March 8th is globally celebrated as International Women’s Day. This day is used to celebrate achievements of women in all areas of life from business to social platforms and everywhere in between.
Today, all genders can actively participate in International Women’s Day as a way to acknowledge gender parity and the representation of women in all aspects of their lives–especially business. Year after year women continue to empower each other by using International Women’s Day as a reminder of where women have been and where women continue to go.
Every year International Women’s Day comes up with a theme. This year on International Women’s Day the hashtag is: #EachforEqual. The mission in 2020 is for there to be a universal effort to create equality for women. Specifically challenging each individual to make strides towards creating a gender equal world.
On International Women’s Day, PLUS QA uses our platform to advocate for more women in the tech field. Specifically at PLUS QA we are fortunate enough to be a tech company that is 50% woman owned. This year we wanted to feature our female co-owner Audrey Bonnet, to spotlight her and her role at PLUS QA, get her thoughts on #EachforEqual, and uplifting women in tech (WIT).
Audrey, tell us a little bit about yourself, PLUS QA, and your current position.
I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I received my bachelor’s degree in Communications at the University of Portland. I enjoy working with people and I was a Realtor for 11 years. It was a very satisfying job helping people find the right home however the schedule became too demanding once I had children. After taking a break to stay home with our kids, I decided I wanted to go back to work and I joined my husband, Manu, the founder of PLUS QA. When I first started at PLUS QA we were much smaller with only about 20 employees. Over the years I helped the company ramp up to where we are today with 80 employees.
I wear several hats at PLUS QA. In addition to being co-owner, I am the HR Director and Chief Financial Officer. I enjoy working with my team to find ways to improve our processes as we grow as a company and provide a positive work environment for our employees.
What makes working at PLUS QA great?
That’s easy – the people. We have a great group of people at PLUS QA. It’s a friendly, supportive environment with so many different personalities, interests, nationalities and backgrounds.
What are your thoughts on this year’s International Women’s Day theme #EachforEqual?
I am happy to see there are more women choosing to study technology in school. I hope one day when my daughter is old enough she will consider that path as well. Technology is the future and women need to have a strong presence in the field. The tech industry still has a long way to go for women to have equal representation. I think it is important to bring awareness to the issue so we can all do our part to bring change.
Why do you think it’s important to have women in technology?
I think it’s important to have a good balance of both women and men in the workplace. Women make up half of the users of technology and they should be equally represented in the tech field as well. I am happy to say that at PLUS QA over half of our leadership roles are held by women.
How has PLUS QA been so successful in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace?
Diversity is important to us. I am half Vietnamese and my husband is from France. Different cultures, nationalities, and languages have always been a large part of our life and it has extended into our company. We have so much we can learn from each other.
Do you see any day-to-day benefits to having such an inclusive team?
I think we all work better when we feel welcomed and accepted. It’s a positive environment and I think that helps people want to come into the office and do a good job.
What are your hopes for PLUS QA in 2020?
I hope we can continue to increase the number of women working at PLUS QA. Unfortunately the number of job applications we receive from women versus men is much lower which makes it harder. In order to help reach our goal, in 2020 we plan to reach out directly to PDXWIT (Portland Women in Tech) when we have job openings. Our entry level positions are a great stepping stone for women who want to enter the tech industry.