The latest candidate in our series of Q&As with influential women in the technology business in Canada is Mallory Greene, CEO & Co-Founder, Eirene, a modern funeral home that offers Canadians compassionate, transparent, and flexible cremation services online.
Name: Mallory Greene
Job Title & Company: CEO and Co-Founder, Eirene
Years in the Industry: 9 Years
The Quote That Most Inspires You: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” (- Nelson Mandela)
What drew you to a career in the consumer and/or business technology industry?
It’s a rapidly evolving field that offers opportunities to create innovative solutions that solve real-world problems. Consumer technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we live, work, and interact with each other, and being part of shaping the world for future generations is exciting.
Have you encountered any roadblocks along the way that were related to your gender?
I am constantly underestimated because of my age, appearance, and gender. Women have always been told they can only be one thing. This can be exhausting to navigate, although it has always fueled me to work harder. When I speak up, and call people in, I can change the workplace for women who come after me.
I can be young and wise, I can be attractive and smart, and I can be an excellent leader, regardless of my gender.
What unique characteristics or perspective do you feel you bring to your organization as a woman?
I lead a team of 95 per cent women, who come from workplaces that were primarily made up of men. My approach is exactly who I am personally – firm, consistent, and empathetic. I think this allows my team to feel psychologically safe at work and know that I have their best interests at heart.
As a leader, I push them to their full potential because I know I hire the best people to work alongside me. I am also my biggest critic, so I remain humble in my leadership abilities – there will always be room for improvement.
Technology is historically a male-dominated industry, yet the use of tech is fully embraced by women, and many studies even suggest that females are the primary buyers of tech in the home. What do you feel the technology industry needs to attract more women, particularly into high-level positions?
I believe that tools are better built by people who reflect those they are serving. Everyone knows the example of car safety tests not accounting for womens’ measurements, which resulted in women being 47% more likely to be seriously injured in a crash. These oversights [or ignorance], have consequences to the everyday lives of women. Women need to have a seat at the table to build tools that meet our needs.
If you had to sum up what it is like being a woman in this male-dominated technology industry in just a few words, what would you say?
Challenging but empowering. Breaking barriers for future generations.
Are there women in the tech industry who inspire you?
I’ve participated in mentoring for other women founders, and that’s when I find I’m most inspired. The entrepreneurship journey can be isolating, so having founders going through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, has been crucial to my success. Find other women at similar stages to you, who inspire you to keep pushing forward.
What are some of the misconceptions/myths about women working in the technology space that you’d like to dispel?
That gender has something to do with someone’s ability or interests. It’s such old-school thinking to pigeonhole women into what they can or cannot be. Create environments that help them thrive, and your business will be better because of it.
What’s one thing you wish was done differently in the industry, and why?
I’m relatively outspoken, however I wish I had stood up for my worth earlier on in my career. For the longest time, I felt I was the lucky one to have a job. There is so much data out there that can inform you on pay, so you should be analyzing that information to ensure you’re being paid equally to your male counterparts. You are not indebted to your job and you deserve equal pay.
Are you optimistic for the future in general and for the industry?
I’m always optimistic for the future. In my 30 years of life, women have made tremendous progress. And I hope that I can contribute to even more.