Friday 14 December 2018

Wrike's focus on gender balance stays firm as Dublin hub expands

Patricia DuChene
Patricia DuChene
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Many firms pay lip service to establishing a balanced gender ratio in the workplace but not all would adhere to the recruitment policies put in place by Wrike.

The US online software company was founded in 2007 and was selected for Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 in 2017 for the third consecutive year.

Creating a hub in Dublin in 2015 was part of Wrike's ambitious expansion in Europe - and Patricia DuChene has built the team here from the ground up, with the help of the IDA.

Originally Director of International Sales, Patricia is now EMEA General Manager, and pushing for better gender equality in the tech industry has always been a key focus.

Wrike’s ‘Women of Wrike’ initiative (WoW), a program that she heads up, includes mentorship and training sessions to help support women in the industry.

"We have seen membership in WoW grow dramatically globally; it has been great to see some of the newer hires get re-engaged," Patricia told Independent.ie.

"We've held unconscious bias training, created more awareness, and then there is our hiring policy. We ensure that a male and female candidate make it to final round for every role. This focuses our recruitment team to search for a wider pool of talent so that we find the right person for the job.

"It's tough to maintain your male/female ratio as you grow your office but we've actually been able to increase our female ratio from 40p to 44pc. And our leadership team in Dublin is now 45pc female."

Wrike's headcount in Dublin has grown to 60 people with plans to increase that employee base to at least 80 by the end of the year.

Read more: How KBC are using technology to bring 'game-changing' digital account to the Irish market

"We are running out of office space which is the ever present problem for growing startups here. We've been in this space for about a year and a half and we're already looking for a new home," said Patricia.

Wrike hopes to sign the deal for a new office by this summer for their new office and have their eyes on a city centre site that can accommodate 150-200.

"We started as a very customer facing office so we had the sales and customer success teams but then we branched out into marketing, analytics, HR, all the functions you need to run a company we are building in EMEA; it's effectively EMEA's Wrike," said Patricia.

Creating a company culture is vital when growing a firm from scratch, especially when it is expanding rapidly. Patricia spoke on a panel at Dublin Tech Summit about crafting company culture in this environment.

"You have to acknowledge where you are as a company in your maturity cycle; smaller teams and smaller companies can't pull out all the initiatives that the bigger teams can," she said.

"We have it clearly out what our core values are. Then you can mature your processes as your company matures."

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