Our Women In Tech series celebrates some of our talented female Amdarians leading up to International Women’s day on the 8th of March. Our pioneering female colleagues act as inspirational role models for future tech talent and play a big part in why Amdaris is a leading digital transformation company.
For our second instalment of the series, we spoke to Marcela Mazur, an associate software developer at Amdaris’ office in Moldova. Marcela is new to the STEM sector and joined Amdaris after previously working in the pharmaceutical industry for three years.
Marcela discusses what her career transition to STEM was like, the importance of ending gender stereotypes, and why we should normalise the idea that a profession does not have a gender.
Q: What is your role and how long have you been working in the STEM industry?
I am an associate software engineer at Amdaris Moldova. The STEM industry is relatively new to me, as I have been studying applied informatics for the last two years and have only been working in this field full time for three months following my internship at Amdaris.
Prior to joining Amdaris, I graduated from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Moldova and worked as a pharmacist for three years.
Q: What encouraged you to take the leap from the pharmacy field into tech? And how was that transition?
I have previously worked as a pharmacist for three years. Like many other women, I initially chose a field that would better suit a woman, from my point of view at that time. A career in IT wasn’t even on my list after graduating high school, even though growing up I was always very skilled at maths and physics in school. After I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than a year, I began to realise that the job I was performing did not represent me and it did not match my principles and ambitions.
Looking for another niche of activity, I was impressed by the variety of possibilities offered by the IT world and the fact that you are not restricted when you want to develop professionally. Without thinking too much, I applied for a bachelor’s degree in Applied Informatics at the Technical University of Moldova. I applied for a Software Development Internship at Amdaris, which I passed successfully and I later received a job offer. I couldn’t even imagine how my life would change.
The transition has not been easy, but the obstacles I encountered were more personal, such as the fear of a new field or fear of failure, or some negative opinions of people around me about changing fields.
I would like to say that every person must make conscious choices, and not be afraid to step out of their comfort zone, and not be influenced by personal fears or stereotypes of society. I am grateful to Amdaris for giving me the opportunity to develop my skills and making my transition into a completely different field easier, without preconceptions or gender gaps.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of a STEM-based career?
A STEM-based career offers many benefits, such as flexibility, diversity, growth, job security, job availability, and more. Working in this industry helps you develop critical thinking and analytical skills. It teaches and pushes one to think outside the box in order to find outstanding solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
The most satisfying thing about the STEM industry is that it offers you the chance to be part of the emerging solutions, and what could be more useful and encouraging than offering the world the possibility to innovate?
Q: In your opinion, what is the best way forward to achieve better gender balance in business?
To a greater or lesser extent, the gender gap is a problem reflected in a variety of sectors around the world. This issue is caused by well-known problems such as: unequal access to education, job segregation, lack of employment equality, lack of legal protection, lack of religious freedom and, last but not least, the social mindset.
If at least one of the issues listed or influencing gender inequality is not resolved, we cannot speak about achieving gender balance in any desired domain. A situation that I have been through and that I can share as an example is caused by the social mentality and the way in which it influences the chosen career path. While being a student at the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Moldova, about 80% of my colleagues were women. However, while studying at the Technical University of Moldova, shortly after enrolling there, I noticed I was one of the few girls who chose the technical area. This huge difference is caused by the belief that a certain field is more suitable for men than for women and vice versa.
One of the ways to achieve better gender balance is to teach society and the new generations that a perfect career choice is based on personal skills, preferences, and desires. We must normalise that a profession has no gender and must be chosen based on knowledge, skills and experience.
Q: How is Amdaris helping women into STEM? And what do you think can be done to entice more women into this industry?
Amdaris is a company that emphasises quality both for the selection of employees and for the delivered products. As I mentioned earlier, “a profession has no gender” and Amdaris proves it.
The company is always looking for talented, motivated and ready-to-learn individuals. Amdaris has no gender filter, opportunities are equal for both men and women, it’s about the willingness and the ambition to get involved. At the moment, over 30% of Amdaris employees are women. The problem of not enough women in the tech field is not generated by the rejection of women in the industry, but by stereotypes in society that lead women to bypass this domain and go for careers outside of tech.
Q: What are the key goals of women at Amdaris and what milestones has the initiative achieved since its inception?
We know that the gender equality gap in technical roles will not happen overnight. Amdaris aims to inspire, educate and empower women and girls with the necessary skills and confidence to succeed in STEM career fields. The company does this by minimising the imbalance amongst software engineers and other technical roles and helping women embrace technology.
Q: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is a global day that celebrates courageous women who have fought for their rights, equality and justice, rights that some of us take for granted today. It also has an impact on highlighting issues that still exist in society, such as unequal education and job opportunities. It is an opportunity to highlight a serious human rights issue that requires increased attention and approach- gender inequality.
Looking for a career in STEM? you can view our careers or contact us using the form below. You can also view our first blog in the series Q&A with Olga Snegur, Centre Director of Amdaris Ukraine.