Equals is on a mission to empower women in the workplace
Equals (formerly We-Rise) is an initiative born to give women of all backgrounds the confidence and tools to grow their careers in the traditionally male-dominated tech and startup industries. With the motto ‘you can’t be what you don’t see’, the initiative has grown into a community hub, academy, and accelerator programme that tackles female under-representation in the workplace, particularly in IT and leadership roles.
Creating a safe space for (all) women to shine
Walking the city streets of Amsterdam or The Hague this March, you’ve probably caught a glimpse of Equals’ Role Model Campaign. Showcasing 192 women from all walks of life, this diverse group all has one thing in common - successful careers in leadership, technology, or entrepreneurship.
The message of this campaign echoes the ethos of Equals – to inspire women* to grow and develop their careers by showing them it’s possible and connecting them to the right tools within a like-minded community.
*Equals is inclusive of all those who self identify as women, non-binary, agender, or gender non-conforming.
What started as an online initiative has grown into a collaborative ecosystem of over 20+ organisations focused on helping women shine their brightest. Centred around a community co-working space (they now have locations in Amsterdam and The Hague), Equals is first and foremost a safe place for women to meet, work, explore career opportunities, and develop skills for the jobs they want.
Equality is the key to a better future
Despite the global talent shortage being felt in the tech and other industries, women currently only hold about 18% of available tech positions in the Netherlands. Furthermore, only 8% of start-ups in Amsterdam are female-led, with lack of funding cited as a major obstacle by women-run businesses.
Equals was founded to combat this gender disparity through 3 pillars of action: increasing the visibility of successful female role models, providing education and career opportunities, and creating a community of ambitious women that support and empower each other.
Here are some of the inspiring opportunities they offer to help strengthen the ecosystem:
- Equals Academy is a unique programme that offers the chance to reskill and land the job you want - guaranteed. Through cooperation with various tech schools and corporate companies, this 3 month sponsored programme (meaning no fees) teaches participants the skills they need to fill roles like Data Engineer or Full Stack Developer. At the end of the course, they are then offered a full-time position at a participating company they've matched with.
- Momentum is a programme launched with Startupbootcamp, Workmode and the Unknown that gives aspiring entrepreneurs the hands-on experience, resources, and networks to bring their business idea into reality. Topics covered include customer research, design thinking, pitching and storytelling and business modelling, as well as connecting with female mentors through workshops and events.
- Community events ranging from taming your inner critic to cultivating a growth mindset and finding your purpose offer a chance to connect with like-minded people while addressing the challenges faced by women in the workplace.
Speaking to Semra Çelebi, Female Entrepurnuership and & Women in Tech Lead at StartupAmsterdam and founding member of the initiative, the vision for Equals is to go global: "My vision for the programme is to have hubs like this all over the world. We want to create a safe space for all women to shine their brightest, while providing them the tools to build a better future."
To learn more about Equals and how they are inspiring change, check out StartupAmsterdam's interview with general manager Dieuwke van Buren.