In celebration of International Women's Day, we're talking to a few of the women of Unacast about how they got into the industry, who inspires them the most, and the best advice they've ever gotten.
What made you decide to go into this industry?
Linn: We got a PC at home when I was nine and I was hooked from the beginning. I loved creating webpages and simple games and since I also loved maths and science in school I never considered anything else than a technical degree. And thanks to the women who have paved the way in the '70s and later, I can honestly say that my gender has never been a disadvantage for me anytime in my career. Rather the opposite.
Julie: I guess one can say I’ve been a computer geek most of my life. I started gaming at an early age and was always interested in computers. My favorite school subject was math and IT. That’s how I become to study computer science.
Cindy: I trust data. It leaves little guessing when proving things out. It’s tangible, real, justifiable information that powers all industries and types of jobs.
Mathilde: Physics and maths were my favorite subjects in school, so I knew I wanted to study engineering. During my studies in physics I got a summer internship at an IT consulting company even though I didn’t know much about programming at that time. The learning curve was very steep, but thinking of all the possibilities you have when you know how to code was really motivating. So when I was offered a job at the same company, I accepted it straight away.
Rachel: I studied English and creative writing in school, so a career in tech wasn't on my radar until I made a move into marketing technology from advertising a few years ago. The pace of innovation is incredible, and now I'm pretty sure I would be bored anywhere else.
Which woman has inspired you the most in your life?
Linn: It may sound cliché, but I would say my mother. She has a academic background, started her own business and always was always very independent. In my professional life through university and work, all of my professors and bosses - and most of my peers - have been men. Fortunately, so many of them have consistently encouraged and promoted women, so while my mother is my greatest inspiration, I also want to recognize the strong male role models in my working life who have supported me.
Cindy: My Mom! She grew up a farm girl in Guyana. Had 4 kids while getting a bachelor’s & master’s degree with 3.9 GPA, working 2 jobs. It inspires me because I know the amount of resources I have now means I can do what she did, but it’ll be way easier on me.
Mathilde: My mom. She was one of very few women who studied engineering in her time and she has always been very passionate about her work.
Rachel: My mother has always been a huge inspiration - she taught me to stand up for myself and trust my gut. I've also been fortunate to meet so many driven, successful women in my professional life. Seeing their achievements inspires me to keep pushing toward my own goals.
What's the one piece of advice you would give young women going into technology today?
Linn: Be opportunistic and embrace new opportunities and challenges. Don't underestimate yourself, even if everyone else seem very impressive, they have weak spots too!
Rachel: First, be open-minded. There are so many career paths within this field! Second, believe in what you have to offer, and don't be afraid to stand your ground and be confident. Sometimes you may have to fight to be heard, but the fight is worth it.
What's the best advice you ever received?
Linn: To really identify what is important to me and pick my battles.
Rachel: Never be afraid to ask. Ask for the opportunity, ask for a coffee meeting with someone you admire, ask for help, ask for what you need to succeed.