Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what your role is here at Mimi?
My name is Justyna, I am 29, from Poland and I am a Data Engineer at Mimi.
What attracted you to Mimi?
Mimi was attractive to me as I had been working in a sound-related field with sound recognition technology, and I wanted to work on something that actually helps people and makes everyday life easier. That along with the people during the interviews and the company atmosphere, I felt really welcome and that I could grow as a person and as an engineer.
How did you arrive at this point in your career and what influenced you to pursue a career in technology?
For a long time, I couldn’t decide what to do with my future. I was torn between art and technology. However, when I started to study technology, I saw talent in myself which brought me joy and fulfilment and motivated me to learn, improve and do more.
What is it like to be a woman working in technology for you?
In the beginning, it can feel a bit strange. For example, if you are one of few females in a big university, it makes you very visible which has good and bad sides. You bring something different, which is special but it is important to remain modest and not to feel like you are better than others because of this.
After years of working and building my experience, I see how much value women bring. Now, I connect more to my feminine side, more than when I was younger, as I am no longer trying to feel accepted. It might be a struggle for women to start in technology and to find themselves in a comfortable place. You might want to try and “ be like the boys” but that is not the way to have a positive and fulfilling career. Women can add different values such as openness, kindness and calmness to the group which generates real conversations and reaches different points of view.
What advice would you give to a woman considering technology as her career?
Building connections with other women throughout your company is really important as the imbalance of men to women can be challenging. My main piece of advice would be; do not try to be like the boys. Believe in yourself. The way you are is OK and is needed. Don’t try to be the same as everyone else. Your unique perspective is needed and if you want to have a career in technology you can. You just need to try.
What advice would you give to companies to help support women in tech?
Look into your own guidelines and make sure they are not written for men. Align on inclusive company-wide communication and facilitation and ensure that not only those with a loud voice are able to speak out and be heard. It is better to be open to different kinds of people and personalities. What is more, create guidance around promotions and how to reach higher positions within your organisation to give everyone equal opportunities. Different personalities and behaviours may mean some people are unintentionally left in the dark.
Furthermore, it is important to remember that humans look for understanding and openness. Have a conversation with your people about their needs, as everyone’s needs are different and people’s modern needs now differ from the past. If you are open to the conversation and understand different points of view, that’s a good starting point. Usually, when you have a more diverse company, it is then easier to hire more women or other underrepresented groups, because now they feel welcome. Everyone needs to start somewhere.
What would your ideal “Sustainable tomorrow” look like?
A Sustainable tomorrow to me would be when the world is open to different ways of working and different ways of thinking. Ensuring flexibility for everyone, regardless of gender or how one identifies . This will make a friendly workplace for everyone.
I have learned that saying what you need out loud is really important. But I know it is not easy. But there are companies out there that are welcome to support what you need and it’s worth it to look for them.