Insights from Women and Girls in Science Shaping the Future of Trade
February 11th is International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
We’d like to celebrate the day by hearing from the women behind the OLX Group platforms. Because without these talented women, OLX Group wouldn’t have 300 million monthly active users across 30 countries and 20 brands.
In this post, we get quotes from Aniela and Franciele, two OLX engineers that are working to shape the future of trade and unlock the hidden value in everything.
Aniela and Franciele both have great insights on how women can help play a larger role in tech and engineering, as well as how we can all build a brighter future together.
Let’s dive in!
On the value of mentor & role models…
“I come from Romania, and it was a communist country for a long time. Nobody had the luxury to not work, so it was common to see women working in various roles, from construction to computer science and engineering.”
“There was no bias with what gender worked what role. When I was growing up, I was in a society and time where I wasn’t put into a box. And when I chose computer science, it was super easy and natural. I’d seen plenty of other women doing it.”
Aniela, Engineering Director at OLX Group
Studies have shown role models inspire women to pursue careers in engineering and technology. As research published by SheCanCode states, female students are more likely to select a STEM major when they have a female professor. At work, the retention of junior-level female engineers is higher when there are senior-level female supervisors.
Role Models Are Key In Gender Diversity — Especially In Tech & Engineering — SheCanCode
A client I worked with found at that women self-select out of sales positions. Unfortunately, this sales experience…
“You have to be able to imagine yourself in that role. That’s why having a role model matters,” states Aniela.
When Aniela arrived in Portugal, one experience, in particular, highlighted the need for more female role models in engineering. While spending time with a coworker, she met his family and his older daughter. After she met the daughter, the daughter asked her dad if Aniela was an engineer.
“After hearing I was an engineer, the daughter responded to her father, ‘So, I can also be an engineer. I’ve never seen a woman in that role. That’s cool,’” details Aniela.
“It had a big impact. When she started thinking about what she wanted to do, she chose science. That made me happy that I was able to be an inspiration to her.”
Now as a leader at OLX Group, Aniela places great importance on being a role model for her junior-level team members and others she meets outside of OLX.
“We must help those girls who don’t have role models. We need to help them find women to inspire them.“
On the secrets to building better products
“Diversity and inclusion rely on having mutual respect. Mutual respect is crucial to having inclusivity. Some people have prejudices, and these prejudices can stem from that person not being a nice person. It could be unconscious bias. We must recognize and overcome prejudices and biases.”
“Diversity is important for getting different points of view, so we must be open and bring everyone to the table.” tells Franciele, a Front End Engineer with OLX Motors.
Franciele makes a great point about harmony:
“As a front end developer, you also constantly think about harmony, both with the OLX platforms and with your team. We’ve started using a common design system so that our engineers can work in harmony with the design team!”
“We have different focuses, different motivations and very different approaches to problem-solving. Fortunately, we have a shared aim: to build an awesome product. We just have to find creative ways to collaborate better and make sure we stay on the same page. Building a design system as a first step has helped us to create a shared language and a platform for deeper collaboration. Building a style guide and component library from the beginning helped us to increase efficiency and quality, but the long-term success of the product and the company hinges on the people and their ability to communicate.”
As the article from Harvard Business Review states, without inclusion, “the crucial connections that attract diverse talent, encourage their participation, foster innovation, and lead to business growth won’t happen.” Vernā Myers, a noted diversity advocate, puts this idea best: “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
We hope Aniela and Franciele’s words have inspired you to pursue your dreams in engineering. Because the world needs talents like yourself.
At OLX, we’re ready to shape the future of trade and help all qualified talents unlock their potential. If you want to be a part of that, our door is open. Check out our open roles and get in touch with our team.