There are many great stories of underdogs rising in the tech industry. But sometimes, women and minorities are left underrepresented in these stories despite having to overcome many obstacles. Below we celebrate several stories of challenges faced and overcome by those looking to advance themselves in the world of engineering and technology.
Ranjini Vaidyanathan, CCC Technology Solutions
Although she had already earned her PhD in applied science and mathematics, Vaidyanathan realized that she actually found applied problems more appealing and decided to switch to data science. The transition wasn’t easy for her, but she found help in mentors who assisted her throughout the changes. “Switching fields from academia to data science was challenging. I had to brush up on industry-relevant skills like programming, and also adjust to the paradigm shift in thinking, both in terms of technical and soft skills.”
Lori Eich, Dialogtech
Senior Product Manager Lori Eich began her tech career after working as a geologist for three years. She found the transition from earth science to engineering easy because she was willing to learn new things, ask questions and trust her problem-solving skills. She decided to leave geology and join a software engineering team after learning she would be working for someone she already knew and trusted. She had taken computer science courses in college and knew what the job would entail. “I like exploring how my team can use engineering solutions to solve our customers’ problems and thinking about how to make software more functional, usable and useful,” she said. Eich encourages other women looking to pursue careers in engineering to not sell themselves short of their abilities. “Don’t let the fact that you don’t know a certain coding language or machine learning technique be the thing that keeps you from giving it a shot,” she advises.
Marina Malaguti, Jellyvision
Director of Data Engineering Marina Malaguti first found herself interested in engineering when she received a broken pink analog watch from her father as a gift. They were able to fix it together which helped her fall in love with the challenges of problem solving. Her advice to those looking to pursue engineering is this: “Remember that even more important is the person whose life you are going to affect. Great engineering is created with a person in mind.”
You can view more inspirational stories of these influential women and others like them here: