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Closing the Gender Gap in Tech: Shelf Engine Named a Top Workplace for Women

Recognition from Elpha and Built In shine light on Shelf Engine's success to make tech more inclusive.
Deborah Alexander by Deborah Alexander

We feel so honored to share the news that Shelf Engine has been named one of the Top Workplaces for Women by Elpha! We believe this distinction speaks to the company we’re building, our workplace culture, and our efforts to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion — and we’re just getting started!

It may come as no surprise that women are woefully underrepresented in tech. What’s especially striking is just how systemic the gender gap really is. Across nine dimensions of tech work, reported data describing gender gaps across the entire professional landscape, from degree attainment and retention within the field, to workplace culture and leadership roles. With half of the women who choose to work in tech leaving the field by age 35, coupled with the ongoing realities of the pandemic exacerbating existing challenges, one thing is clear: there is work to be done to transform the tech industry.

More diverse teams yield more impressive business results

At Shelf Engine, we’ve endeavored to grow a barrier-busting company from the beginning. We’ve sought to create opportunities for populations typically underrepresented in tech while dismantling the belief that business results and sustainability are mutually exclusive. We’re proud that half of our employee population is women, well above the national average of 28%. Why has this been an obsession of ours? Because seeking diverse perspectives has yielded better business results at Shelf, and the data confirms that we’re not alone. In our work to transform the food supply chain, those better results benefit suppliers and retailers, consumers, and the environment — the triple win that underscores all we do.

We love shining a light on the extraordinary members of our team who are helping fulfill our mission to reduce food waste through automation while clearing a path for others to follow. One of many superstars on our team is Shawn Ramirez, Shelf Engine’s head of data science and recent winner of Built In’s 2021 Tech Innovator Award. “The Seattleite who helped save 182 African elephants’ worth of grocery waste through data science,” Shawn is an extraordinary strategist and data scientist. Her unique superpower, however, is her passion and talent for coaching others. Over her impressive career, Shawn has cultivated a network of individuals who look up to her as a female leader in a traditionally male dominated industry.

Workplace diversity is shaping the future of tech

This recognition from Elpha comes at a critical time in our company’s story. As Shelf Engine’s headcount rounds 200 employees, we’ve become even more committed to press forward into the diversity, equity, and inclusion space. Shelf Engine’s head of recruiting, Sasha Martin, shares what she’s observed speaking to countless job-seekers considering a role in tech:

“The impact of the pandemic has prompted many people to examine what truly matters to them. I hear candidates consistently express a desire to take pride in their work and care deeply about the company they’re a part of. They are carefully considering both the professional environment they might be joining and the impact their work can have on society. We’re fortunate at Shelf Engine to have had strong gender diversity on our team early on, setting the tone for our growth journey. We’ve made some terrific strides, and have our sights set on so much more.”

We believe that the tech sector holds endless promise to unlock so much good in the world. We’re humbled to be able to do our part to leave the planet in better shape than we found it, helping curb a food waste crisis that has reached staggering heights. We also desire to help shift the paradigm in tech to make one of the most dynamic sectors to work in more reflective of the world that benefits from its innovations.

If you’re hungry to make a difference and want to join a team that is working to do the same, come join us!

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