To continue our Mimi Women in Tech series, we spoke with our talented Head of Design, Miroslava Jovicic. Miroslava joined the team remotely in May 2020, after discovering the company in a very unique way!
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I love to inspire and be inspired. I have an infectious enthusiasm and I’m very passionate about people empowerment and inclusive design. I moved to Berlin over 10 years ago after first moving here to work on a freelance project. What was meant to be only a few months, turned into me staying for another 6 months, then a year, and now 10! I realised what a great city Berlin was, and the longer I stayed the harder it was to leave. It is now home.
2. What is your role here at Mimi? How long have you worked here?
I am Head of Design here at Mimi and have been here for around 8 months. I have really enjoyed my time in this role so far, and feel we are in a very exciting place with how we are moving forward as a company.
3. What influenced you to pursue a career in technology?
I always liked to draw. My dad is also a mechanical engineer and was always doing technical drawings at home. I always liked to watch and pretend I was helping. My sister studied architecture, and this was always an interest of mine, but with architecture you often have limitations and sometimes have to wait years to see the end product. I wanted to work somewhere more fast paced and create something that can bring benefits to a larger group of people; and that is what led me to product design.
4. What is it like to be a woman working in technology for you?
I do not notice it or think about it so much most days. I have fortunately never felt that people would not appreciate my opinion at work, but I agree that you have to work harder to prove yourself more as a woman. I have noticed when I am working in certain cross functional teams and I have been the only woman in the room. I would always try and voice my opinion regardless and not let this hold me back.
I believe it shouldn’t be a special thing that a woman is at the table. People should be hired based on their skills and experience, rather than their gender. But we do need to look at why there is a gap between the percentage of men vs women in certain roles and industries. I think the issue runs far deeper. For example, at university in a lot of courses it is not a 50/50 split between men and women, so a corporate office is not going to reflect 50/50 either.
I believe that anyone, regardless of gender, should choose what they want to study based on interest, and I hope there is a day when everyone is encouraged and comfortable to do so.
5. What advice would you give to a woman considering technology as her career?
If you love and are interested in something – just go for it. You should always be encouraged to move forward with what you are passionate about. Work takes a lot of our life, so we need to be happy with what we are doing. Try not to be discouraged if things are not happening as quickly as you would like. Things take time. Push past frustration and disappointment. Be patient in your career. Work hard and you will get where you want to be.
6. Do you have a career role model?
It is important as a young designer that you have a great mentor and a supportive person to help guide you. They will help you question your career path and where you want to be in a few years time. It helps you think further into the future and question the steps you want to take in your life. It is great having someone push you to think about the impact you could make, and think if there is more you could be doing.
I am very much inspired by the Simon Sinek quote, “A mentor is not someone who walks ahead of us to show us how they did it. A mentor walks alongside to show us what we can do.”
I am also very impressed by Pablo Stanley. He is a colorblind designer who was discouraged from pursuing a career in the industry. Despite this, he still followed his passions and became a designer, and is now one of the top in the world!
7. What do you like the most about working at Mimi?
I really like the people. When I was joining as a team lead, it was very important to me that I had a good team to work with. This was my first time entering a company in the Head of Design role [in the past I had started as Senior Designer and worked my way up in the company]. So stepping straight into the head role, to an existing team that I needed to lead, was a new experience for me. Fortunately, the interview process at Mimi means you meet a lot of people throughout your different interviews. It was a very positive experience, which I credit to the great Mimians I met with.
8. What attracted you to Mimi Hearing Technologies?
Most people who know me outside of work, I am called Mimi. A funny story, I originally came across Mimi Hearing Technologies when I was searching for my own URL to update my personal website, and the URL I wanted was taken by the company. I couldn’t be too mad though, because the domain was taken by a company doing something good for people. I loved the logo and branding, and ended up keeping track of the work the Mimi team was doing for the 2 – 3 years after discovering the company.
I then realised Mimi was based in Berlin and instantly knew I needed to join! When the position opened for Head of Design, I was still happy in my previous company, but this seemed like an exciting opportunity to grow and learn.
9. What have you learnt about yourself working at Mimi?
After joining remote, I was very skeptical about how my onboarding would go and how included I would feel when meeting people and joining the team – Luckily, it has gone well and I learnt that remote onboarding can be successful. I also learnt that you cannot guess how tall someone is via zoom calls!
10. What makes a Mimian to you?
A Mimian is very welcoming and open. They are also very passionate about their work. From my observation, people really care about their work and improving the product and the way we do things. I love being around people who care and take pride in their work.