All of this week I am publishing profiles of some of the women who work at Belatrix. We know that there is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in technology. Here at Belatrix we’re hoping that publishing more profiles of the women who work for us, may help encourage more women to take up a technical career. We also want to provide more insight into what it’s actually like working for a technology company. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Rossana García.
Rossana was one of the early employees who joined us when we opened our Lima operations. For the first few years she worked with one of our main clients in the financial services industry. Since then she has moved on to work with another couple of our clients in different industries, and is a Certified Scrum Master.
Alex: Rossana, many thanks for talking today. Can you tell me about your background and how you got started in your career?
Initially I spent 3 years studying at Cibertec which is a well-known institute of technology in Lima. After graduating from there, in 2011, I started at Belatrix. At the same time I decided to also continue studying at UPC, the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences. So the first few years were quite tough, combining work with studying.
Where did your interest in technology come from?
I have an aunt who happens to be a systems engineer. She knows a lot about computers, and it’s always been a topic that has fascinated me, and I’ve enjoyed playing with computers since I was young. Every time I would go to my aunt’s house, I would have the opportunity to find out something new.
How has your career progressed at Belatrix?
When I first started at Belatrix, the company was quite new to Peru. So I’ve seen the company grow from just a few developers to now nearly 200. I spent 3 years working for one client in financial services in the US, and travelled there to see how they work and receive training. After I left this project, I joined another, which initially was supposed to be relatively short-term. But the client liked our work a lot, and so kept extending it, giving us more projects and more applications to work on. Finally this project came to an end, simply due to budget issues on the client side.
Now I’m working with another client, and as the project is growing, I’m getting more involved in managing the project. Belatrix is helping me make this transition, by providing more training. So about 25% of my time is spent on managing, and 75% on development.
Do you have an opinion of working in what is still a male-dominated industry? Any challenges you have faced?
One thing I would say, is that when I was 19, and I was working at another company, they didn’t want me to develop, as I think they didn’t believe I was capable. I had to fight for this opportunity. So I would say to aspiring female developers, that in some situations you may still have to fight to achieve everything you want. I also once had the experience with one individual who suggested technology wasn’t the right career for me – but having said this, this was an isolated occasion, and I’ve been really fortunate to have friends who have helped me, and had good mentors who helped me learn.
How do you see your future?
Right now I’m learning a lot with the client I’m working with, and being more involved in project management has new challenges. One day I would love to start my own business – not necessarily in technology, although the skills I have learnt in tech will be useful for any business.
Do you have any advice for aspiring female developers or women that want to work in tech?
Don’t be put off by the fact that there may not be many women studying in your course. When I was at university, out of 30 people in a class, perhaps 5 were women. The dynamic in such an environment can be a bit different, but at the same time I learnt to work well with guys. I never faced any problems there.
I would also say that it’s a really nice career choice. With the boom in technology, there are lots of options.
Could the industry do more to attract more women to work in technology?
I’ve seen events such as the “Tech Days” which Belatrix and other organizations run, and they are a great idea as they provide an easy introduction to what a career could be like.
I would also say that flexibility is really important. As mentioned, when I first started at Belatrix, I was also studying evenings at university. Belatrix helped me a lot by being flexible with my working hours, and being supportive of my studies.
Many thanks Rossana for sharing your thoughts!
Belatrix is currently hiring. Find out about our career opportunities here.
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