To continue fostering conversations inside and outside our office walls, SPR launched an initiative in recent years to honor women in technology during Women's History Month. We began by crowdsourcing a 3D print of Ada Lovelace. In similar fashion to community print projects where people print a piece of a puzzle, SPR invited anyone at the company to 3D-print a piece that would be assembled into the final bust.
Ada Goes on Tour
And now, we explore the next step of bringing Ada into today's conversation of women in technology. After a year being alone in our Willis Tower HQ, SPR's Ada Lovelace took a tour around Chicago to meet up with SPR women. Ada's friends are featured below, with someone new added each week. We are excited to see where she heads next!
I am a Software Developer. I collaborate with Agile teams and help build features and solutions for software applications to serve the needs of our clients. What I like most about my role in technology is that there is always something new to learn. Technology is always evolving, and it forces technologists to be life-long students.
MY ROLE MODEL
My godmother is my role model who inspires me. She is a nurse working at a hospital in Chicago. She works 7 days a week to provide for her family. Even through the scary times of the pandemic, she always goes to work with the best attitude with a smile on her face. She is the most selfless, hardworking person I know.
Starting a career in technology can be daunting at first, but it gets better over time. You should go easy on yourself and learn at your own pace. Ask for help when you need it and get comfortable looking up resources online. There is a high chance that if you are struggling with something, there is someone else out there who has had the same issue and has posted the solution online. Make sure to compare yourself to who you were yesterday, and not to someone else today.
~ Michelle Salgado
UX Designer / Business Analyst
As a product designer at SPR, I feel very lucky to be in this intersection of technology, business, and design. Being a consultant, I've gotten to work on unique problems in a ton of different industries - it keeps me challenged and motivated to continue learning and growing in my career.
MY ROLE MODEL
My answer is cliché and maybe more personal, but my mum is my role model. Without having the opportunity to go to college, she has always worked hard and smart to carve out a career for herself. Not only has she always told me that I can do anything I put my mind to, but she has always showed me through her actions that it's possible to thrive in a world filled with inherent biases based on who you are, what you look like, and where you come from.
Jump in; if you're not sure or if you know it's something you want, then just jump in. If you're hesitant about getting started, reach out to people in the careers you're interested in and ask questions, and maybe find a mentor or a friend to help you navigate your journey into tech.
~ Rachel Choe
Software Engineer in Test
I'm a software engineer in test, and I've always been passionate about new technologies. As a quality assurance professional, I help our clients solve their business problems by ensuring that the quality of the software we're building and delivering is up to high business standards and requirements. The best part of being in IT is that it's ever-changing! There's never a stand-still moment. You are always learning new things, whether it is a new technology or a new way of running a project. IT is an excellent career for passionate professionals who love solving problems, finding new solutions, and being open-minded and engaged to hear other people's points of view. Another significant part of the IT sphere is its diverse group of amazing people. It is so nice to get to know people from all around the world with different backgrounds, languages being passionate about IT! Everybody I've worked with is incredibly supportive and willing to help people.
MY ROLE MODEL
I continue to be inspired by Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki. She has been vocal about the need to get more women into tech. I see her as an inspiring figure because, over the years, she has been an outspoken proponent of closing the gender gap in the tech industry. She sees tech as an incredible force that will change our world in ways we can't anticipate where that force is only 20% to 30% women. Her example and many others shows that no matter what gender you are, you can always be proactive and achieve your success in the tech industry.
Don't be afraid to take the first step. Think of this from a bigger perspective, and imagine the endless opportunities of IT if you are involved in the development, innovation, and research of new, potentially life-changing solutions for the world! Remember, what will keep you moving forward is your day-to-day discipline of pursuing your goals. Aim to be one step ahead of where you were yesterday.
~ Victoria Mizilina
Project Manager, Scrum Master, Curious Learner
I am an Agile Project Manager who is passionate about Agile transformation and scaling Scrum teams. As a project manager I am responsible for end-to-end management of projects using Agile or waterfall frameworks, process development and implementation, risk, scope, budget and client management. I have managed projects around the globe, across various industries.The best part of my role? I get to work with the smartest and brightest people who are passionate about what they do. There is so much to learn and grow.
MY ROLE MODEL
My role model is my mom. She was a homemaker and did not get to work outside the home, but she was the most hardworking person I knew. Because she could not work, she wanted me to dream big and chase my dreams. She taught me that there will always be challenges but to never give up. She also taught me that people might not agree with me, but not to question my capabilities.My mom made sure I was given opportunities to excel in my studies and to know the importance of working hard. She encouraged me to be a confident leader and do the right thing. My mom supported and motivated me during my worst and celebrated with me during my best. She taught me how to laugh and find a reason to smile even in the most difficult times. I am forever thankful for her!
Be curious and keep learning and growing your skills. Seek opportunities that might seem challenging at first. But before all of that, be human. Empathize. As women we are gifted with empathy, and we get to use that gift.
~ Manu Arora