Tips for female entrepreneurs – a point of view from GoDaddy’s Irana Wasti

5 min read
Thomas Costello

An equal world is an enabled world. So goes the International Women's Day 2020 mantra. And we at GoDaddy agree! With IDW 2020 upon us, GoDaddy EMEA President, Irana Wasti, has written a personal take on what it means to be a woman in business, the barriers faced, strides made and what needs to be done to continue to close the gap.

Irana was writing against the release of GoDaddy’s annual report, 2019 Diversity and Salary Data. The data shows that GoDaddy pays men and women in similar jobs at parity across the company, marking the fifth consecutive year the company has achieved the goal. Yet there is much work to do to increase the overall population of females and ethnic minorities across the company.

Irana is at the forefront of this. She is driven by her commitment to make GoDaddy a fully diverse employer where women can have a great career and a great family life. We asked her why she is so passionately committed to this and to International Women’s Day.

Over to Irana...

Here’s to International Women’s Day. And here’s to the day when we no-longer need International Women’s Day! Here, at GoDaddy, we empower everyday entrepreneurs to make their dream into their reality. We are helping our 19 million customers to be their own boss and make their own way; to run their own business.

And I’m particularly proud of the part I’ve played in making that possible for women around the world!

As a working mother, I know the challenges that confront women in business, whether it’s their own company or they’re an employee of someone else’s. Here at GoDaddy, we try to lead from the front, by helping women to integrate family life and work life.

Nowadays, work can fill your day; there are emails on the go, late-night phone calls to people in different time zones and long, long hours actually at work. Work is a full-time commitment. But, so is family.

Work is a full-time commitment. But, so is family.

Therefore, it’s important to have a working environment where you can, for example, bring the kids with you. Or, make time in your diary to do something special with them. If you have to schedule an important meeting with your boss, why not schedule an important meal with your family? Integrate both your work life and your family life.

I do, and I made it all the way to Regional President of GoDaddy Europe, the Middle East and Africa! I’m good at my job and proud of that, but I’m even more proud that I’m just as good at my other job: being “mom”.

Always stand on principle, even if you stand alone

I managed to do this by never forgetting my three guiding principles:

  1. Becoming CEO of a tech firm.
  2. Being a young - and involved - mother of two.
  3. Never looking back with regret that I've achieved one of these goals at the expense of another.

So, for example, when I wanted to take my son to tennis lessons, I explained to my boss what I wanted to do, told him how it could work, and communicated it with my team. I explained the situation rather than asking for permission. That’s the professional way to deal with any situation.

When I’m looking for the next step in my career, I have job interviews, just like anyone. I tell the potential employer my principles and how I want to work. When I tell friends this, I get asked: Aren’t you worried they won’t hire you? No. If they don’t share my principles, I don’t want to work for them!

Don’t ask permission to raise your family and have a career, stand by your principles and only work with people or employers who share them.

So, if I have any advice to offer - that would be it. Don’t ask permission to raise your family and have a career, stand by your principles and only work with people or employers who share them.

To this day, I can take my kids into meetings. It isn’t a problem for us. Unfortunately, it still shocks and surprises some people. One of the objectives for International Women’s Day is to help make a world where looking after your kids and your career at the same time isn’t a surprise. It’s a given.

Here, at GoDaddy, we get it! We have a culture of integration. We support our colleagues just as enthusiastically as we support our customers; those everyday entrepreneurs who are building their own businesses according to their own guiding principles.

Tips for female entrepreneurs - a point of view from GoDaddy’s Irana Wasti

But, it’s important that GoDaddy leads from the front. For the last five years, we have maintained salary parity between male and female employees in similar jobs.

Women comprise 32 percent of global leadership positions at Director level and above. This means we are comparable to any big business in the US. But we are determined to do better.

Inclusiveness and diversity isn’t just about mothers, it isn’t even just about women, it’s about making sure that everyone gets the opportunities they deserve and the rewards that they earn.

It’s about creating a world where we don’t need events like International Women’s Day to remind us about the importance of creating a culture where women can have a family and a career, because that culture will be industry standard everywhere.

Here’s to that day!