Diversity at Liip

  • Kathrin Würmli

Diversity at Liip is not an empty promise. In our role as a digital agency, we focus on diversity, differences and contrasts both in our recruiting process and in our daily work.

In order to give different opinions and creative approaches as much space as possible diversity is important to us. This approach helps us to encourage new ways of thinking and find innovative solutions in our work. Three of our Liipers – Vivi, Diana and Rae – are here to give you an insight into how they see diversity at Liip.

Vivi:

‘My name is Vivi, and I have been working as a Product Owner at Liip for a few months. To be honest, it didn’t seem very diverse when I first met the team during my interview,; there were five men (and me). So, I was even happier to see that in this technical field, there were also two strong women in the team: Diana, who is an experienced designer focusing on the user experience, and Tereza, who provides skilled support for front-end development.

It’s nothing new to me to be the minority as a woman in a technical field. At Liip, right from the outset, I was just as accepted as my male counterparts. I never felt that I had to prove myself or was automatically considered less competent because of my gender.
It wasn’t all plain sailing, though. In my second week at Liip, the team was initially alarmed by all of my ideas and suggestions for optimising our product development. The difference at Liip is that I don’t need to worry that these ideas will not be listened to because I am a woman. And that is extremely valuable. I feel comfortable at Liip, exactly as I am.’

Diana:

‘I’m Diana, and I’m a Liiper. When I applied to be a UX designer, I was worried I wouldn’t be considered for the position, because of a single detail on my CV: my age.
Age discrimination in Switzerland isn’t a big topic of conversation, but it is widespread and starts early. The first time it happened to me was when I turned 40. I received a lot of rejections because others fitted in better with a young, dynamic team. From that point on, my age was a problem. I was automatically taken out of consideration. After just a few seconds, I would receive a notification stating that more suitable candidates had already applied.

I stopped applying to companies that had automatic filters in their recruitment process. But I was still worried. That’s why I put my application together in such a way that the first impression of me was so positive that my age would no longer be a factor. And it worked. I have learnt that age actually matter at Liip. On the contrary, Liip hired other people my age at the same time. It’s good to know that our previous employment, experience and personalities count, and that being in your fifties has no impact on your position as a Liiper.’

Rae:

‘My name is Rae, and I have been a software developer at Liip for almost eight years. I’ll admit that as a non-male with little experience in the technology industry, I was a bit nervous during the recruitment process. I was even more nervous when, a year later, I told my team that I identify as non-binary (I don’t identify as either male or female). I didn’t know how coming out and asking to be referred to with the pronouns they/them in future would be taken.

Thankfully my team was extremely understanding and supportive. It means a lot to me when Liipers remind each other of my correct pronouns and when I am asked how I would like to see myself included when gender topics (diversity statistics, for example) come up.
There have even been some small changes at the office to make the time I spend there more comfortable. The typical male and female pictograms on the toilet doors have been changed. Now they show what facilities are in each room, rather than the gender of the person wishing to use them.
But, for me, the most important thing is that my colleagues value me as a developer and respect my professional opinion. My gender identity is recognised by my place of work and is not seen as a curiosity, but simply as part of my identity that I don’t have to hide. Something no different than the fact that I come from England or enjoy reading.’


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