Request a Demo

Close Form PopupLink to Close the Form Popup

Demo Form

Learn how we use your personal data in our privacy policy and about our country/region options

At Alida, We #ChooseToChallenge Gender Bias & Inequality

Written by Alida

Published March 08, 2021

Given the theme of 2021's International Women's Day campaign: #ChooseToChallenge, Alida is choosing to take a stand to challenge gender bias and inequality.

“We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.” — IWD

#ChooseToChallenge means to raise your hand high to show your commitment to choose to challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes, and help forge an inclusive world. Faced with a choice, at Alida, we chose to challenge. 



Every year on March 8th, countries around the world celebrate International Women’s Day. Celebrations on this day can be traced back to the early 1900s.

As individuals, leaders and organizations, it’s crucial to support a world vision where sustainable development is achieved through gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. "Leaders from across the globe agree that each country has so much to gain, in terms of economic development, if we empower our women and girls to unlock their full potential, as the UN calls it, 'women’s economic empowerment'." Source: Ceridian 

To acknowledge and celebrate International Women’s Day this year at Alida, we invited our employees to show their commitment to equality and call out bias by sharing personal stories and highlighting the female role models in their lives. Here’s what they had to say.  



Leonie Pittnauer, EMEA Marketing Coordinator

Q: What woman inspires you and why? 

A: The woman that inspires me most in life is 100% my mom. She's the most caring and sweet mother, while still being a badass who runs her own business extremely successfully. Every day I'm in awe of the things she accomplishes, all while being an amazing mom, wife and friend.







Joseph Finneran, Vice President, Engineering

Q: What woman inspires you and why? 

A: My mom was my role model growing up, she was a single parent who was widowed at a young age and ran a dairy farm, looked after 2 kids, ran the household single handedly, and was way tougher than any man I have ever known. She believed in always doing your best, not being afraid to work hard and making the most of the opportunities that life gives you. She valued education above all else and encouraged me to go to college, get a degree (or 2) and go out in the world and be a success. Every success I have had in life is down to her!

Q: How does Alida promote gender equality and diversity? 

A: Alida has a focus on ensuring that everyone no matter their gender, ethnicity, orientation or background has an equal opportunity to succeed and thrive as the organization grows. In the Product organization Riaz Raihan has challenged us to hire female technical talent wherever possible as he knows that is a huge competitive advantage for the company. Technology teams have in the past tended to be very male dominated and here at Alida we are really focused on moving away from that model and have a large number of awesome female technologists who in turn help us to attract more female talent. The fact the senior leadership team is absolutely committed to the aim of equality and diversity is very important in ensuring that we have the policies and processes in place to achieve this.

Q: What taboos related to the theme of women do you wish were broken?

A: I really wish we could banish the myth/taboo that women don't make good technologists, as this simply is NOT true. In my career 2 of the top 3 technologists I have worked with have been women and they were gifted from a technical perspective but were also super positive team players and incredibly productive. Old fashioned stereotypes like this need to be buried once and for all, and it should be obvious that the most successful organizations are those that have workforces that mirror society and their customer base.

Q: Whose work do you admire in relation to women's rights and equality?

A: From a Canadian perspective the work of the "Famous 5" ( Emily Murphy, Irene Marryat Parlby, Nellie Mooney McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards) in winning a court case stating that "Women are Persons" stands out to me. The very fact that less than 100 years ago these women had to fight for all women in Canada to even be considered persons is mind boggling to most people today.

Q: List 3 words that reflect a gender equal workspace
A: Fair, Safe, Respectful

WD-Image-2Sonal More, Legal Counsel

Q: What is the #1 book you always recommend and why? 

A: I generally recommend 2 books as I read them repeatedly :D. The fountainhead by Ayn Rand to learn that one needs to have conviction in their beliefs and values, and resilience to continue on the chosen path. 

I am absolutely biased to the 2nd book, autobiography of a one year old by Rohan Cundappa, as this is a book I would read on any day, good or bad and it would turn me into the happiest person on the planet. It gives a fresh perspective on things and shows how even a one year old can sit down to dissect the most mundane activity and look at it seriously or in a hilarious way. Its a choice we can make daily :)

Q: The three qualities that got me to where I am today are…   

A: I would have to say perseverance, willpower and ability to laugh at myself.

WD-Image-3Aner Shachar, Director, Channel Programs

Q: What Woman inspires you and why?

A: In truth, I have to say my mother. She inspires me when it comes to her relentless strength and perseverance. She gave up everything she knew and everyone she loved to come to a country where english would be her third language, just so her kids could have the best life possible. She served in the army in her youth and after moving to Canada with my father, worked any job she could to help support our family. She never complains even if she has every right to and gives 110% of herself to her job and family every single day. Along with that, she went back to school in her mid 50s to study her passion and graduated top of her class.

Q: Whose work do you admire in relation to women's rights and equality?

A: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her work and accomplishments have paved the way for major advancements in women's rights and levelling the playing field for both men and women under the eyes of the law.

WD-Image-1Gbenga Anasin, Associate Director, Customer Success

Q: What woman inspires you and why?

A: Without doubt and further thought, it would have to be my mother. She created a beautiful childhood for me filled with love, adventure, and inspiration as well as imbuing upon me a strength of character, love for culture and respect for my fellow man. As an adult, I've always been able to come to her for perspective, advice, and support. She is a beautiful human being both inside and out with a thoughtfulness and spirit that has helped me navigate life's challenges and always kept me grounded. When considering the impact she has had on my life, it's truly immeasurable. 

Q: The three qualities that got me to where I am today are:

A: Integrity - 'the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.'

Honesty and truth are undoubtedly pillars of how I conduct myself as I feel that they are the foundation of building strong relationships in one's personal and professional life

Respect - 'due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.'

I believe that respect dismantles prejudice and so while many say that respect needs to be earned, my belief is that it is given until it is lost. 

Perseverance - 'Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition'

As humans, we all encounter challenges to varying degrees and it's always relative to your circumstance. The ability to face those challenges and striving to overcome them helps us do better and be better.


WD-Image-5Genevieve Raveau, Public Relations Manager

Q: What woman inspires you and why?

A: My grandmother, Eliza, has always inspired me. She came from a village in Mangalore, India where girls were not educated past the 5th grade during her time. Yet, her dream was always to be a teacher. She moved to the big city of Mumbai as a little girl hoping that her dream would come true. Her path took a different turn, but she continued to give over her best in every situation. She brought 9 children into this world, adopted another and was a mother to countless more in many different ways. She worked extremely hard to raise her children, learning how to sew on her own and tailoring uniforms for schools well into the night. Though she never received a full education to become a teacher, she knew how to read and write in 5 languages and used this knowledge to bring in underprivileged children and women and teach them for free. She taught me numerous life lessons growing up and I loved the bedtime stories she used to make up for me. To me and hundreds of others, she was a true teacher in every sense of the word.

My grandmother named me Genevieve. Growing up as a kid in India, I quite disliked the name initially. No one knew how to pronounce it, let alone spell it. I preferred to go by Jenny and I did so for many years until I found out what Genevieve really meant when I turned 16 years old. The name means "Woman of the People". Realizing that I was given this name for a purpose, I grew to cherish it and I try my best to live by it. In every decision I make, I strive to make a difference for the betterment of people. I didn't know why my grandmother chose that name for me specifically, but she always knew. Today, though she is no more, I will continue to be inspired by this little but fierce woman. In turn, I have given my daughter her second name, Elise, after my grandmother and I know she will live by this name too.

Laura Lombardi, Director, Corporate Communications

Q: What woman inspires you and why?

A: I grew up inspired by my mom. She was a single mother with two rambunctious twins on her hands and somehow managed to keep us fed, happy and healthy while also moving up the corporate ladder in her career. We knew it wasn't always easy for her (let's face it - we were no angels) but she somehow managed to balance (more like juggle) everything and find her version of success and accomplishment that made her proud. Looking back, I appreciate what she taught me about work ethic and the power of positivity. She showed us that anything worth having takes work, and that the work can also be fun along the way. 

Q: If you could go back to the beginning of your career journey—with the knowledge you have now—what advice would you give yourself?

A: I would tell myself to speak up. As a newbie in the working world, it can be intimidating to advocate for yourself and share opinions but I've learned to have the confidence in myself to speak my mind. It's not always easy and of course can sometimes be intimidating, but it's so important for our growth, learning and adding value to the conversation. No one is going to do it for us. It's on us to share our opinions and ideas and prove the value we've made in the workplace. We all have meaningful contributions to share so let’s believe in ourselves and our ability to step up and earn it.




We’re so incredibly proud of the women of Alida today and every day. We are honored to hear and share their stories. We recognize that this commitment to challenging gender bias and inequality must go beyond IWD in order to effect real change.

As a next step, we're excited to host guest speaker, Priyanka Mehandiratta, Founder and CEO of Unmute, to further raise awareness on diversity and inclusion and learn how each one of us has a role to play in elevating and empowering women of all backgrounds.

How are you taking a stand today? How is your company bringing more diversity to the workplace? 


Alida named a niche player  Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Voice of Customer Read the Report