The purpose of this text is to inspire and be more inspired about equality, but it is also a cry for help. What we’ve done at Forza Football has not been enough and we need to push each other in order to succeed.

At Forza Football, we are proud of our products and of our mission. But there is one thing that we are far from proud of, and that is our levels of equality.

We work with the football and tech sectors, which are both male-dominated. However, that is no good excuse. There are lots of tech companies out there who have succeeded in their drives to become more equal. So what is holding us back?

According to a “Diversity Index” made by Creandum in 2018, 26.67% of the employees at Forza Football are women. 20% of our manager positions are held by women and there are no women on the board.

Compared to their aggregated portfolio, which is based on 5298 employees, this is below average - and it is important to remember that the average is not even close to an optimal scenario.

Even though we have been aware of this situation for years, seeing the cold hard data was a wake-up call.

“Data proves that it is less likely and more difficult for companies to hire women into organisations if management decisions are being made solely by men. When women make up at least one-third of management positions, we see an average of 40% of total employees are women, driving these numbers in the right direction” …”Women in the top hire more women”, says Staffan Helgesson from Creandum.

But why should a successful and fun company care about spending time and effort into hiring more women? Actually, diverse teams perform better than non-diverse. And these are facts, not opinions. Not only would an equal workspace create a better culture, it would make your company more profitable. The very simple conclusion anyone can take from this is that not embracing diversity leads to poorer outcomes.

As with most things, the biggest challenge is knowing where to start. At Forza Football, we have started with very simple steps, like making sure to offer sanitary products in the toilets and featuring women in all the football-related posters and shirts we have on our office walls.

We ensure to post job ads in forums for women in tech, asking how we could make the ads more attractive to women. One learning was that you get less female applicants if you have too many requirements in an ad.

Another learning was that the language within the advert is very important, often in subtle ways. Writing “We play FIFA and drink beer together” isn’t the best way to attract a diverse range of candidates (even though, of course, not only men enjoy those activities). We do play FIFA and drink beer; but we also eat breakfast together every day, play tennis, listen to music, talk, walk, play board games and have After Works. This too is worth mentioning in the ads.

We have an exciting upcoming collaboration with the organisation Mensen: we will be the first company in Sweden to implement a “Period certificate”. This will help create better working conditions for women with PMS or whilst having their period.

For example, it will be okay to postpone work or to work from home if you are unable to work due to pain or low energy level. Everyone at Forza be educated around what happens to the female body during its’ period and common problems that arise during that time a month. We hope that this will get rid of the taboo around using the word period.

Making changes isn’t easy, especially when it comes to inherited habits, norms and culture. But we need to understand how important it is to make changes for the better, to take on that responsibility, not only for the company’s sake but for the society’s. We hope that companies taking the lead can create long-term societal change and increase the power of women in tech.

If we want to make the world more equal, starting with ourselves is key. But then we need your help too. Yes, you who reads this who aren’t part of Forza (yet).How do you and your company work towards having an equal workplace? Do you have any learnings or fails to share with us? Please, help us become better because right now
we suck.

Send your help to: josefin@forzafootball.com