#IWD2023 Spotlight: FR’s Finance Director Dave McKenzie

Happy International Women's Day! #IWD2023 🦸‍♀️

To celebrate, we’re putting the spotlight on members of Fiat Republic, as well as Anamaria Fuiorea from our partners over at Yield App.

Without further ado, here’s Fiat Republics Finance Director Dave McKenzie. (This interview has been edited for clarity).

How can men be allies on IWD?

Men need to be allies not just on IWD but every day! It’s a good day for raising awareness of issues like the gender pay gap, but we should be aware of them every day, not just one day per year.

Who are the women that inspire you?

I have worked with plenty of impressive and inspirational women. But I find it surprising that, for example, many “top women in tech” lists completely overlook Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, who, over nearly a decade, has overseen a massive diversification of their revenue streams and improved the quality of the core CPU product to a level where they are now widely considered to be higher quality and value for money than Intel CPUs.

Do you think the tech/crypto industry is doing enough to make progress toward gender equality?

There is a lot of noise within the tech & crypto industries about progress. I am always more interested in how these companies spend their money. “How many women do you employ? What does your gender pay gap look like regarding the composition of your overall workforce, and are you ensuring that you are paying employees fairly at the same level?”

Of course, the environment of people graduating with STEM degrees is still dominated by men, particularly in computer science degrees (approximately 15-20% female graduates in the UK and the US).

What can men do to support women in the workplace better?

One of the primaries is to understand the difference between how men and women communicate and the approaches they may take in all aspects of their professional careers. For example, this will mean ensuring all voices are heard in meetings, not just those who shout the loudest. It means that the company culture should be welcoming to all people, mainly because tech is traditionally a male-dominated space.

It can also be present in other ways; for example, when sourcing talent, some women will only apply for a job if they meet all or almost all of the criteria. Men are more likely to apply even if they only meet the essential role criteria. See the example photo where I attempted (although unfortunately failed) to take on an example of this! It means writing inclusive job adverts and ensuring that any time when using recruiters, they have appropriate targets set to ensure that, at least, the top of the recruiting funnel is balanced. As a comparison, although it deals with ethnicity rather than gender, in the sports world, I like the concept of the “Rooney Rule” in the NFL, which requires that when recruiting a general manager or head coach, at least one external ethnic minority candidate must be interviewed. Ensuring that you get the right people in the room gives you a better chance of getting the right person in the job!

What are some of the positive measures FR has taken to ensure equal opportunities at all levels of the business?

We started from a position of a 50:50 split between male and female co-founders. When you have that as a starting point, it helps to set the tone and direction, and visibility also helps attract balanced cohorts of potential employees. It is easier for a company at the early stages of growth to be cognisant of equal opportunities and to ensure this is taken seriously across the business without requiring specific policies as it is just an understood part of the company culture; the challenge as time goes on is maintaining that culture and ensuring continuing equal opportunities across the business.

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