Atlas Story: Empowering Women in the Workplace - Insights from Atlas Leaders: Ivy, Kira and JoHannah

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Atlas Team

Atlas helps innovative companies like yours to expand, onboard, manage and pay international teams in 160+ countries.

Published: 26 Mar 2024

In today's rapidly evolving corporate landscape, the journey to gender equality and female empowerment continues to unfold. Atlas stands at the forefront of this movement, with our leaders offering invaluable insights into navigating challenges and championing diversity in different industries.  

In a recent panel discussion organised by Atlas Women’s Community celebrating Women’s History Month, Ivy Ng, Kira Rubiano, and JoHannah Harrington shared their experiences on the importance of confidence, diversity, and continuous learning in empowering women in the workplace, balancing career and motherhood, and fostering inclusive leadership. Their insights shed light on the challenges women face and the strategies they employ to thrive in their respective fields. 

Breaking Stereotypes and Building Confidence in the Marketing Field 

As the Vice President of Marketing at Atlas, Ivy Ng highlighted the stereotypes associated with her industry and the challenge of being perceived as making decisions based solely on intuition. However, she emphasized the power of data-driven marketing in dispelling these stereotypes and gaining credibility. Ivy also spoke about the importance of encouraging both men and women to join the marketing field, thus fostering diversity and innovation. 

Empowering Diversity in the Payroll Industry 

In the payroll and HR industry, Kira Rubiano, VP of Global Payroll Operations at Atlas, discussed the unique situation of it being heavily female-dominated. She stressed the importance of encouraging more males to join the field to achieve greater gender diversity. Kira emphasized the role of leaders in nurturing talent and fostering a supportive environment for everyone, regardless of gender. 

Breaking Barriers in the Legal World 

JoHannah Harrington, the Chief Legal Officer at Atlas, shared her experiences as one of the few female leaders in the traditionally male-dominated realm of corporate law. In the corporate world, especially within the legal domain, women have historically been underrepresented in leadership positions. JoHannah recounts numerous instances where she found herself as the only woman in the room, facing stereotypes and gender biases. From navigating the expectation of wearing skirt suits to challenging traditional perceptions of women's roles in business, JoHannah shares her journey of breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations of female lawyers. She highlighted the challenges of breaking stereotypes and the importance of mentorship in empowering young female attorneys to pursue leadership roles.  

Balancing Career and Motherhood 

Managing the dual responsibilities of career advancement and motherhood can be challenging, yet rewarding. Ivy, Kira, and JoHannah share their strategies for balancing work and family life, from flexible parental policies to prioritizing quality time with their children.  

  • As a working mother, Ivy faces additional challenges, she shares her experience of returning to work just six weeks after childbirth, juggling breastfeeding and professional responsibilities. Despite facing criticism for prioritizing her family, Ivy remains dedicated to her career while ensuring quality time with her children. She emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries and demonstrating independence to her children, promoting mutual respect in the family. 

  • As a mother of two, Kira reflects on the challenges from navigating the early stages of motherhood to parenting through COVID-19, Kira shares her journey of resilience and growth. Coming from an Eastern European background, Kira acknowledges the pressure on women to excel both professionally and domestically. Despite these societal expectations, she encourages women to prioritize self-care and find a balance between work and personal life.  

  • JoHannah's journey as a working mother is just starting. She noted that it adds another layer of complexity to her professional life. Balancing the demands of motherhood with her career responsibilities has been a continuous learning experience. With the support of Atlas's parental policies and a supportive network of colleagues, JoHannah embraces the challenges of parenthood while excelling in her role. 

Key Takeaways from Atlas Women Leaders 

  • Confidence: A Key to Success: Confidence plays a pivotal role in overcoming challenges and asserting leadership in professional settings. By projecting confidence, women can challenge stereotypes and pave the way for greater gender equality in the workplace. 

  • Nurturing Diversity and Inclusion: Diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of Atlas's organizational culture. By nurturing diversity, Atlas leaders aim to create environments where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive and succeed. 

  • Creating Supportive Work Cultures: Creating supportive work cultures is crucial for empowering women and fostering gender equality. Ivy, Kira, and JoHannah emphasize the importance of empathy, support, and mentorship in creating inclusive environments where all employees can thrive.  

  • Continuous Learning and Adaptation: The leaders stressed the importance of continuous learning and adaptation in their careers. Whether through embracing new technologies in marketing, advocating for industry-wide changes in payroll, or staying abreast of legal trends, by embracing change and innovation, Atlas leaders strive to stay ahead of the curve and lead by example in their respective fields, highlighting the value of staying agile and open to new ideas. 

As Atlas continues to champion diversity, inclusion, and empowerment, the insights shared by Ivy, Kira, and JoHannah serve as inspiration for creating a more equitable and supportive workplace for all employees. By embracing confidence, empathy, and continuous learning, Atlas strives to empower women and foster a culture of inclusivity and success.