How does it feel like to work for Clearmove
I’m Iryna from Ukraine and I never really liked stability; I never stayed in one place very long and never focused on the long term. I spent my twenties travelling around the world and working on short-term projects. Never in a million years did I expect to find myself in an office, and I never thought I would have anything in common with people in office workplaces either. Not only did I never have this stable work experience, I never finished my degree, instead preferring to travel. Also, my educational background was in translation and design, nothing to do with business or English writing.
Today I am a creative copywriter at Clearmove. Being hired as a full-time employee I was surprised by the diversity inside the company and how many interesting and different people surround me. Let me share this with you.
The first thing that struck me was the amount of women in the company. The IT world has always come across to me as a strictly male-dominated field with very few women, mainly in low positions and without any future prospects. According to statistics in the UK in 2017 only 11% of the engineering workforce was female. Let alone Ukraine with its very slow readjustment towards equal job opportunities. At Clearmove the percentage of women in the office is 50% and they take positions from interns to seniors.
Next thing is the age. I know we are not in the medieval era but even in countries like mine people who are 50+ years old struggle to find work; my parents have considerably less opportunities than I do, for example. At Clearmove we have several people of age in a variety of positions, as well as 19-year old students. Because our company is creating cutting-edge software, it is important to hear different points of view in order to get a great result.
Cultural background of our employees is another thing that is extremely diverse and makes me feel at home. Because I was teaching English in Vietnam for 2 years and continued this career upon my arrival to Europe, I was offered to conduct speaking sessions inside Clearmove for all our employees in different offices: UK, Ukraine, UAE. From the very beginning of this course I found out a bit about my colleagues and I was impressed. Our Supply Chain VP, James Speirs, is originally from South Africa and moved to the UK 18 years ago; Business Development VP, John Miller, has spent 28 years overseas, mainly in Asia; Neil Price moved to UAE from the UK 15 years ago and never went back. So many of them have lived and travelled abroad, some of them came back to their home countries, some not. But so many have exciting experiences connected with globalization – I guess this was made on purpose since our company is creating software in the Global Mobility field.
The majority of staff come from, live or lived in and have family from all over the world: Luigi, our Financial Director, is Italian living in New York; Andrea Holz, our Supply Chain Associate, is German/Russian living in London; and Ali Batah, another Supply Chain Associate, is Moroccan/Engyptian living in London too.
We also have a real diversity of religious and cultural views, which all work together to bring fresh perspectives and understanding of each other. When dealing with moving around the world, it’s good to have insight from people who understand it first hand.
Clearmove hires people with different educational backgrounds but also doesn’t require anyone to have an obligational bachelors or masters. Look at Victoria Levchuk, who has an education in law and used to work as a customs inspector before. One day she realized that she didn’t feel happy doing this job and switched to programming. Today she’s a Software Engineer Intern at Clearmove. Her colleague Alina Poniatyshyn has a bachelors as a lawyer and she’s a current designer. I mean – why not, if people feel their passion at another place?
I found speaking clubs between different departments as a great tool of corporate unitement. So I don’t only improve English skills of my colleagues but also make all our workers discuss something not work-related in a more friendly atmosphere. It’s great I was given such an opportunity: to practice my teaching skills and do something good for the company at the same time. And besides these sessions we also have AMA meetings (ask me anything) monthly, where all of our employees can ask each other questions. This illustrates how the company cares about clear communication.
I know it sounds cliché when someone says they have diversity at their workplace, it may look like they are following the trend for fashion’s sake or marketing reasons. But I truly believe that in our company diversity is supported for a good reason. I’ve asked Haitham, our Managing Director (by the way, who is Palestinian Canadian living in UAE) and he answered:
“At Clearmove we’ve experienced first hand the importance of having a team from a diverse background. For example, having a diverse team brings different perspectives and experiences, which make them more aware of pain points of customers. This empathy helps us innovate to tailor to people’s needs.” – Haitham Al-Khatib
Indeed, we are not producing something as simple as umbrellas or bananas, our software product is aimed to serve those who are moving around the world and broaden their horizons. And it must be created by open-minded personalities with different backgrounds, experiences and working styles. Having this diverse team and working together must create a great foundation for our product. And I am extremely excited to see where it brings us in the future.