What is it like for a young lady to work among IT geeks?
Nerdy working jungle may seem like a hostile environment for women. But is it true? We’ve asked our female-colleagues in Sharry to share their experiences — and the outcome is simple: there is one aspect that matters far more than gender.
Is the internet a male, or a female? When you ask the “Women of Sharry” about this question, you receive an unbiased answer that it’s “both” or “the other”. Unless you talk to a tester Barbora Vondráková, who is confident that “it’s a great spider”. The conversation about gender is a topical issue not only as a reminder by the International Women’s Day celebrated worldwide on March 8th but there’s still a long way to go toward equity and equality in the tech industry.
According to different studies, the five largest tech companies on the planet (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft) have a workforce of about 34.4% women. Overall, women make up only 25% of employees in the tech industry (data from the U.S.) And to call a spade a spade, women are unfortunately underrepresented in Sharry — with 21% in March 2021. But the gender gap is rapidly growing smaller every month and we’re aiming at more gender diversity with every single new recruitment with a conviction that gender-diverse companies perform better (as McKinsey’s report reveals).
By the way, this year’s topic for International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge, so if you’re looking for a new career challenge in the global PropTech company, take a look at all announced positions on our website. No gender restrictions.
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Sherlock in the team
With open companies growing with startup-philosophy roots, there’s a great opportunity to fight prejudice and related biases. Is it a must to have an education in IT to work in a company developing software solutions for premium office buildings? Ask Daria Uslontceva, who has a degree in translating, yet joined Sharry as a tester.
She offers a lovely job description of her own: “My favorite part of the work is investigating issues, when I look for clues — like Sherlock Holmes — and gradually compose the whole picture.”
Another seeker in the team is her colleague Anežka Studničková. “Testing is like searching for mushrooms — it is not sure that we will find something, bugs are hidden, we have to make an effort to find them, but when we succeed, it is a great joy!” she answers when being asked how would she describe the job position to her grandparents.
Another incorrect stereotype — there’s no such thing as geeky- or nerdy-specific communication. Of course, you will have to adopt a bunch of PropTech vocabularies, the same as in any other fast-developing sector.
“I had to learn a lot of IT terminology to understand on-site conversations, but learning catchphrases of Jiří Babica, jokes from popular TV broadcasts and other Czech memes was way more difficult for me,” explains Daria (born in Russia) with a big smile. Barbora honestly confesses that she “needs to adjust my communication when speaking with normal people.”
For women in Sharry, the underestimation of their IT abilities based on their gender is not the matter in hand. “As a girl in IT I would say a bigger issue for me was positive discrimination,” Sasha Liutova, project manager, has mentioned during the interview.
Is there any fundamental difference when you work with men, or women in a team? We have asked a few Sharry ladies (a term based on a famous song “Sharry Sharry Lady” — does it ring a bell?) and their answer was pretty obvious: Zuzana Gilbert, project manager, thinks: “Not really. It all comes down to the personality and team spirit rather than gender.” And her co-worker Sasha adds: “I’ve found that the best teams I’ve worked with are gender-balanced, or at least have representatives of both genders.”
Friendly building for her
In Sharry we believe in friendly buildings, trying to convert any smart office building into your friend, that could give you a piece of advice on which spot to park, how to smoothly send a guest pass to the visitor, or how to generate a mobile card with just one click that will afterwards open all doors and turnstiles in the building just with your smartphone.
This is the general attitude shared in the DNA of our company. Every single employee attaches his approach. For example, Aneta Hejrovská, working as a software tester, expects a friendly building where “it’s easy to manage every service over the tablet or cell phone and ensuring spending less time lost and well-managed elevator system, mainly in abroad where buildings are over 30 floors and you spend about 20 mins to get to some floor.
Zuzana Gilbert has put three more attributes to the wishlist: “smooth and obstacle-free access, being eco-friendly, and community and interaction with others in the building.” While “intelligent lights, acoustic insulation or generally noise reduction, and stickers on glass doors,” they all remind the important items making any building more friendly for Barbora.
Why have you decided to join Sharry and work in a Proptech company?
I wanted to try to work for a start-up with a friendly atmosphere, where something new is always happening and where I can contribute to the growth of the company, improvement of the product and see its progress.
Anežka Studničková, Tester
I really enjoy the start-up community and Sharry simply had it all — highly skilled colleagues, great product and global scope.
Zuzana Gilbert, Project Manager
PropTech is exciting in the difference it can create, and Sharry is an outstanding player in the market.
Sasha Liutova, Project Manager
To be honest, I didn’t really aim to work at PropTech but I am happy that it turned out this way. When I look at our buildings in NY, I see how gorgeous they are and realize that I am even slightly involved in it, I feel like crying.
Daria Uslontceva, Tester
Friendly team and no-nonsense attitude.
Barbora Vondrová, Tester
Technology and innovation fascinate me. It’s the future.