Supporting International Women’s Day 2024


MARCH 08 2024

In honor of International Women’s Day this year, with the theme of #InspireInclusion, we sat down with Fiona Coveney and Swati Dandekar, both holding diverse working roles within X2X, to learn more about their experiences in the media and entertainment industry, focusing on fostering inclusivity and breaking down barriers. We delved into discussions about their industry idols who inspire inclusion, the daily challenges women encounter, and their hopes for a more inclusive future for females in the industry.

Before we begin, let’s share a little background into both women…

Swati is a Software Engineer at CODEX, developing products such as Device Manager, MediaVault and future generation product lines. Having worked in the technology industry since 2005, she has had software engineering roles in the automotive industry, before joining the CODEX team in 2023. Swati has always felt a deep connection with the technology industry, with an ever evolving field and always making a positive difference and adding value to human life.

Fiona Coveney is a Client Success Coordinator at PIX, joining in early 2019, where she assists with the day to day running of client campaigns. She started her industry journey as a post-production runner with her education roots in visuals and animation. She then changed pace as a motion graphic artist working with large brands. Fiona is deeply passionate as to how stories and ideas are captivated and conveyed across all mediums.

What's the best advice you've received, and what advice would you give to younger women entering the Technology industry today that they would find useful?

Swati: Hard work, perseverance and humility is all you need to sustain and grow in any field. Technology industry is no different - having the right attitude is key.

Fiona: This isn’t specific to the tech industry, but some advice that has stuck with me over the years is being supportive of those around you, be confident in your abilities, and to always be yourself. Don’t be afraid to use your voice and be confident in your skill set.

Is there a woman you have crossed paths with whose commitment to inclusion has left a lasting impact, shaping your approach today?

Swati: I have huge respect for "Indra Nooyi", former CEO of PepsiCo. She's the first woman of color and first immigrant to head a Fortune 50 company. Not just that, she's a mother of two girls and it's such a difficult balancing act, managing a personal and professional life, especially coming from a conservative cultural background, and breaking the barriers. She's inspired me in many ways.

Fiona: It’s tough to narrow this down. There are so many incredible women I have crossed paths with, past and present, who are committed to supporting one another. During my college years, I was fortunate to have a tutor who personally made me feel heard, through discussion and through my work. I think it was their understanding and willingness to listen that has encouraged me to listen and be more aware of the journeys of others around me. The women at X2X have also been some of the most supportive I have encountered in my career.

In your role, how do you aim to cultivate a more inclusive workplace that ensures equal representation and opportunities for all women?

Swati: Creating awareness by arranging social gatherings for women to meet and share their experiences in the industry, be supportive of each other and discuss various challenges they'd come across. 

Fiona: There is always room for improvement personally and within the workplace to ensure equal representation and opportunities. I believe we all have a duty to encourage and praise the achievements of those around us. In addition to this, understanding that we are each on our own journey, which may be more difficult for some than others. 

How can we encourage and support women's participation in leadership roles and decision-making processes, particularly in traditionally male-dominated fields such as business and STEM?

Swati: The hiring practices can be improved; job descriptions could be more encouraging and inclusive for female applicants. A flexible working environment is another important factor as childcare can be a challenge. Training programs and recognitions for good work can help.

Fiona: It’s a repetitive saying, but it still rings true today. Those sitting at the table need to allow others to pull up a chair. It’s important to allow equal opportunity for all, that’s based on merit and regardless of gender. This can be encouraged within existing teams within a business and through the recruitment process. Embracing different backgrounds, genders and expertise can create a more inclusive and empowering ecosystem for everyone.

In what ways can men be allies in the journey towards gender equality and inclusion, and how can we encourage more male engagement in this important conversation?

Swati: Society and culture have evolved with certain set of expectations from women such as childcare, keeping the family together and catering for their emotional/psychological needs in day-to-day life. Men are traditionally expected to focus on earning for the family and not being involved in household activities as much as women. This mindset must change, men should take on more household responsibilities, giving women more headspace to focus on their careers.

Fiona: By encouraging those around them to foster an environment where everyone’s opinions are valued and carry the same weight, regardless of gender. In a male dominated industry, as women we can often feel we do not have a platform to openly discuss and voice our ideas. Allowing a safe, welcoming, and neutral space is extremely important to allow for open discussion and growth together. 

What steps do you believe organizations like X2X can take to create a more supportive and inclusive ecosystem for women, especially those at different stages of their careers?

Swati: Companies should ensure a healthy men/women employee ratio to have more diverse and gender unbiased teams. The hiring process could be more transparent, pay scales should be performance based and gender pay gaps should be reduced.

Fiona: Supporting mentorships within a company, including reverse mentorships, can aid continuous growth and development for women at different stages of their career. It’s important to create a strong support network, providing guidance, and which allows the opportunity to advocate for one another.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day and its theme of #InspireInclusion, what message or call to action would you like to share with aspiring women entering the media and entertainment industry, encouraging them to embrace their unique voices and contributions?

Swati: As they say the most difficult challenges to overcome are often the ones we create for ourselves, so for all the aspiring women looking for a career in media and entertainment industry, it's a great domain to work in, don't underestimate yourself, we all are born to make a difference.

Fiona: It’s important to continue growing your knowledge and skill set alongside an adaptive and growing industry. Don’t be afraid to speak up and have faith in your knowledge and skills!

We would like to thank Swati and Fiona for taking part in this discussion, helping us to honor International Women’s Day.

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Effective date: May 25, 2018
Last updated: November 9, 2020