IWD2021, womxnintech, Technology...
How can we proactively make a change to achieve equality and inclusion in tech? It's International Women's Day in March and Orbis are dedicating the entire month to celebrating the womxn of Tech and Design. If we want more womxn in tech, we have to do more than want. Our team felt we needed to share stories from the industry, told by voices with first-hand experience. All of the exposure International Women's Day kicks up is critical, not just for our own education as a business, but also to support the exposure of gender equality and inclusion in tech. These stories are not told by a company or PR, or any other bias perspective. These are the real womxn of tech shaking up the industry.
In a few sentences, what has your personal career journey into the tech industry been like?
I always loved mathematics and I was sure I would continue my education in one of the engineering ﬁelds. After I graduated as a software engineer I didn’t start my career as a full-time programmer. I started as an IT expert but doing programming as a side hobby.
After a while, I realised I enjoy programming so decided to do it as a full-time job. This was around the same time I moved to Malaysia, so two big changes for me!
I started as a full-stack PHP developer but a new opportunity came on my way after a short while and I started RubyOnRails with the main focus on back-end engineering.
In 2015 I moved to Germany and continued my career as a RubyOnRails developer in Berlin. During this time I tried to work on my people skills alongside my technical skills.
I always found mentoring and helping others so rewarding. So I always knew that I wanted to be in a position that could see the big picture, share my knowledge and help others to grow and see their growth.
At the beginning of my time at Samedi, I was only a TechLead but as I showed an interest in people management, I started to take on more responsibilities on that end as well and after 1 year I got promoted to be an Engineering Manager of the whole Engineering team. I’m so grateful for the trust that my CIO has in me and the opportunity.
What do you think leaders could do to help support gender equality within their teams?
It’s really important to not just generate awareness but to also be an ally. Make sure that you give voice to everyone and invite silent ones to speak.
In meetings create a culture to go around in a circle and make sure everyone is heard. Acknowledge accomplishments publicly, or privately, depending on individual preferences.
Widening that point, how can businesses adapt to ensure they are enhancing women with their careers?
By spreading the awareness with board directors and C-level managers to take actions. Research shows that while women are well represented as middle managers, their numbers drop when making the jump to VP-level executives, so maybe start from there...
What are your top 3 tips for women looking to break into tech and design, or progress from their current position into a more senior role?
- Don’t be afraid of failure, be bold and constantly challenge yourself and learn new skills.
- Stay connected to the community. You will receive a lot of support from the community and make sure you pay it forward as well.
- Believe in yourself and don't ever let someone tell you, you can't make it.
In tribute to IWD’s 2021 campaign, what do you choose to challenge?
Whilst this is about celebrating the achievements of women it's also a great opportunity to raise awareness. I choose to challenge gender modesty norms and unconscious bias!