training. It’s a full-day training that covers the basics of DEI, unconscious bias, and privilege. Facilitated discussions are embedded throughout the day to help people better understand these complex concepts within their own contexts. It gives everyone the tools and practices to get comfortable with DEI, combining theory, exercises, and lessons from our own work. 

And why Fundamentals? At Reaktor, we have a bunch of trainings in this category – it means they’re crucial for each and every one of us to take!

We’ve rolled it out in our Lisbon, Amsterdam, Turku, Tampere, and Helsinki offices, with New York and Tokyo to come later in the year. So far, we’ve received thoughtful and excellent feedback, and we’re excited to devise an Intermediate DEI training in the future. 

Making headway in DEI requires vision, persistence, and patience, and the impact isn’t always clearly or quickly apparent. 

However, we’re heartened by the feedback and support we’ve received for this work so far. 

There is no one right way to be moving DEI forward in an organization — so we’re paving a new path at Reaktor, and we want to be sharing our learnings along the way. 


Cassandra Shapiro and Jasmin Assulin

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