It’s been said before, but bears repeating; women are still being underrepresented in the technology business sector.
In a traditional sense, you would be hard-pressed to find women within the technology business sector. But not at our HQ office in Vienna, where women are helping to lead our business across the oceans. From C-level positions to marketing and events, and through to those that write the code used in our technology, the industry has seen a shift and we for one, are happy to see it!
In honor of International Women’s Day 2020, we sat down with three leading women here at our Vienna HQ office to share some of their insights with you, our audience. Enjoy these candid insights!
Krisztina Orosz, Chief Experience Officer
Michael: “Let’s start with a bit of background. What brought you to Vienna?”
Krisztina: “I am originally from Transylvania, Romania. I first came to Vienna during an Erasmus exchange and just fell in love with the city. After that, I knew I would live here. I didn’t care what I ended up studying or where I would work, I just wanted to move here, to be free and start living my life.
I got my start with Unicredit, a bank here in Austria, before moving to the tech sector. I worked in a number of different startups before arriving at Anyline, where I have been now for almost 4 years.”
Michael: “What attracted you to the tech sector, and startups in particular?”
Krisztina: “Firstly, working in startups gave me the opportunity to learn more and take on more responsibility far earlier than would have been possible in a larger company.
Another important lesson is that you don’t need to have an engineering background to get your foot in the door. What is vital is having an enduring fascination with tech, with improvement and pushing the boundaries of what you think is possible.”
Michael: “What advice would you give to young women starting in the sector?”
Krisztina: “You have to be authentic, and true to yourself. Don’t work with any company that forces you to change who you are, or to completely modify your behavior in order to survive – you will end up being miserable.”
And don’t be afraid to speak up to yourself! We doubt ourselves far more than men are far less likely to apply for positions when we feel we may not be fully qualified. There is nothing to lose in applying, only things to gain – like knowledge, experience, and future contacts!”
Natasha Sotomayor, Event Manager
Michael: “Can you tell me about your background?”
Natasha: “I’m originally from Boston, Massachusetts, but I’ve been living in Europe since 2013. I’m very much a people-person, and after studying psychology at university, I knew I wanted to work in social, interactive roles – that’s how I got into event management.
Previously I have worked with large companies like Mattel and Merck in Germany, organizing their trade shows, conferences, and training, before starting with Anyline at the start of the year.”
Michael: “What attracted you to the tech sector, and startups in particular?”
Natasha: “I always loved events like CES in Las Vegas, which show off all the latest in technology, because the tech companies are always so forward-thinking in how they present themselves, and I always wanted to be on that side.
Compared to some of my previous roles, working with Anyline gives me a lot of freedom to use my experience to make a real difference in how we present ourselves to the world.”
Michael: “What advice would you give to young women starting in event management?”
Natasha: “Event management is often underestimated. People sometimes see events as a party, and assume organizing them must be like a party too! So to young women starting out, I would say that it takes more just administrative skills to make it; you need to become a tough and confident negotiator to deal with vendors as well as internal stakeholders to ensure everything is aligned. It also helps to hone your analytical skills to evaluate the success of events afterward.
The best advice I can share from one of my early mentors is to always focus on what you are trying to achieve with each action or interaction you make. When every email, every meeting, or negotiation passes through this prism, it focuses your effort on achieving results.
Lastly, I’d add that it’s important to remember the big picture and overall strategy. Event managers wear a lot of hats, so we have to keep our eyes on the horizon, not just get buried in the minutiae!”
Katie Ramiré, Full Stack Developer
Michael: “Let’s start with a bit about your background and what attracted you to Vienna?”
Katie: “I moved to Vienna from New York only a month ago but had spent some time living in Barcelona in the past and so I had a small taste of that European lifestyle which had stuck with me. With the city of Vienna and Austria in general, I had a lot of people tell me that I would really fit in with the culture that exists here. That perfect balance between inner-city life while being so close to nature.
Having been here for 3 weeks now, I like that I can get a little bit of everything which is super exciting, especially when deciding if Vienna would be a good fit for me. The focus on work-life balance, compared to New York, has been very refreshing and I certainly feel like it makes me a stronger worker – having that healthy balance.”
Michael: “We are seeing more and more women entering the development field over the last few years. What was your attraction and path into this world?”
Katie: “My background is actually in data analytics and I realized early on that what really got me excited at work were the technical elements. That is what drove me down the path of pursuing development. I love being able to build products that the user sees and interacts with on the front end, and being able to design the architecture on the back end. It is so cool for me to be a part of that type of construction and see a project from conception to deployment.
I love that development is also both a creative role and a logical one. It allows me to use a lot of skill sets at the same time while also allowing me to learn each day. I am the type of person that loves to learn new things whenever I can, and this is certainly an industry that not only allows for that but encourages it! The community around development is really closely knit which helps to encourage skill development and sharing of new ideas.”
Michael: “As someone helping to carve a path for women in development, what tips would give women wanting to break into the industry?”
Katie: “I strongly believe that this is the ideal time for women to get into this industry – not only because the demand for developers is growing but also because companies are specifically looking for women to fill these roles all around the world. I also see a lot of educational programs and schools offering incentives for women, helping to encourage enrollment, which as a woman in the development industry, is amazing to see. Women should really feel that this is a safe industry for them, both with job security and advancement of their careers.
When it comes to getting into the development world, I feel women should leverage the fact that there’s a growing network of female developers. There is plenty of encouragement and support from women around the world that make it really easy to find mentors and get started. I am constantly getting messages from women on LinkedIn, or through mutual friends, asking for advice or for information about the work – something I love to see and am always happy to engage with. So as a tip, don’t be afraid to start those conversations and reach out. As I said, we have an amazing community and are always looking to encourage future women to join the industry.”