#WomenInTechnology – Talking to Anamaria Sfîrlea

Did you know that only 5.31% of IT Specialists are women?

Gender imbalance in the workplace was a problem that has been debated since the beginning of the century. Now so many women are working, that it is quite rare not to see at least one woman in every domain.

Women are very remarkable in what they do. They stand out through their hard work, ambition, perseverance, and amazing results. Our colleague Anamaria is like that. You may have met her in a previous ClujLife article. She juggles being a developer at TEC and attending master’s courses at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics from Cluj-Napoca.

For Ana, school always came first, she didn’t think for a moment to get a job while attending college classes. At the end of year two, she did an internship, but it was during the summer. During the pandemic, she joined the TEC team in the fall of 2020, after a well-deserved summer vacation. She started looking for a job with the desire to work with different technologies, but she felt so great during the technical interview that the technology stack wasn’t all that important in the end.

My mother is a teacher and she raised me and my brother with the idea in mind that school and education are the most important things. I’ve always seen school as a job. Even if I didn’t get paid, that was my job and I had to take it seriously, I had to give everything I could, because otherwise I couldn’t be happy with myself. My work schedule is flexible, and this helps a lot with school. There was always understanding if I needed to take an exam or attend an important course. And this was made clear to me from the very beginning – that the company values our education and us completing our studies. For now, I want to learn as much as possible, to expand my knowledge related to the practical part of my job. In college I receive a lot of theoretical information, but it does not compare at all with what is happening in my actual job.

In the beginning, Anamaria was assigned to a big project. She learned, tried to integrate and understand how things work. She told us that she felt very quickly treated as an equal, not as a “new colleague”, and the worries related to the fact that in TEC people work mostly remote disappeared after the first week. Initially, she was slightly stressed that she did not know her colleagues and that she would not know to whom to turn to in case she needed help, but she immediately realized that many were aware of this and they contacted her, offering to help her. Later, Ana was assigned to a smaller project, about which she spoke with great enthusiasm.

The project is exactly what I wanted – a project from scratch, where I can go through every development stage. And a junior developer rarely has this chance in a company. I learned a lot while having to solve problems and through many knowledge-sharing sessions with my colleagues. Me and another developer  started this project, along the way we were joined by others. Now that we finished this project, when I look through the code and see things I implemented, my heart grows. I like to think that I have an essential role in the team I am part of.

In the months spent at TEC, Anamaria realized that the human side is very important in the work environment. Having the experience of an internship in a corporation, she was pleasantly surprised to discover that here, the focus is mainly on people.

Unlike large corporations, where procedures matter a lot, here people come first. The work environment at TEC is dynamic, challenging and I didn’t get bored in all the months I spent here and I didn’t get to consider my work a routine. I am a sensible person and if I feel stress or pressure from others, I can’t cope anymore. It is important to have people around me in whose presence I can feel comfortable, especially since there are days in which I talk more with my colleagues than with my family. If you decide to join us, you can expect very friendly colleagues, willing to help you, but also a place where you can learn a lot about what IT projects mean.

Of course, the conversation with Anamaria could not end without touching the main topic of this article, what it is like to be a woman in the IT field.

I was really amazed when I saw how many women are working at TEC when I arrived. I also remember my first call with the project management team – only women were present. It’s a general perception that the IT industry is male-dominated, but it’s not. IT is not a place of discrimination, nor have I ever thought of any difference for us as women.

Even though studies show that only 5.31% of IT specialists are women, in our company, there is a rate of 43% female developers.