Despite cultural hurdles and being historically underrepresented, women in tech occupations have gained more importance with the emerging Digital age.
According to this recent article 50% of companies in Europe have women in power, and that’s why we decided to kick off a focus on all aspects of technology and how it has been impacted by women.
Today, women work in computer science, robotics, algorithms, web design, and mobile development.
Below, Aurora Attanasio, Project Manager (Europe) at Neomobile, explains her role in this inspiring interview.
What were your earliest interactions with technology?
My passion for IT started when I was young, it really fascinated me: I have an analytical mind, I like problem solving, and in general I love hi tech and mobile devices. That’s why I studied Engineering/Information Technology at the University. Even if the rise of the Internet was taking place right during those years, I clearly remember that during my first year at University, there were only 10 women out of 200 students. Women in tech have always been a minority.
Neomobile was an exception: in my company the majority of tech roles are headed by women and it impressed me greatly.
What has been your study and career path and how did you end up at Neomobile?
I consider myself quite lucky because when I finished my university path, I did an internship in an IT company, and secondly I started working in a web agency for 3-4 years. I used to build web sites, using cms, crm, and all those ‘vintage’ systems (now the technology has grown by leaps and bounds!). It was a small company so I assumed responsibility for entire projects, from briefing with customers to writing and architecting software, but also copywriting and graphics. I checked every single phase of that work flow and I learned a lot from it. It has been my springboard to the working world. Then I started working at Neomobile in 2009: I knew they were hiring, so I sent my CV and…here I am! In 5 years, my career path at Neomobile has been very satisfying, I started as a developer and now I am a manager (at first I managed a front-end team in Italy but now I am the Project Manager for Europe).
How would you describe your role in tech? What’s your favorite part of it?
I like the unexpected: every day is a challenge and there’s no monotony! The mobile industry is very fast, Neomobile is very dynamic too, so I am facing new situations every day: you need to adapt quickly, trying to reach high performances and make the right choices. You always have to be up to date.
Being out numbered, women need to work hard to stand out in the crowd, especially in fields that are traditionally dominated by men.
Why do you like working in tech?
It’s an exciting world where anyone who wants to give his or her best and produce results, can really do it, especially when they demonstrate it because in tech fields, skills are measurable. Only data counts.
Aside from the obvious technical skills, are there any other skills that are important to have if you’re interested in working in technology?
First of all, women in tech need to be skilled and prepared because often times they have to prove their capabilities more than men do. Being out numbered, women need to work hard to stand out in the crowd, especially in fields that are traditionally dominated by men.
In fact during my career, I have met several female colleagues who had stronger skills sets than their male counterparts. Women are often placed under the spotlight It seems like women have to demonstrate twice as much. In addition, a certain amount of grit and determination is also necessary. From a personal point of view, women seem to be stronger at project management because of their organization skills. Women excel as project managers because they also hold multi-tasking skills that many men don’t have. Fully-organized male project managers are hard to find. Therefore, a high level of problem solving is required: you need to give the right answer at the right moment, you cannot hesitate. Finally, communication is key. Communication skills are necessary beyond all others. You have to learn how to communicate with your co-workers, irrespective of their job profiles (business, marketing, tech, product…everyone). In general, I feel women know how to be good listeners. In this respect, I feel we are naturally talented.
…being reactive is fundamental because gender inequality is a reality. In this world, women have made huge progress in the workplace, but they are still seen as less capable, or at least in Italy.
What challenges, if any, do you face being a woman in technology?
As I told you before, being reactive is fundamental because gender inequality is a reality. In this world, women have made huge progress in the workplace, but they are still seen as less capable, or at least in Italy. That’s why I was about to leave and move abroad to go out of my way, surrounded by a great level of open mindedness. Italy is a conservative country, where women are notoriously under-represented.
How do you see the future of women in tech?
I hope for our full potential to be unlocked: if companies pushed awareness and trust, and the work environment were more female-friendly, there would be more efficient women in leading roles. It is true that since my university days, technology itself is at the root of much change and women in tech are fulfilling powerful roles. When I started working, Neomobile was an exception: in my company the majority of tech roles are headed by women and it impressed me greatly. Nowadays tech women are in several tech leadership roles, but I wish we had more opportunities to do so globally. Women are still struggling to demonstrate their work value in male dominated professions in online casino.