What does it take today for women to pursue a career in tech? What are recruiters looking for and how can you ensure your application gets noticed? With these questions, we started into this online webinar organized by Girls in Tech Switzerland and supported by CSL Behring.
Four inspiring women in tech
Getting into tech is one of the most promising career paths nowadays. Many of us have considered it already, having a major in a STEM topic at university or looking to change careers into tech. However, often we don’t know where to start or how to get a foot into the door. In this webinar, we turned to 4 inspiring women in STEM, with different backgrounds and career paths, sharing their experience with us to supercharge your career in tech.
These 4 women are Anna Fellenberg, co-leading the Energy Efficiency Team at CSL Behring, Stefanie Nacht, Project Engineer who joined CSL Behring with a Graduate Program, Stefany Barker, Technical Team Lead at Palantir and Managing Director of Girls in Tech Switzerland, and Claudia Bruce- Quartey, an Account Executive at Mulesoft.
Say what you want
Anna has followed her passion throughout her career. From choosing her major at the university (Mathematics and Physics) to joining CSL Behring. Her motivation was following her interest rather than follow the crowd. When a crisis forced her to leave her first job, she was looking for alternatives allowing her to challenge herself. She found it in the scientific area. Doing her PhD in Norway, she not only learned a lot about the topic but also about herself and how to motivate yourself. She discovered that she is eager to make the system more efficient and to save resources. Where there were efficiencies challenges, she saw opportunities for innovative solutions to reduce energy.
There are lots of opportunities out there for everyone if we think positively. She shares, that we need to convince with our work and admits, that it might be an advantage to be the only woman in the team.
Her advice is: Talk to your superior and say what you want. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Don’t feel intimidated
Stefanie has shared her insights with us as a young professional who just finished the graduate program with CSL Behring. What fascinated her most about this program was the opportunity to look into all departments. This is how she found out, where she fits in. When she finished university, she had no idea what to do, there were so many possibilities. Trying out with internships and graduate programs was the best way for her to figure out, where she is good at, what motivated her and where she saw a lot of opportunities for herself. In addition, she could take advantage of a lot of add ons of the graduate program such as mentorship and building up a network within a company.
Many times she has experienced being the only woman, but she never felt that this was an obstacle in her career. On the contrary, often she felt the teams she was working with were underestimating her knowledge and abilities. This gave her the freedom to ask many more questions.
Her advice is: don’t feel intimidated by what you might come across in your career, use it to your advantage and stay curious by asking lots of questions.
Find your own guiding principle
Stefany has at first not considered a career in tech, she was looking to get into the finance industry. Thankfully her boss clearly saw that this was the wrong job for her! So he had to let her go as he saw that she was more fascinated by the Bloomberg terminal itself than what finance was really about. It was her luck! She went to study Information Technology and ended up in a tech startup as one of their first employees without any working experience. Today, she knows that was completely wrong and only hindered her in her personal development. Being who you are and recognizing it, is her most valuable asset today. Stefany believes in the guiding principle. It is a broad philosophy that encompasses your personal beliefs and values and guides you throughout your life. Stefany’s guiding principle is to work with a diverse, proactive group of people who are mission-oriented towards something that makes the world a better place. Whenever she chooses her next career step, she re-visits the guiding principle and let it lead her way.
Her advice is: accept your own style, embrace who you are. Find your own guiding principle, which will always help you make the right decision in your career.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Claudia has learned, many roads lead to Rome. She never saw herself in tech but her passion was to find the role that allows her to change lives and have an impact. This is how she discovered that tech provides lots of opportunities to exactly do this. It took a while and a different position to find the job she loves today. Often she has been the only women and it took her a lot of courage and confidence to admit that she is different. She had to find her truth, the career she really liked. To do so, she surrounded herself with people who could and really wanted to help her. She learned how to express her feelings and say what she really needed. Mentors she reached out to along the way helped her to think outside the box. This lead to finding different paths and to a successful career.
Her advice is: even if you don’t know what you want to do is already good, as it will pushing you to what you really want. Don’t be afraid to fail, as you will only fall, grow and learn.
At the end of these experience reports, Jennifer Meschke and Daria Schuepbach, (HR & Talent Scouts CSL Behring), shared their insights and advice in regards to self-determination, HR tips and application processes. First and foremost, before you apply for any job, be clear about who you are. Think about what awakens your passion and where do you want to develop yourself. Find managers who can help you to do the next step and talk to them about where you want your career path to lead.
Their advice is: pay attention to your CV, and not only the motivation letter, and put a lot of effort into it. You can apply for more than one position but be consistent in your career aspirations.
The webinar opened up to the participants very own questions. More insights, tips and tricks were shared with the panelists.
Have you missed this insightful webinar and the opportunity to get to know 4 inspiring women in tech? Don’t worry, we will repeat the webinar – watch this space!
Are you looking to pursue your next career step in tech? Check out our culture first Company Profiles.