How PDQ supports women in tech

Meredith Kreisa headshot
Meredith Kreisa|March 8, 2023
How PDQ supports women in tech
How PDQ supports women in tech

The statistics say it all: Women make up 47% of the U.S. workforce but only 28% of the tech industry. While more and more companies aim for gender-inclusive environments, it’s safe to say that women remain underrepresented. Supporting women in tech is paramount to getting well-qualified candidates into roles and improving retention. That’s just one of the reasons why PDQ actively works to create a welcoming environment for everyone. We’ll walk you through the initiatives that have helped improve equity at PDQ.

While this article focuses primarily on women in honor of Women’s History Month, PDQ aims to support all employees, including men and nonbinary PDQTs. Luckily, initiatives that support any group inherently support every group. We’re a team, and we succeed or fail together.

Inclusive recruiting

The first step in building any team is recruiting and hiring great people. At PDQ, we’re lucky enough to have a top-notch recruiter to ensure our job postings attract the best candidates, regardless of gender.

Studies show that women find positions less appealing if the ad uses more masculine wording. If a job posting uses even inconspicuously masculine words (e.g., dominant, competitive, strong), it can subtly discourage women from applying, thereby maintaining gender divisions. PDQ job descriptions are carefully crafted to use gender-neutral language to avoid deterring women applicants.

Further complicating matters, experts have long postulated that there’s a notable confidence gap. While men frequently apply to jobs if they meet 60% of the qualifications, women look for positions for which they meet 100% of the qualifications. To that end, each PDQ job posting contains the following note: “Do you think you have what it takes but don’t necessarily meet all the requirements? Apply anyway — you could be exactly who we are looking for!” While we can’t single-handedly break long-standing gender differences, that won’t stop us from trying to level the playing field.

Inclusive recruiting extends beyond external candidates. The women of PDQ also benefit. PDQ requires posting open positions, allowing existing employees to seek promotions or role changes.

Many job seekers won’t consciously notice these efforts to avert gender bias. However, subtle steps can make a big difference in attracting diverse candidates and encouraging them to apply.

“The policy to require posting all jobs gave me the opportunity to apply for a promotion within PDQ. With the old process, I would not have had this opportunity to connect with our executive team in the formal interview setting and continue to build those relationships as I advance my career at PDQ.” — Kenzie Dettman 

Community involvement

The unknown is inherently frightening. It’s human nature. The same holds true for jobs in tech. That’s one of the main reasons we love opportunities to engage with the community (which also happens to be a convenient excuse to have a good time).PDQ frequently hosts community events at our headquarters to showcase the company and help dispel stereotypes.

Another important aspect of community engagement is showcasing how tech helps us meet societal needs. Making a social impact and endorsing communal goals are often high priorities for women, so focusing on the real-world effects of technological innovation can help overcome traditional gender barriers.

One organization we support is Tech-Moms, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women transition into tech roles. Last year, we hosted a Tech-Moms event in our Whiskey Lounge, and cofounder Trina Limpert appeared on our webcast.

Additionally, we regularly offer internships to help future tech employees get their foot in the door. Internships also support diversity and gender representation, and early exposure to the tech industry can set interns up for success in leadership positions later in their careers.

“Anytime you switch jobs, there’s an intimidation factor. That effect is even more heightened as a woman in a male-dominated industry. When I researched PDQ before applying, its community involvement gave me a window into the company’s culture and priorities. Additionally, seeing how PDQ products truly help customers continues to serve as a valuable motivator.” — Meredith shameless-self-quoter Kreisa 

Women+ of PDQ ERG 

An employee resource group (ERG) is an employee-led initiative to foster an inclusive environment. Satisfaction with an ERG correlates with improved work engagement and organizational citizenship behavior, higher levels of career success, and a stronger affective bond with the organization.

That’s why our VP of People Ops recently launched the Women+ of PDQ ERG. It provides a safe space for women(and team members who are nonbinary) to discuss challenges, address imposter syndrome, build connections, and explore important topics. We maintain a list of issues to discuss, and any member can add to that list. In addition to general group sessions, we have virtual panels with women business leaders to learn from their experiences.

“I'd give a shout-out to the ERG and this wonderful, open, and honest community. Hearing so many people be vulnerable about their experiences, frustrations, wins, etc., is genuinely helpful. If someone can talk about a past experience they had that was not okay, it helps the next person identify it as definitively not okay if they see it happening around them or to them.… On the flip side, hearing what has helped others overcome obstacles can be super motivating and empowering.” — Megan Jezewski 

Four-day workweek

Globally, women do about three times as much unpaid domestic and care work as men. When coupled with a full-time job, this imbalance can place a heavy burden on women. We can’t magically make all households divide labor equally, but we can fight for better work-life balance. And nothing screams “work-life balance” more than getting an extra day off each week.

Experts theorize that having this extra time helps address the gender pay gap. Many women cut back on hours after having children to care for them and prioritize a partner’s job, thereby hampering their own career growth. If either partner has a four-day workweek, they have extra time for caregiving, thereby reducing a barrier many women face.

You guessed it — PDQ has a four-day workweek. And we frickin’ love it. But a four-day workweek isn’t just good for women. It’s good for everyone. A recent study by 4 Day Workweek Global looked at 61 U.K.-based companies implementing a four-day workweek along with their 2,900 workers. The results showed reduced burnout, stress, anxiety, fatigue, and sleep difficulties. Participants also reported improved job satisfaction, mental health, and physical health. Some other studies have gone so far as to suggest that productivity actually increases.

Gonna go out on a limb here and say that happier, more productive employees are a win-win.

“The four-day workweek allows me to not only work full time but go to school as well.” — Rachel Coleman 

“On Fridays, I get to have lunch with my kindergartner or do early parent pick up with all the other parents at 2:45 p.m., and it truly provides balance to my week and helps take some of the mental load of parenting off.” — Camille Lewis


Another aspect of work-life balance is flexibility. A CareerBuilder survey showed that 61% of women found their schedule the most attractive aspect of their current job compared to 51% of men.

Women are also more likely to prioritize location flexibility. In a YouGov poll, 44% of women said it was very important that an employer allowed them to work from anywhere. In contrast, just 33% of men said the same.

Many departments and roles at PDQ allow flexible scheduling and location. Obviously, a few roles are inherently less adaptable. After all, we want to make sure our customers consistently receive speedy support. But as a general rule, we provide as much flexibility as we can without sacrificing performance. And let’s be honest with ourselves: With barista hours, daily catered lunches, an unlimited snack room, an on-site fitness center, and a massage chair, many of our employees would rather come into the office. But it’s nice to have some say in the matter.

“I can change a load of laundry or start dinner earlier so that in the evenings, I can really be present with my family. My work/life balance has improved drastically.” — Camille

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Almost 30% of women without family PTO leave the workforce within the first year after giving birth. About 20% of those women don’t return to the workforce for a decade or more.

It’s no secret that having children can be a significant detriment to a woman’s career, but employees of all genders may face other life circumstances that could take them out of the workforce. That’s why paid leave is so valuable.

PDQ offers a whole host of paid leave options. From flexible paid time off to birth recovery leave to bonding leave to leave time off (LTO), we want employees to take the time they need. In addition, PDQ pays for short-term and long-term disability insurance in case a health issue takes an employee away from work.

No one’s work and personal life should be in a perpetual knock-down, drag-out fight. With a plethora of paid leave options, our hardworking People Ops team does its best to make sure employees have options.

“I was interviewing with PDQ while five months pregnant. Interviewing pregnant can be quite the intimidating situation, and I was amazed how supportive and caring every single person was in the interview process. I felt everyone was truly excited for me and that I would be supported throughout leave and transitioning back to work.” — Nicole Liceaga

Supportive management

Good management is often a high priority for women. In fact, one survey suggests it’s even more important than compensation. And that makes perfect sense. A good manager can help direct reports pursue professional development opportunities and plot their career growth.

Our technically experienced managers champion professional development and have a dedicated budget to back them up. We also use a performance management platform to facilitate open communication through weekly manager check-ins and biannual 360° performance reviews. Yup. We don’t just have managers review their reports. We also have employees give feedback to their managers. Constructive feedback builds open, productive relationships. And a healthy dose of nervous self-reflection. But it’s all built on honesty, the most painfully introspective of our core values.

“I've been so grateful for the leadership support and professional development I've gained from PDQ. ... I did not think I'd have the opportunity to grow my skill set and experience so rapidly, and it's mostly due to the fast (yet stable) growth of PDQ and the coaching of our amazing and supportive leaders.” — Sarah Metzler 

“I rejoined the world of full-time employment after staying home with my daughter for five years. Considering how to get back up to speed in one of the toughest, most quickly moving industries terrified me. I jumped in with both feet and have had nothing but support and encouragement to discover and lean into my strengths. I am surrounded by confidence builders. My experience at PDQ drives my personal desire to empower women in similar phases of life.” — Jenna Foote

“My manager supports my career advancement by giving me flexible time and assistance when I need it. My colleagues support me as well and actually help me study for my tests! Going to school would be a lot more difficult anywhere else.” — Rachel

PDQ prioritizes equity, so we take active steps to support women and foster an environment of inclusion. But we’re not going to lie: We’re not perfect. Unfortunately, no company is. Bridging the gender gap requires ongoing efforts. While we’re proud of our existing initiatives, we’ll keep revisiting them to see what else we can do. Want to join us and enjoy some of the benefits we mentioned above? We're hiring! Come join us!

Additionally, keep reading the PDQ blog and watching our YouTube channel for the latest updates. And to make life easier for everyone on your IT team, sign up for a free 14-day trial of Deploy and Inventory.

Meredith Kreisa headshot
Meredith Kreisa

Meredith gets her kicks diving into the depths of IT lore and checking her internet speed incessantly. When she's not spending quality time behind a computer screen, she's probably curled up under a blanket, silently contemplating the efficacy of napping.

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