Léa, a (Wonder)Woman in Tech

Post by Léa Vielfaure, Embedded Software Engineer at Railnova, and
Ashley Argüello, Social Media Strategist
at Railnova

March 23, 2022

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a woman in tech? 50 in Tech is a startup that has set up an innovative job board to match talented women in Tech with the most inclusive companies. To celebrate Railnova becoming a part of this network, let’s talk to Léa about her experience as a software engineer.

 

Often being the only woman in the room

When I started my higher education, there were ten girls in a class of roughly 100 students. After high school, being the only woman in the room didn’t seem that bad at all. I welcomed this change for a while.
Joining the workforce after university, I realized that I would have to face certain expectations as a woman in tech. You sometimes have this extra weight on your shoulders because you represent more than yourself.

On the other hand, I also realized I had some preconceptions about my future as an engineer. I have always been rather curious, and I enjoy challenging myself. Confronting my reality and experience with my assumptions has helped me grow as a person.

 

Are women in tech an exception?

After a couple of work experiences in fields vaguely related to software engineering, I realized I was looking for something new and different. I wanted a place where I could be myself. I found Railnova on LinkedIn, and it was incredibly refreshing to be seen as an individual and an engineer.
I realized that I was in a space that only saw me as an exception to the rule and that I needed to move on. In contrast, colleagues here at Railnova trust you and care for you as a person. I explain this in more detail in the post about my first six months here at Railnova, which you can read here https://www.railnova.eu/still-discovering-learning-and-growing/. I know I was chosen for my skills and what I can bring to the table as an individual.

 

How to get more women interested in tech?

There are three main actionable ideas to get more women interested in the tech industry.

1. Attract young women early on

As of elementary school, show them that they can have access to careers in tech. I am convinced that young girls need to realize that there is room and a future for them in tech. They would then be more interested in pursuing tech careers.

2. Going beyond the book cover

Going beyond the image and preconceptions of what an engineer is like was helpful for me. It made me realize that engineers come in a variety of different personalities! It might sound silly said like that. But for many people, engineers are math-loving, scruffy, tech-loving guys.

3. Thoroughly explaining the possibilities of tech careers

Most people lose interest once they know I’m an engineer. They assume they will not understand what I do on a daily basis. Take a look at this video on our YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/-f3s7RkafKw, where I explain what exactly it is that I do here at Railnova.
The words creative, manually-inclined, resourceful, or imaginative would likely come up if you describe what I do. Surprisingly, many so-called female attributes make people so good at their jobs in the tech industry.

 

Meet Léa, a wonderful human all around.

Speaking to Léa and hearing her thoughts on the tech industry was insightful. So I thought I would also share my observations of Léa because she’s not simply a woman in tech. Léa is also a wonderful co-worker and treasured team member.
For Léa, an engineer is ingenious. It’s in the root of the very word! She likes solving problems and finding intelligent, inventive, and sustainable solutions.
Lea is a very organized person who cherishes quality above quantity. This preference reflects the attention to detail she gives to everything she does. She is also very level-headed and pragmatic. Léa is a very analytical person and thinks things through before acting. Because she is not impulsive, she often finds unique solutions by analyzing a given challenge from every angle.

If you are interested in working with Léa, or curious about the Railnova environment, check out our 50inTech profile by following this link: https://app.50intech.com/company/railnova 

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