March is Women’s Month, a time to celebrate the incredible achievements and contributions of women in all fields, including science and technology.
The last decade showed a certain progress in the number of women working in tech, such as a 15% increase in the EU, but there is still work to do to promote gender equity and inclusivity in the tech industry. As part of our Women’s Month celebrations, we are continuing the series of interviews we have kicked off for Women’s in Science day to the exceptional women working at Strands.
Today, we are happy to introduce Magdalys Martinez, QA Engineering Manager!
- Hello Magdalys! Welcome to this “Girls in Tech Talk”! Let’s start with some ground info: can you tell us a bit about your career path?
- Of course! Thank you for inviting me! During my studies in the University of Informatics Science in Cuba, I joined internships within real projects and was able to learn more about teamwork and software development together. After graduating, I had the chance to teach classes in the same university. Shortly after I moved to Ecuador, where I had my first work experience as a programmer in a company that certified construction projects. I was required to implement a software for the approval of these projects, a really positive first experience which opened the first doors for me. Then I moved to Spain to look for new job opportunities and to join my family. 3 years ago I found Strands, where I feel very happy for all the technologies that I can use every day. I have grown a lot as a computer professional, in a very welcoming and diverse environment.
- Have you always known that you wanted to work in science?
- Fortunately I have always wanted to study computer science. My inclination for technology showed when I was 11 years old, when I started using the new computers that arrived at my school. I remember asking the teachers for permission to enter the laboratory every day, but at that time I had no idea of all the things that could be done with a computer yet. This passion opened my eyes to a whole new world; I would spend my lunch break and as much time as possible in the laboratory learning all these new things.The great thing about that time is that it helped me foster my interest in technology: that is why I had a clear idea when the time came to choose a university degree.
- And you’re now managing the QA Engineering department at Strands! Could you tell us about your journey within the company so far?
- The QA department at Strands has been the best work experience of my life, as I have had the opportunity to learn a lot by expanding my technological stack and improving my skills. At Strands I have been able to share knowledge and good times with wonderful professionals. Currently we want to promote automation in the team, for which the support and willingness of all my colleagues has been very important. It has also given me the opportunity to resume my past experiences as a teacher, and it has been very gratifying. I have felt very welcome in this great family, to which I hope to continue contributing with all my knowledge.
- In general, Software Engineering is a field that is still predominantly male. Which changes, if any, are needed in the scientific system to be more attractive to women?
- In my opinion, it first depends on the interest that each woman develops in technology. I think it would help a lot to talk to our daughters from a young age about the contribution we make to our society in the technological sector. Children do more of what they see than what we tell them to do, so I think that showing them more of what we do in our work would be a good start. Recently, during Women’s Day week, I was invited to my daughter’s primary school to talk about my work. Personally, I think it’s a nice practice that should be extended to more schools, and not only on certain dates. The pride that children feel towards their parents also helps to awaken passion for certain careers and fields.
- How do you combat biases in the tech industry?
- The best way for me to face biases in the technology industry has been through study and perseverance. Before, there were moments when I felt that I could not, that I was not progressing as far as I wanted, but as the years go by you realize that what you were missing was simply the experience and that the way to go is studying hard and putting all the possible knowledge into practice.
- As a last question, what advice would you give to women who would like to start a career in tech?
- Don’t give up even though at first it may seem complex, it’s like any other profession, every dream has its sacrifice and the result can be seen when you dedicate time to what you’re really passionate about. Sometimes it may seem that there is no end because new technologies and new trends appear, but it is part of this changing world, we have to adapt and move forward.