International Women's Day 2020
As a start-up, Local Heroes relies on technology and data to provide the insights needed to drive growth. Much of the significant technological challenges and data insights we make use of come from our great team of STEM graduates.
As it’s International Women’s Day 2020, it’s worth looking at the significant progress made to close the gender gap in STEM industries, and the progress we still have yet to make. At Local Heroes, we’re fortunate enough to have many women in positions of leadership across our entire business in our Marketing, Operations and Product teams.
This year for IWD, we asked Camilla Benitz, Managing Director of Local Heroes some questions about her career and experiences of working in a male-dominated sector.
Can you give a quick overview into your day to day activities of your role as Director of Local Heroes?
Camilla: There’s the organised routine of daily team stand ups, our company All Hands once a week and table tennis at the end of the day, but beyond this no two days are the same. From meeting with new partners keen to tap in to our services, ensuring our investments are delivering, and doing payment runs for our Heroes...I get stuck into everything.
For me, however, the most fulfilling part of my job is working with the team to support breaking through barriers to deliver more for our Heroes and customers.
You work in a male dominated industry, do you think that gender still has an impact in the workplace?
C: Yes, I do. Since I first started out in my career, we have made so much progress. This has been helped, in part by introducing flexible working practices and technology, meaning we can work from anywhere. There’s some great momentum, but there’s more to do and it’s really important to business success as with the right curation, the more diverse the team, the better the output. And a good gender balance definitely helps with that.
There’s some great momentum, but there’s more to do and it’s really important to business success as with the right curation, the more diverse the team, the better the output.Camilla Benitz, Director of Local Heroes
I don’t think it’s as simple as just gender though. Some of the most inspiring feminists I’ve been lucky enough to work with have been men.
For me, it’s key that a team can bring a range of different perspectives and experiences, therefore creating an environment where all voices are heard. Having my perspective challenged by others is really rewarding and if everyone thinks in the same way, this simply doesn’t happen.
What key things have you put in place to make sure Local Heroes is an enjoyable place to work, and how do you empower your team?
C: I think leading a business like Local Heroes can be compared to setting the stage for a theatrical production. You need to make sure you’ve got the best possible actors, ensure they have everything they need to deliver a great performance and then frankly, get out of the way.
I think there’s a tendency for leaders to feel like they should be centre stage when, in fact they could be more helpful behind the scenes!
Work out what you’re good at. Work out what you love. Then find a way to spend as much time as you can where the two overlap.Camilla Benitz, Director of Local Heroes
The tech industry can be characterised by the perks like free food, but for me, those things pale compared to being part of a high performing team with big ambitions. When you read a great customer review and know that you were part of the team that made it possible, that’s incredibly rewarding. Making time to share and celebrate successes of any size is key.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
C: With two young children, I’ve thought of this question quite a lot. I think the secret to finding a career that you really enjoy is:
Work out what you’re good at.
Work out what you love.
Then find a way to spend as much time as you can where the two overlap.
And, be curious, always.
Be curious, always.