The Motherhood Penalty: Our Chat With Daniel López Rovira

Motherboard caught up with Daniel López Rovira, Engineering Manager at Olio prior to being part of the panel for the in-person Motherboard event on the 6th October.

Sophie @ Motherboard: A bit of background, who are you, what do you do and where do you work?

Daniel has been working in Software Engineering for over ten years, after graduating from university in Barcelona. He worked at Klarna in Stockholm for a few years before he moved to the UK in 2014, where he has worked in a few startups. As an individual contributor, he mainly worked on backend and data, which continued when he moved into a leadership position. Currently, he’s an engineering manager at OLIO, helping reduce waste and help with climate change.

Daniel focuses on culture and creating safe and inclusive places where everyone can become their best version. Nowadays, he’s leading teams and driving high performance while building high trust, safe and inclusive teams at OLIO. 

Sophie @ Motherboard: Why do you think it is so important to get more women into tech?

I have worked in engineering for many years, and it has always been unbalanced. Even when I was in university, it was a majority of men. Because of this unbalance in the system, women also undergo huge biases and double standards in the industry. All combined creates an effect where women don’t feel they belong here, which is not good.

I believe we can and should fix this by changing the system and helping out as much as possible. I’m a strong believer in fairness, but diverse teams lead to more productivity even if we don’t consider fairness.

I genuinely believe that representation matters, which is why I helped organise conferences and sponsorships with Code First Girls, Codebar and Coding Black Females; what I can do is to be an ally. I can be an ally in lobbying and pushing for more diverse initiatives in the workplace and out, and I can also be an ally by championing women on my teams and helping them get visibility, promotions and the credit they deserve. 

Sophie @ Motherboard: What do you think companies could do more of to be more inclusive of mothers?

Embrace flexibility and part time at the workplace. The pandemic has proven we can work remotely and in an asynchronous manner, so why enforce going back where other options also work?

Having a strong culture of inclusivity that starts from leadership and not only hiring one type of person. Embracing different points of views, different ideas, different backgrounds.

Being open to hiring different candidates with different levels of seniority, background and age (e.g computer science degrees vs background). Allow for folks to come back after a hiatus in their career without an effective demotion.

Share the glue work alongside all the team, not only traditionally women.

Career ladders that are fair and inclusive (e.g not focus on individual folks that don’t care about everything else).

Open or semi open salary structure, so everyone on a given level is within the same salary range.

Provide safe spaces for women and other communities to talk and meet. 

Sophie @ Motherboard: What are you most looking forward to about the MotherBoard event?

Meeting amazing people!

Attend the MotherBoard event

After 18 months of hosting MotherBoard events online, we’d like to invite you to ‘The Motherhood Penalty’ live event on Thursday 6th October.

Spaces are limited so secure your FREE spot early: RSVP here

The Motherhood Penalty: It is reported that only 19% of the tech industry in the UK is made up of women, and half of women will leave the industry by the age of 35. A huge blocker in retaining women in tech is balancing a career whilst raising a family.

So, what are we as individuals and as a collective doing about it?

Join Daniel and other fantastic expert speakers at the event either in-person or online.

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Sophie Creese