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Women in STEM: Building an inspiring workspace for the next generation

This month was International Women’s Day. It is easy to celebrate one day a year but here at receeve, we know this is not a day to celebrate, it is a day to face the current status quo. As a 2020 AnitaB.org report is stating, the number of women working in tech is increasing but as of now, with constant growth, it would take 12 years to achieve equal representation.

“As a start up, we don’t have to overcome old structures, which gives us the opportunity to create a diverse and welcoming environment for everybody from scratch,” says Juliane Harth, Head of Finance & HR.

In the first part of this mini-series, we interviewed Alla Vinogradova and Jyotsna Sharma, two of our QA engineers. This week we spoke to our Data Scientist, Fereshteh Rabbani, and one of our Product Owners, Srinidhi Sridhar.

Originally from Iran, Fereshteh joined receeve at the beginning of 2021 and works from Hamburg, Germany.

She holds a PhD in Physics and her past experiences range from researching at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest to working as a Data Scientist in neuroethology.

In January of this year, Sri joined the team as well and is also working from Hamburg, Germany.

She is originally from India and has 5+ years of experience in the Fintech SaaS world working in Product Management. 

Why are you so fascinated by Tech?

Fereshteh Rabbani (FR): I love the sense of challenge and continuous learning of working in STEM and the tech industry. Being involved in development, innovation, research and discovery is the best part about working in IT. 

Srinidhi Sridhar (SS): That’s what would keep me relevant in the tech-savvy world! There’s always a learning curve attached.

How did you get into this field?

FR: My little history: I have an M.Sc. and PhD in physics and I think the most important thing about physics is, it teaches you a great framework to understand and solve problems. You continuously are exposed to a system and have to explain why it behaves as it does. To me, it's the required skills to become a data scientist.

SS: There are many women in tech where I come from [in India]. I was a systems engineer for 2.5 years which enabled me to know the backend. I entered the product management space after my post graduation.

How can we get more women in the tech sector?

FR: I think it really is just a mindset. While I don't disagree that females in tech should be made more visible (perhaps the companies they work for can make them a spokesperson or they can be blogging about their work) and therefore give girls some encouragement and confidence. It will probably be a much more wonderful and less scary experience if girls are told that it's fun and challenging. As a woman currently working in this space, I think it's great to have role models of successful women in tech to inspire young women about this.

SS: An open mindset in welcoming women into the organisation, flexible policies, creating a culture that establishes emotional connection with the company they are working for.

What advice can you give a woman considering pursuing a career in Tech?

FR: Follow your passion and do things that you love and you're drawn to it. Keep your mind open, learn something new every day. Be kind, rational and objective. Take the high road when things get wonky. And, try not to think about being a woman too much, but rather, try to be the best person you can be proud of.

SS: Believe your gut and jump in!

Want to work with Fereshteh and Srinidhi? Check out all the job postings on our careers page.

Anneke Jacobi
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