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Women in MACH Manifesto for Gender Equality

100 women from across the technology industry who are active in the MACH community came together at the first Women in MACH event in Madrid, September 22-23, 2022. Together, they co-authored this manifesto following discussions and workshops.

The purpose of the manifesto

MACH is a modern category and a community of companies, ambassadors and contributors driving forward a new era in enterprise technology. We feel obligated to urge companies in our ecosystem to do more than average when it comes to nurturing the success of women and advancing gender equality. We want to help the sector become more active contributors on the subject of D&I including gender equality, not simply because it’s right, but also because women play an increasingly crucial role.

Through this manifesto, developed and driven by our passionate community of MACH women, the MACH Alliance and everyone that signs on to it, aims to elevate their contributions and pave the way for others to succeed in this space.

By signing the manifesto we pledge the following

We - as a company - pledge to be open to our flaws and imperfections and take pride in correcting them openly. We are transparent, we listen, and we are bullish on becoming a company that is truly gender equal. We will be open and vocal about our focus on ensuring equality, through everything we do and say. By building a culture and mindset in our business that is unwavering on gender equality, the right attitudes and actions will naturally drive our behaviors across hiring, promotions, salaries and recognition. We want to be an example for the industry.

It is not an extra task or ‘to do’ but it is something we should all instinctively do. There is no excuse.

We will intentionally train ourselves, discuss focus areas, and track the improving gender equality in our organization. Across hiring and promotions, we promise to give women with potential the same opportunity as men and to investigate if our decisions are really based on facts or prejudice. We will measure and hold ourselves accountable. What do the numbers and facts tell us? In pay, in hiring, in leadership? What did they say three months ago and what will they say three months from now? We are a company that tracks our progress. And we get help when we fail.

We foster equality through a culture of trust and understanding. In hiring and promotion, to eradicate the effect gender bias has on who progresses and who does not. We are a company where, independent of the gender you identify with, everyone feels confident to take a seat at the table and discuss career journeys, expectations, milestones, and rewards.

Culture is the worst behavior we tolerate. All women in tech have felt discriminated against at some point in their career. We have to change that. We will not accept the use of discriminatory language and lack of action following complaints or suspicion. We expect everyone, no matter their gender, to stand up for that and to stand up when they see inappropriate behavior. We expect processes that encourage feedback. And we expect transparent and actioned consequences for inappropriate leadership.

By signing this manifesto, we acknowledge that change will only happen when people stand up - regardless of gender. We therefore expect our leaders to actively stand up for talent, to support them and sponsor them, and to never assume ‘they will make it without me’. Rather than simply saying that, our companies value and measure that. And we expect the same from leaders. Good leaders nurture cultures that impact their people positively and lead by example. This way both men and women will fight outdated tendencies.

We will be explicit about the requirements that ensure gender equality and the importance of leadership to support and champion women at every step of their careers.

Through this manifesto, we want to close the wealth gap women face. We will start by ensuring we are not contributing to the problem through pay gaps in our companies. We will do all we can to surface if we have a pay gap and to close it if we do. We commit to unbiased transparency of pay and progression through our actions and processes because it’s a matter of huge importance.

Representation matters for everyone to flourish and not just the dominant group to expand. Therefore we pledge to do all we can - and seek help when we’re not succeeding - to ensure that our leadership is a proportionate representation of our customers and employees in gender, ethnic minority groups and sexual orientation. We will do all we can to ensure that same representation at our events, on social media channels, on hiring and promotion panels, and on any public stage we create as an organization.

Action items to commit to

As people passionate about MACH, we believe in taking smaller incremental yet impactful steps. Don’t try to do everything in one go. Choose at least 5 action items from the list below, raise the bar with these first and start making a difference.

Equality in hiring

□ We commit to involving a third party in hiring who has specific training in avoiding bias for objective evaluation of our hiring process.

□ We commit to adopting the manifesto across our HR and People teams to train recruiters with.

□ We commit to reviewing where candidates are typically sourced from and casting the net wider and in different locations.

□ We commit to setting high standards similar to legal frameworks about quota, parental leave, handling family expansion, flexible working, and to lead by example.

□ We commit to designing hiring forms focused on potential and future requirements, instead of asking only about career history.

□ We will run an assessment to check that we allow women into roles, who can not prove to have done ‘the exact thing’ before.

□ We commit to avoiding biased vocabulary in the hiring process. We will have our vocabulary reviewed by a specialist.

□ We commit to training our people to avoid bias in interviews.

□ We commit to including at least two representative interviewers in hiring processes.

Promotion based on merit

□ We commit to having promotion decisions explained and written down based on facts, possibly even anonymously presented to a panel of decision makers.

□ We commit to having clear pathways for roles in the company defining skills and deliverables with a development plan and salary range.

□ We commit to defining a competency model that is public and transparent.

□ We commit to having a development plan for everyone post onboarding and evaluating our managers for that.

□ We commit to using an internal service (anonymous) to report inequality so that an external party can investigate.

Equal pay

□ We commit to having an internally published comparison of salaries including information for hiring managers to remove inequalities right from the start

□ We commit to unbiased transparency of pay and progression and systematic proactive process over individual negotiations.

□ We commit to ensuring equality for women across benefits, equity, shares, and bonus schemes.

□ We commit to publishing our gender pay gap (like companies are obligated to do in the UK).

□ We commit to defining a mandatory subject in board meetings: Status update gender equality.


□ We commit to setting a protocol for handling harassment complaints and to having a standard procedure for follow-up to these cases.

□ We commit to having a mentorship programme to prepare women for career progression.

□ We commit to making gender equality and diversity and inclusion a standard agenda item in all company meetings.

□ We commit to building and communicating the manifesto and our commitments and status in interviews and onboarding.

□ We commit to training our people to avoid bias and discrimination across every aspect of work and to creating a mechanism for listening and feedback sessions.

□ We commit to being involved in events providing diverse representation to encourage young women to enter STEM careers.

□ We commit to soliciting employee feedback through regular anonymous surveys.

□ We commit to putting in place a steering committee that enforces objectivity in all processes related to gender equality.

□ I personally commit to stand up always when we see inappropriate or discriminatory behaviour towards women on our team or outside.


□ We commit to implementing a mentor system connecting leaders with employees regardless of gender

We commit to defining a gender equality policy.

□ I personally commit - and will ask all executive leaders to do so - to proactively select two talented women in the company and mentor and guide them, for them to optimize their career progression.

Representation in leadership

□ We commit to ensuring gender diversity across leadership teams and to publish our male/female ratio in senior positions.

□ We commit to ensuring that women are fairly represented across our events (public & internal), social media, and marketing materials. We will aim for 50/50 and not accept more than 60% male representation on any public stage virtually or in person.

□ We commit to ratifying internally the manifesto with team leaders - making sure everyone in the company is part of the initiative.

□ I will personally commit to not be professionally on stage, in a panel or elsewhere with just men. Ideally it is a 50/50 situation or a 40% representation of women. I will kindly let the organizers know and make sure representation is top of mind. That way I influence the world around us with our principles.