I Traded a Holiday to Italy for an Enlightening “Career Move”

By Ayla Tarasofsky

We are proud to introduce our youngest ever columnist for Voice At The Table. Ayla Tarasofsky is definitely a name to watch. She is a formidable and ambitious teenager who is grabbing the digital bull by the horns for a cause that is already changing the world and making education more accessible for all young people. This is Ayla’s personal experience of embracing the digital market.

My name is Ayla, I am 15 years old and I work at Hope3g.com, a start-up educational tech company, as the Youth Director of HR.  It sounds crazy to say, because a few months ago I didn’t even know what HR stood for let alone how to manage my own department. My friend brought me into the office one day to say “Hi” to everybody, but by the end of that day I had already filmed my introduction for the website and cancelled my trip to Italy because I realised how this was really going to change my life and the world of education.

A big fear of mine is getting in front of a camera and speaking, but after many takes and very sweaty palms, I have grown more confident than I had ever expected.  Public speaking is only one of the many things I have learnt since starting as a Director.  Within my first month, I reviewed hundreds of CVs to find potential candidates to interview to join the company.  I also helped make sure that the selection process was inclusive to all races, regions and genders.  Equal Rights is something I really believe in and I wanted to make sure we were as diverse as possible.   Hope3g.com has given me a glimpse into the future and how mine might turn out in the tech world. I have realised the importance of organisation, confidence and independence, which has not only helped me at work, but at school and my day-to-day life.

We all know that digital technology is extremely important, playing a massive role in our lives today.  This is why we want to use technology to bring quality education to more children all over the world, especially areas that can’t afford a good one.  You’d think someone would have already come up with this, but who better to create an app for kids than kids themselves? Technology is our present and future and we believe that the educational system has not caught up with how kids learn best.   We want to use tech to help kids learn in a way that they will really enjoy and really benefit from – meaning not just in a classroom.  Well that is what we are trying to do, awesome right?

My life has changed so much from this experience in the best way possible but hopefully it will change many other children’s lives too, whether it is from working at the start-up business or through the effect Hope3g.com will have on them.

To find out more about Hope3g.com please follow the links: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/53985966


Meanwhile, in the rest of the world… Let’s Steer a Course Towards Accelerating Gender Parity

You’ve seen these figures before: 100 years to close the overall gender gap, 257 to close the economic gender gap. It’s beyond our lifetime and too long to wait. What can be done to accelerate the closing of these gaps – or rather, chasms – by us, our companies and our governments?

Many countries, including the UK, are well placed to reap the benefits of their investment in female education and harness the gender balance opportunities made possible by the changing nature of work. So far, they – and we – have failed to do so.

But if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can do things differently! We can work from home without disrupting the flow of business, we can reverse the signs of environmental damage to our planet, we can slow down, look up and ‘smell the roses’ once in a while. And, yes, we can accelerate the closing of these unspeakable gaps.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has already launched a programme with a number of countries to do just that. Suitably named the Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator, the programme is designed to pull together global and national public and private action that narrows these gaps. To date, the WEF has managed to secure commitment from nine governments around the world to join the Accelerator programme (its goal is 15 by the end of this year). Only one of the nine is a G20 country – and it is not the UK.

My point is that the tools and solutions to help accelerate the closing of these gaps are available to us, but for some reason, we are not taking the necessary steps to implement them – either on a national or more local front.

One of my worries is that the lessons we have and are continuing to learn from the pandemic will not be captured by our society. I worry that we will all return to work and life in the same way we did before Covid-19. This would be a lost opportunity; to reset our values, our priorities and our trajectories and to look at our lives from a different perspective and to realise that they could be different.

In April, I wrote about the fact that the new way in which we have started to interact with each other as a result of having to work and live from/at home has made us more empathetic, more accepting and more kind. We have reverted to what it means to be human and have injected that humanity into our work. We have become more tolerant of the daily disruptions in our work from children and pets; our “offices” show glimpses of who we are as people; we’re reconnecting with nature and with ourselves – our emotions and philosophies – as much as with distant friends and family. In other words, we’re bringing more of ourselves to work and are accepting of who that is, of us as well as our colleagues. Our managers are learning to lead with humour and be more comfortable with being less serious all the time. We care about the emotional and physical state of our colleagues and bend over backwards to help them cope.

I classify all this as inclusive behaviours. And, while we may feel that it’s not within our powers (query as to whether this is true) to persuade our CEOs and MPs to join the WEF’s commitment to accelerate the closing of gender parity gaps, what we most certainly can do is preserve how we interact with and treat each other when we go back to our desks in the office, and continue to nurture those inclusive behaviours that we have started to develop.

Inclusion leads to greater appreciation of diversity which makes programmes like the WEF’s Closing the Gender Parity Accelerators feasible and impactful.


Learn more about the WEF Accelerator programme and how your company can get involved.

Watch a short WEF video on the gender parity gap.