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We caught up with Paolo Ragone (above), Chief Technology Officer at hipages to learn what attracted him to the business after a 9-year career with eBay that took him from Spain to Australia.
“It was a bit serendipitous in a way,” Paolo says, as he detailed how just after internalising the thought that he was open for other opportunities, he was approached by the team at hipages. “The more I learned about the company, the more I liked it”.
“There are a lot of things about hipages that I like,” says Paolo but the initial clinchers were:
Ability to work directly with the founders
hipages is a growth company
The company is made up of intelligent, high energy people
Collaborative working environment
“That was a big deal” Paolo says of working directly with the founders “in terms of decision making, the process from idea to reality is a lot shorter”.
“It’s an unusual startup because it has actually been in the market for almost 13 years, so they have proven themselves and they are really growing quite fast at this point”
Aligning With The Culture
As a world citizen, Paolo has called many countries home and recognises better than most the advantages that come from diversity. Cultural diversity, as well as diversity and equality for genders, is an initiative taken seriously at hipages.
“Diversity of thinking comes with many things” explains Paolo “background and age; these things always enrich a team”.
hipages as a company is proud to be 50/50 in terms of gender and very diverse across all other demographics.
As with all technology teams, this balance is a bit lower than other areas of the business, however, through working with Node Girls and other meetup groups, Paolo and the business are working to increase this. They are actively involved in events and take speaking opportunities to share their thoughts on how women can get into and excel in technology.
One example of their initiative is a woman in Paolo’s team, appointed to Head of Diversity & Inclusion with 25 per cent of her time dedicated to ensuring diversity and inclusion is actively driven at a company level. As well as events and initiatives to bridge the gender gap, she has also, just for the recent Easter school holidays, coordinated an event for the company where staff brought their kids to work to learn about science and technology.
The tech industry is always in the spotlight as being poor performing in terms of gender equality. Currently, in Australia, it is made up of about 69 per cent men and 31 per cent women, a statistic that will not change without action.
“These things don’t just happen” advises Paolo “unless you actively work on making it happen”.