Can you introduce yourself and tell us what your role is here at Mimi?
My name is Azelya, I am 25, from Turkey and I am a Data Protection Working Student at Mimi.
How did you arrive at this point in your career and what influenced you to pursue a career in technology?
I am a triplet and both my brother and sister work in the tech field. We regularly exchanged experiences and I quickly became interested in the sector. From there, I took courses at university and learned that data privacy and legal technology is the perfect modern combination for me to pursue a career.
What attracted me to Mimi was the product. Digital wellbeing is an important area for data privacy & protection and I wanted to be a part of the mission and startup environment.
What is it like to be a woman working in technology for you?
I’m very happy right now and I really feel like I fit into this sector, but I have observed that it is male-dominated. Even in a modern company like Mimi, you can see that the percentage of men is higher.
Mimi is my longest standing employment in technology so it is difficult to draw comparisons of the past, however, I worked in several law firms while I lived in Turkey, another heavily male-dominated sector and I always felt very different there. At Mimi, my opinion is always heard and the males at Mimi are open to discussing and addressing gender topics which is positive to see.
On the first day, I joined a company-wide lunch and learned about gender issues where I was encouraged to talk about how I felt. There are also open platforms for me to raise my questions and experiences. We even have a book club for the women at Mimi, which follows with discussions where we can raise questions and learn about each other’s experiences.
What advice would you give to a woman considering technology as her career?
I would say go for it. Technology is a hugely creative area and I believe women bring a lot of openness and creativity to the sector. There is also a lot of room for growth. If you work hard, your work is visible and you can make a difference.
What advice would you give to companies nowadays to help young female and working students in the technology sector be set up for success?
Offer certification programs that could help the students to build up their careers while they are both working and studying. I think it is important to appoint mentors to teach students how business is done, and can also be a good attraction for young students to gain experience. Future full-time openings that lead on from the students’ initial role is also a great attraction so they know they have something stable leading on from their working student role. However, the most important thing is offering a friendly working environment with a platform to be heard. Their first interaction with professional life is important for them. If they experience a friendly atmosphere, they will be more confident and motivated to work harder and grow in the future.
What would your ideal “Sustainable tomorrow” look like?
More opportunities for women, and identifying the correlative data that causes discrimination even though it may not be intentional. For example, don’t discriminate against CV gaps that happen due to women having children. Identify these events within your organisation to fight against them and create change.