Sciant Sisters — Antonia Teofilova, Director of services
Women in technology
Did you know that Bulgaria has the largest proportion of women in Tech across EU, 31% versus 16%? Sciant smashes the average, with 38% of employees! Meet Antonia — Sciant’s Director of services, she is a part of a team which is responsible for the implementation, certification and/or deployment of the integrations that her colleagues have created in the Development teams.
What is your role at Sciant?
I am Director of Services.
What are your responsibilities?
In Sciant we have built a team of professionals with mixed backgrounds, which is a natural extension of Sciant development. The team is responsible for the implementation, certification and/or deployment of the integrations that our colleagues have created in the Development teams.
This team also provides support of the deployed integrations, resolving incidents and problems, escalating to development and follow up.
What has been your career to-date?
I started my career long ago in the IT Industry. I have worked for some small IT companies and for a global corporation, it has been an interesting adventure so far.
What attracted you to work in technology?
For me it has never been another way. Except in my early school years when I wanted to become an archeologist and search for the treasures of the world.
It all started with a Macintosh. I remember I managed to upgrade its RAM from 48 to 64 KB and a lot of my “nerd” friends were really jealous of what my computer was able to do.
From then on the technology has offered me the chance to experience different domains — sometimes really far away from each other.
What do you like about working at Sciant?
Sciant’s projects are diverse and interesting, so the work is not coding by quantity, but really something which our people put their heart into and which has a real visible benefit both for our customers and their customers.
The company’s culture encourages honesty, sharing of ideas and asking for help. This is the most important thing for me — no one is afraid to reach out for help or admit when a mistake is made.
We are a team and we work together, and this includes our customers. This is reflected in the satisfaction and pride we have in our work.
And last but not least — there is a number of astonishingly smart people.
Why do you think more women should work in technology?
IT is unique in its diversity — no matter what industry one works for today, this could change tomorrow, but the tools could be the same.
In Sciant we have people working in the Hospitality and in the Transport and Logistics verticals, for example. Both of the industries are completely different in nature, business processes and specifics, but the underlying technology is similar — servers, connectivity, applications architecture and implementation.
So, if we think about women in the IT — there are no limits what a woman can contribute with what she can achieve. Via IT women can enable their ideas and realize business visions or can help others to do this.
How do you survive in an environment where it is mostly male? How do you develop and form good working relationships?
To say this is a survival is completely wrong. The competition in IT is between professionals and not between genders and age.
Good relationships are based on trust, respect, stepping in the other’s shoes and always, always delivering what is promised.
What makes a good team?
Trust and respect. Friendship is important, but in most of the cases you need people whom you can trust and rely on.
Why do you think women are put off from a career in technology?
I don’t think there is such a problem with women in the IT industry.
We see women at all levels of the IT industry — from QAs and software developers to software architects and to executive levels.
However, some of us consciously make the decision not to climb the career ladder, but spend as much time with children and families as possible.
What advice would you give young women looking at careers — and why should they select technology?
IT is a great field to grow and to feel valued.
The opportunities are limitless — especially with all the technologies becoming a bigger and bigger part of our everyday lives. You can make a website for selling bakery or a piece of code that controls a car’s behaviour. Or you can make an educational application to help children learn a language.
There is one other aspect of IT which is rare in other industries. Women can raise a family and balance their professional life with less sacrifices.
Part of the Services team has switched careers from the Hospitality Industry. Over time they have proved to be an invaluable source of knowledge and hands-on expertise for some of the projects we have.
There is one interesting detail here — the first members in the Sofia team of ex-hoteliers are women. And I am grateful they were so brave and took the leap for the big change.
Sciant is a technology solutions and engineering consultancy delivering remote software product development and system transformation. Sciant serves specific industry sectors including Travel and Hospitality, Logistics and Transport, FinTech and Automotive, working worldwide for both large enterprises and fast-growth startups.