“IT is an extremely comfortable sphere for women,” says Zoryana Bohdan, Financial Director at Remit. In particular, there is always a possibility to have a flexible schedule and work from home without losing the acquired skills and knowledge. How to remain a professional while being a mother of four – read in the interview for Lviv IT Cluster.
“The situation in our society is such that whenever you hear a word “programmer”, you imagine some sort of geeky guy in glasses who quickly clicks on the keyboard and stares at the computer screen,” says Zoryana. However, IT has a lot of talented girls whose skills are in no way inferior to male colleagues.
“I was lucky to join the IT team in 2002. At that time, we were departing from the post-Soviet bureaucracy, and once in IT, it was like you were on the other planet,” continues Zoryana. She started her career as a chief accountant, and over time, she grew to the position of a Financial Director. In the very beginning, there were very few women, and gender stereotypes often played a negative role. “Sometimes, when there were two equally good candidates, the manager would hire a man instead of a woman. Perhaps, it was because motherhood is always in the foreground for a woman,” says the expert.
However, the IT sector is creating a lot of suitable conditions for women in particular such as flexible schedule or the ability to work remotely. Zoryana shares her own experience: “My husband and I have four wonderful children, and it is the flexible schedule that allowed me to be a 100% mother while remaining a professional and doing what I love.”
In her opinion, gender stereotypes are an echo of the past. “Just like in the past, everyone thought that only men could be good drivers. It is the same with IT because we need some time to get rid of the stereotypes,” says Zoryana. She believes that the same will happen to the profession of a programmer which will be able to overcome gender stereotypes.
“In our company, we have a great women’s team, and the professional discussions turn into fashion ones and back,” continues Zoryana. The expert adds: few women join IT because starting from the school age, they believe the job to be not interesting and “non-female”. Zoryana cites figures by Girls Who Code; according to them, only 0.4% of girls study IT after graduating from high school. And now, there are only 23% of women in IT, according to the IT Research.
“I think that in order to attract more women to the profession, we should motivate high school girls and their parents who often affect the future choices of their children,” concludes Zoryana.