Happy International Women's Day!
On International Women's Day we celebrate the achievements and contributions of women. Diversity is an important factor in creating innovation. In celebration of this year's Women's Day we asked six of our female employees about their inspirations, role models, and tips for young women who are thinking about their future careers.
What inspires you?
In working life, and overall, I am inspired by continuously improving myself, helping others, and learning new things. Even though I’ve been working at Innofactor for over 5 years, I still learn something new every week. It is also inspiring to work in a genuinely Nordic community with top experts and interesting technologies.
- Hanna, Process and System Development Manager
Building a better, more inclusive, and equal working life. I enjoy helping people both at work and in my free time when I’m doing volunteer work. Small acts can have a great impact!
- Laura, People Manager
I am inspired by thinking ahead, setting goals, and achieving them. I fear living a mediocre life and understand that it takes effort to make our dreams a reality. I have set goals for myself and I work towards achieving them every day and have decided on a career path where I have visibility of what I might end up doing 10 years down the line. It has been working out so far and I wish to be the best in my field of work.
- Deepti, Cloud Specialist
I get very inspired by working with people who have a lot of knowledge. I get infected by their enthusiasm when they're telling me about what is coolest thing about, for example, Azure. It gives me a lot of energy!
- Elin, Talent Acquisition Specialist
My colleagues in Innofactor and their expert competence. I am motivated by working in teams, and I think that a mixture of both genders and ages gives a better dynamic because we have different backgrounds and experience, both on a private and professional level.
- Maria, Sales Manager
I’m inspired by meeting new people, being able to make an impact, the joy of problem-solving, and helping others. My educational background is in teaching, as I’ve studied to become a math teacher, and I believe that my background influences me in my current job, too.
- Elina, Senior Software Developer
Do you have a woman role model that has inspired you in your career, or otherwise in your life?
One of my role models is the wonderful Linda Liukas, who is known both as a children's book author and illustrator, and as a coding and programming ambassador. Linda’s international work towards encouraging especially women and children to become interested in programming is amazing!
Another role model I have is artist Riina Tanskanen, whose Tympeät Tytöt comic won the state award for information publication last year. Tympeät Tytöt discusses social issues related especially to the treatment of girls and young women in our society.
Some years back I read a book called Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (the movie is great too, can recommend!). NASA’s first black women as mathematicians and engineers is an impactful story and a significant part of history. I enjoy mathematics myself, and have a degree in engineering, which made the book even more interesting to me.
For me, role models are people with whom I can relate and who inspire me to be better through their example and actions. As an engineer, most of my early female role models came from outside my professional field. My mum being one of the instillers of pride through hard work. They shaped my thoughts on what and how I wanted to contribute to this world. As my professional network grew, I found many talented and uplifting women engineers who have further expanded these thoughts. Michelle Obama is one of them. There is always a new project on Michelle Obama's plate that demonstrates her generosity and strong work ethic. In addition to this, I appreciate how she is so confident in herself and her decision making. By leading with such a strong will and concern for those around her, Michelle Obama taught me how to believe in myself.
Wow, many! Here at Innofactor, I am very inspired by our HR manager, Anni. In addition to being very competent, she contributes to a super wonderful environment that creates very good team spirit and makes you grow as a person.
The women in my family have inspired me. My grandmother, mother, and older sister have all been leaders during their careers.
I don’t know if I can name a particular role model that has inspired me in life or in my career. However, there are movies and books that have stuck with me, where women and men have overcome obstacles (for example the women mathematicians in Hidden Figures and the famous mathematician and logician Alan Turing).
What message would you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
If you are at the beginning of your career, or thinking about changing careers, I want to encourage you to be brave and confident – you don’t have to know everything immediately, because enthusiastic attitude and a desire to learn will carry you far! It also doesn’t matter if your own career goals are not crystal clear yet. Your own interests will become clear eventually, and in the meantime, you may find new and surprising strengths in you. Knowing your personal limits and taking care of yourself is very important in today’s working life. Treat others around you well, celebrate their success, and become inspired by them!
Aim for your goals and dreams fearlessly! I also recommend networking. Especially the experts in your own field can give you valuable tips and guidance for your career. There are also different communities, for example Mimmit koodaa or Ompeluseura here in Finland, where you can get support from your peers.
"Give yourself the liberty to be your own successful business woman. No one else will do it better than you."
There is so much I'd like to say. But, the most important thing is to dare to speak up if something does not feel right. I would also like to say that you are capable of more than you think. You are a star!
Please choose technology! Do not be afraid of choosing nontraditional career paths! Women have at least the same capacity and intelligence as men. I got my first job in IT because I had chosen a nontraditional path and attended the Navy as a 19-year-old, and had an interesting personal profile.
I hope that everyone that is thinking about their career stays patient and determined. For young people, I’d like to say, that you shouldn’t stress about your career path too much. Young people receive a lot of pressure from many directions, and I think very few high schoolers, for example, actually know exactly what type of career paths they want to have. Don’t be afraid to try things out! When I worked as a teacher, one of my goals was to inspire women to apply for the IT industry with different study backgrounds. Diverse skills are needed now and in the future!