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Review: Women in tech event from Cardo AI

Review of the Women In Tech Event From Cardo AI

We held our first Women in Tech online event only a couple of weeks ago, on Thursday, January 27, 2021.

This virtual conference represents the first in a series of interactive virtual conferences, with all-female speakers, that aim at connecting, educating, and inspiring all women interested in working in and with technology.

If you couldn’t join us for the live event, just read this article to find out what we shared and the topics we talked about!

The purpose of the Women in Tech event

The main objective of this event was to give more attention to women’s involvement in the tech industry while outlining the barriers and challenges they face when undertaking an entrepreneurial journey in technology.

Bringing together stories from both experienced industry leaders and young women who are just starting their careers, we aimed at giving a clear insight into the future of women’s inclusion and contribution to tech, with an additional focus on their entrepreneurial involvement in the local Albanian community.

The Structure & Continuation of the Event

The entire event was organized into three main sections based on the nature of the panelists speaking:

  • The Past
  • The Present
  • The Future

The Past of Women in Tech

During the first part of the online event, we focused on the concept of ‘Past’: our goal was to feature women with an established contribution to the tech community, who could inspire and give insightful advice to our attendees.

Therefore, we had the pleasure of hosting Arjodita Mustali. She is an Entrepreneur, Business Coach, Startup Mentor, and Business Strategist. Arjodita has supported countless businesses during their early-stage development and has seen them flourish.

Along with all these occupations, you can see her being active through different public speaking presentations. But, her passion for helping others, especially other women, is mostly expressed with her being the author of different publications.

Expressed in her own words:

“Why do we need the participation of women in technology and entrepreneurship? Because they make every technology and business more “human-oriented”. Their participation creates a balanced output in every tech initiative they take part in and to every community they contribute to.”
– Arjodita Mustali

According to Arjodita, female inclusion in the tech community can be improved if we all make an effort to support and encourage it. That can be done in different ways, such as:

  • Offering more & better education opportunities to all the women who show an interest in it
  • Mentoring and guiding younger women in the community
  • Increasing networking opportunities and sharing knowledge to remain competitive in the tech job market

The Present of Women in Tech

This section was dedicated to female figures who are actively pursuing a career in a technology field of their interest.

The first speaker of this session was Shila Shahinasi who is covering the role of Chief Technology Officer at Primus Albania.

What was special about her presentation was the fact that she shared her experiences in a leadership role in a Tech-based organization, but also her role as an experienced trainer for coding languages.

Shila Shahinasi: From Instructor to CTO

Shila outlined her background based on the different dimensions she sees her experiences.

  1. After her studies, she became a coding instructor, and, to this day, teaching is one of the activities she loves to do the most.
  2. Being a developer takes most of her time – not only as part of her current job but also because of additional projects she undertakes.
  3. In addition, Shila loves to explore new projects and that’s what makes her a tech creator. During the event, she mentioned the time she created a smart mirror from scratch.
  4. Finally, Shila became a true leader when she accepted the role of CTO: a challenging adventure, not only given the nature of the role but also because of the barriers she had to face as a woman in the industry.
“When I took over the role of CTO, I had to create from scratch entire processes and timelines, while helping every team to meet deadlines and move the projects forward.
I’ve had to prove myself multiple times during my whole career. Many people just wouldn’t give me the same level of trust they easily gave to my male colleagues. What I did to overcome these challenges, and what I would suggest to everyone thinking about a career in tech, is to not base your self-esteem on other people, just keep looking ahead, and follow your own path. “
– Shila Shahinasi

Salijona Dyrmishi was the second speaker of this section of the event, who right now is following her Doctoral studies in Security and Testing of Machine Learning at the University of Luxembourg, LU.

Salijona Dyrmishi: challenges of following a different path

Salijona is currently following her dream of learning more about technology and how it can help improve our everyday lives.

While her decision to follow the doctoral program would be considered unnecessary for a woman from the mentality of the city she grew, Salijoan still followed through with her decision. What helped her a lot was the support of her family and friends. Even if they didn’t fully understand what value achieving the Doctor level meant for her.

Another challenge she had to face during her study years in different universities was the lack of other female students following tech-related studies. But not only that, because she mentioned noticing that females made less than 10% of the teachers and assistants in one of the universities she studied. And that is why, according to Salijona, having other female figures young girls can look up to is extremely important.

“Young girls aspiring to follow a career in tech need female figures they can consider life models. They can be their teachers, colleagues, a mentor, or even someone they follow through different digital media channels they have available.”
– Salijona Dyrmishi

In addition, Salijona underlined how becoming a programmer or a developer is not the only way to have a career in technology. There are many career paths that don’t necessarily involve coding. Therefore, young women who are considering joining the tech industry should go beyond programming and explore all the countless opportunities and roles available in the STEM field.

The Future of Women in Tech

The last section of the event was dedicated to female figures who are just starting out in the technology space and still exploring or considering different directions they could take in the future.

The dedicated speaker for this section was Albina Peposhi. While being just a high school student, Albina is already working as a Junior Backend Developer at CodeAlly.io. She is also working as a Full Stack WordPress Developer at another company, taking on different projects.

She shared her experiences as a young girl working for two tech companies after finishing her high school homework. While her older sister was a good source of inspiration for Albina, being actively involved in the tech community has made a significant difference.

During the webinar, Albina encouraged participants to engage in hackathons, workshops, and competitions. But, as well as joining workgroups, where teamwork is essential, and local or online communities, which offer great support.

For young women looking to pursue a tech career, finding inspiring role models to follow is also extremely important.

This can be difficult to do as a very small percentage of female talents is actively involved in the tech industry. As an example, Albina mentioned her experience at a national coding competition, where only 5% of the participants were females.

What this event achieved

“Don’t focus on the negative aspects of working in tech, but think about all that there is to gain There is always something new to learn, you will be fueling innovation, you will be able to work from anywhere in the world, and furthermore, the ICT field has a high demand for new talents; A nice plus? You’ll look cool to people who don’t know that much about technology.”
– Albina Peposhi

Two final pieces of advice that Salijona shared with all attendees are:

  1. It is never too late or too early to start a career in technology. Follow your passion, whichever direction you take.
  2. Never make career decisions based on other people’s opinions, but look at your own objectives and goals.
“The challenges that we are facing and solving today are the ones that will open the road for other girls in the future.
– Salijona Dyrmishi

Next Women in Tech Events

The Women in Tech: Past, Present and Future was only the first one of a series of events we are planning to do here at Cardo AI. Keep following us on Linkedin to know more about our next initiatives!