Back to blog

Vention Celebrates International Women's Day

March 08, 2021 | Jennifer Sewell

Vention celebreates International Womens day

Today is International Women’s Day. The theme this year is ‘Choose to Challenge’. To challenge someone (or something), to throw it all on the line, to step into fear, and to get messy. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the success of trailblazing women committed to tackling the obstacles that women continue to face within and beyond the workplace.

Vention is proud to celebrate women today and every day.

“We are always working towards being more inclusive,” said Etienne Lacroix, Vention CEO. “While we don’t have an even distribution of men to women (we stand at 25%, something we are actively working at improving), we are proud to report that 40% of our distinctive and very strong team members are women. This gives us confidence that we create a unique environment for both women and men”.

“Since day 1, we’ve made it a priority to create a transparent and accepting environment that pushes everyone out of their comfort zones and into the board rooms, automation labs and shop floor, “ said Lacroix. “Ultimately, we care about fostering an environment that empowers high-performers and hiring strong women, both technical experts and business leaders, has been one of the key reasons behind our success.”

Last week, we asked several ladies at Vention - from Product and Automation to Operations and Software—to talk about what it means to be a woman in the workplace and how the company culture at Vention empowers and inspires them.

Here’s our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Did you have barriers to overcome in your career and how is Vention supporting you now?

Adeola [Product Manager]: Since moving to Canada, I’ve grown accustomed to being the only black woman in the room. As such, there’s no blueprint of how someone that looks like me should navigate a world built for someone entirely different. At Vention, I’m still the only black female engineer but I feel seen. I have mentors who are invested in my success and I now belong to a strong sisterhood of women bravely navigating careers in spaces that weren’t built for them.

Audrey [Automation Team Lead]: When I started at Vention, I was the only woman not only in my team, but in the whole engineering department. I remember that everyone was extremely considerate with me, worrying about how I was feeling and fitting in. I think that they were more anxious about it than I was! Since then, no matter what new step I was trying to take in my career, I have only encountered supportive and understanding reactions from my Vention colleagues.
Pawan [Senior QA]: One of the barriers that I have faced in terms of my professional growth is public speaking. Being a senior QA has helped me communicate with different teams and exchange information required for projects. Vention encourages constructive debate which gives me a great boost of confidence when bringing forward my ideas and kick starting conversations.

Bre [VP Products]: I have worked most of my career in very male-dominated spaces and find that Vention does an incredible job of not only working hard to recruit women into the organization but also create an environment that supports, connects, and empowers us. Just one way they have done that is through our rigorous annual memo process, which is structured in a way that strives to eliminate bias and calibrate evaluations across the entire organization.

Jen [Warehouse Associate]: During my first two years at Vention, I was the only female warehouse associate within the company. In the first few months I believed that I may need to work a little bit harder compared to my male counterparts to prove I was worthy. Shortly after I realized that this was not the case, Vention had created a very welcoming environment for me that made me feel less self conscious and more comfortable and confident with myself. This has also helped me pursue my studies to become an electrician. With the help of Vention I had become more comfortable with pursuing a career in a male dominated field.

How does Vention make you shine?

Adeola: At Vention, I’ve been challenged to bring my ideas to the table and voice my dissent even when it’s uncomfortable. I am naturally an outspoken person but over time, I’ve learnt the bad habit of ‘holding my tongue’ so I don’t offend anyone. The great thing about Vention is there’s no ego and constructive debates are encouraged so that we can build the best product.

Audrey: Vention doesn’t shy away from going the extra mile in order to make our personalities shine. Employees are often given opportunities to express themselves outside their usual professional roles. Whether it is letting you jumpstart morning yoga sessions for your fellow yogi colleagues, trusting you with the realization of next year’s (automated, of course) Christmas tree, or asking you to present your whole team’s work in front of the Demo-Day cameras, there is always a way to put a little bit of your heart, personality and creativity in the Vention community.

Pawan: Vention treats me like family. Vention recognizes my hard work. My manager always gives me honest feedback. My team always supports me to give my best. I think Vention has always been there for me to get over any hurdle I have faced to progress in my work.

Bre: I have always been very direct and driven by what is ‘right’. Throughout my career, I have thrived in places where I am encouraged to ask questions and put forward new ideas. Vention operates with a high level of transparency at every level of the organization and there is a willingness of our leadership team to engage in healthy debate, which allows this area of my personality to shine.

Jen: Due to the fact that I work in the warehouse at Vention, in teams of 4-5 people, it has allowed my personality to shine and develop in relation to working in a team setting. Before joining Vention I had never worked in an environment that relies on teamwork as much as Vention’s warehouse team allows me to. Doing so has helped me form friendships with those around me and has allowed for me to feel like I can be my true and authentic self in the workplace with the vibrant and welcoming atmosphere Vention has created for their employees.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in a male-dominated industry?

Adeola: Don’t be afraid to explore new fields, new technologies and just play! Many of us are forced to play it safe, but as an engineer, your best asset is a curious mind.

Audrey: Do it ! There might be a few bumps along the road, maybe it’s going to be hard, or maybe it’s going to be incredibly easy - but if it is what you want to do with your career, then it is going to be worth it.

Pawan: Follow your heart and go for it! There’s nothing to be scared of – it’s a path that many people have pursued and enjoyed, and I know that it can bring fulfillment, confidence, and success along the way. Be an engineer, for the good of society and the world. Yes, engineering can be an extremely challenging field to pursue, and there are going to be bumps along the way during the learning process, but trust yourself. Every engineer started in the same position you are in. Just continue to be curious!

Bre: Don’t back down! Women statistically undervalue and overanalyze themselves and their ideas, often taking them off the table prematurely. Ignore that little voice of doubt, put your idea on the table and see if it makes the cut. Be honest about your ambition, go after that promotion and let the leadership decide if you are ready. Keep going and do not ever take yourself (or your idea) out of the running before it has been given a fair chance.

Jen: I believe one of the most important pieces of career advice I would give a woman starting their careers is that they are worthy. If it is a career that you really enjoy and would like to pursue, there should be no barriers between you and what you want to achieve.

We are inspired daily by Adeola, Audrey, Pawan, Bre & Jen, and many more female innovators here at Vention. Want to join the journey? Find your seat @!

Back to blog