On 27th April, NIRI welcomed thirteen girls from the “12th February” middle school in honor of the International Girls in ICT day. As a company that prides itself on the growing number of talented female developers who work in gender-balanced teams, NIRI was happy to be a part of something so important. A few of our female developers talked to our guests about what it’s like working in the IT and how their careers took off. The girls got the opportunity to hear about the pros of working as a developer, the perks that go with that job, as well as what it’s like being a successful woman in this business.
Girls in ICT is an initiative whose main goal is to empower young women to choose careers from the field of ICT. This way, they are encouraged to seek professions in which they can achieve fulfilling careers and show their capabilities and knowledge in tech-focused environments.
Radica, Katarina, Jelena and Sonja loved the idea of sharing their stories with the visitors, and after being shown around the company, the girls gathered to hear their tales of success.
“When I was little, I didn’t like playing with Barbie dolls,” Radica started, causing a few chuckles from the crowd. “I always had all these different tech toys, I was constantly trying to meddle with them and fix something, so I wasn’t your typical girly girl. I feel like I naturally gravitated towards this field because I knew from a young age what I didn’t want to study and be once I grew up.”
“I don’t think I’m being treated differently for being a woman in this business and you shouldn’t fear that either. If this is your passion and you want to be a programmer, go for it!”
She went on to say how she finally found her calling in the IT industry where she felt right at home. “They say IT is a male-dominated field but I disagree. It was a few years ago, but now that’s changing. I don’t think I’m being treated differently for being a woman in this business and you shouldn’t fear that either. If this is your passion and you want to be a programmer, go for it!”
Our youngest colleague, Katarina, focused on her educational path and how it led her to NIRI. “I graduated from the Faculty of Electronic Engineering in Niš and started working here through a scholarship. There are a lot of opportunities for everyone in the IT field, so if you study and work hard, you can find your dream job.”
“What I loved about NIRI from day one was the fact that there are so many female developers here and the teams are quite gender-balanced. It’s a whole different feeling from your typical IT company,” Katarina concluded.
“What I loved about NIRI from day one was the fact that there are so many female developers here and the teams are quite gender-balanced. It’s a whole different feeling from your typical IT company.”
Jelena, being the talented presenter that she is, captured our audience’s attention by talking about her main interest area – machine learning.
“What exactly is machine learning?” one of the girls asked, her curiosity piqued.
“Machine learning is an area of IT that focuses on teaching a machine to perform an action or process different information instead of people. Once you feed it the necessary data, you teach it to make “decisions” about all other future data you use. It’s similar to how the Facebook tagging option works or the Google Translate tool – I’m sure you’re all familiar with that one, it’s especially useful for homework,” Jelena joked, causing a few chuckles.
“Since I focused on machine learning, I was surrounded by men my whole life both in university and work. I never felt like I was treated differently or like my opinion wasn’t appreciated – that is why I believe IT is the perfect field for anyone who is passionate about technology.“
Our final speaker, Sonja, encouraged the girls to follow their dreams in spite of what anyone says. “Unlike Radica, I was a typical girly girl and I loved playing with Barbie dolls. In school, however, I fell in love with technology and programming. People kept telling me I should study something “more fitting for a girl” or something that is easier, but I never paid much attention to that. I graduated from the Faculty of Electronic Engineering in Niš and I found a job in IT right after. I’ve worked in this field for a long time and I’ve been in NIRI for years now – it’s quite amazing.”
“The environment in NIRI is dynamic, the people are creative and laid-back, and on top of all that, we get to travel, go to team buildings and hang out outside of work.”
“The environment is dynamic, the people are creative and laid-back, and on top of all that, we get to travel, go to team buildings and hang out outside of work. I am very happy with both NIRI and the IT field in general – its biggest advantage is its unlimited potential,” Sonja concluded, thanking the girls for coming over and listening to all their stories.
What an awesome day that was! The girls were encouraged to think outside the box and try whatever they set their minds to, and my colleagues were happy they contributed to this cause in their own way. As a company whose main goal is to change the world for the better and make people’s lives easier, NIRI has always supported hungry and motivated minds who are ready to join our diverse teams and work on dynamic projects – after all, we believe it’s the determination that counts.