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Q&A with Tillo's VP of People, Briony Robertson, on empowering women in the workplace

Posted on 11 March 2024
Read time 3 mins
Author Briony 💡

This International Women’s Day, we sat down with Tillo’s VP of People, Briony Robertson, to talk about all things women, empowerment, and inclusivity in the workplace. 

We’re going to get right into the thick of it, Briony. Can you share with us the philosophy behind Tillo’s approach to gender equality in the workplace? 

I think at Tillo, the philosophy comes from ensuring that there are equitable opportunities for individuals regardless of gender. Equitable access to employment, a work/life balance, fair compensation, and offering opportunities to develop are key across the whole business.

"This isn't created and driven by the people team or a tick box exercise; it’s part of our values and our culture..."

Most importantly, the leadership team at Tillo believes in this philosophy. This isn't created and driven by the people team or a tick box exercise; it’s part of our values and our culture, and we’ve woven it through everything we do, from recruitment, promotion, learning and development, and our working practices.

Flexible working has become a big part of Tillo's culture. How does this specifically support women at work? 

I recognise that, in the same way, we reject compliments, I have also formed a habit of rejecting appreciation of why being a woman in the workplace can be hard.

I have a wonderfully supportive partner, but many other women do too, and yet we still can recognise that women will still carry additional responsibilities for caring home administration and childcare. By accepting this, we can also accept that benefits such as flexible working can release that burden and allow us to admit that it can be hard, therefore allowing women to thrive in the workplace without feeling like a failure in the other areas of their lives. 

Tillo also offers enhanced maternity and paternity leave. How does this benefit the team, and what impact have you seen?

On a very personal level, this was deeply important to me; I have had two maternity leaves, one with statutory leave and one with an enhanced leave policy. The difference was life-changing, but I still chose to return to work after the same period.

"Having the enhanced leave made me feel valued and seen; that is something I want for all working parents."

The support of having my employer recognise the life event but also feel like I was wanted and needed to return was key. My career is extremely important to me, and my identity is linked to both being a mother and being a VP of People, a role I have worked hard to achieve. Having the enhanced leave made me feel valued and seen; that is something I want for all working parents.

Representation in leadership is so important. Can you talk about female representation within Tillo's SLT and wider leadership teams?

Tillo recognises why having such a female presence in both its leadership and management teams is key to its success. Ultimately, we know that having this representation will create a more successful business by providing leadership that better represents its customers and stakeholders.

Having varied points of view, increased creativity, and innovation is hugely important, as well as providing diverse views on business matters. It is our diverse leadership team that enables us to make better decisions, drive innovation, and help Tillo achieve its goals.

Okay, let’s not shy away from the difficult questions. The gender pay gap is a significant issue globally. How does Tillo address this challenge?

I am very, VERY proud to say that Tillo does not have a gender pay gap.

Whilst for a business of our size, it is not a legal requirement to review the gender pay gap, it was something that I strongly wanted for Tillo, and I will admit I was apprehensive, but I was delighted with our results, which actually showed that in some areas of the business, had a gender imbalance in favour of women! 

"I am very, VERY proud to say that Tillo does not have a gender pay gap."

This does not remove the issue globally of the gender pay gap we know exists, but as businesses like Tillo strive to address it and proudly recognise the efforts to do so, then perhaps we can start to make the change. 

Finally, what message would you like to share with women considering a career at Tillo? 

Look at the leadership team of any business you want to join. Are women represented? Look at their working practices. Do they work for you? Are there opportunities to develop and grow your career?

I know and am forever proud, that at Tillo, we are focusing on the right things and do live up to what we say. Even as we scale, we do not lose sight of what we offer to women in the workplace and the responsibility we have as an employer to keep ahead of the challenges facing women in the workplace today. 

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