Meet the women who help make Visa Developer and Visa Fintech run, everyday. They are a group of strong female leaders & entrepreneurs. They champion change in the technology industry, overcoming diversity in what is sometimes known as a "man's world." Hear their stories of perseverance, hard-work and what they hope for future Women in Tech.
What does International Women’s Day mean for you?
"Woman need to be the change they wish to see and today serves as a reminder that we all have a role to play in the long journey for equality. Woman in the workforce, rise when we all rally together to help lift each other up. It’s important that women at all levels spend time actively pushing for equality by helping to raise the collective voice of women everywhere and insist on equal representation at the table. So, today I’m reminding myself and other women around me to: mentor other women, hire other women, insist that other women’s voices are heard, and invite more women to the table. We all rise by lifting one another."
- Brittany Eden, Sr. Director, Visa Fintech
"This day is special both because it is an opportunity for everyone to hear about all of the great stories from fellow women in tech and celebrate their achievements, but also it helps raise awareness for the impact women have in shaping our society. First, showcasing equal rights is more than just gender equality, but equality for all. Second, it highlights the need for equality action. The fact that this is a year-long campaign, gives us an opportunity to push for change in more ways beyond the one day."
- Christen Kelly, Sr. Director, Visa Dev Portal Experience Lead
"This is a reminder to continue
celebrating women and all the advancements we have made collectively in various fields! For me, growing up in India, there were a few challenges I faced to get into science related fields, as those were considered to be more for men. To get into a school with very few women was an interesting experience. But in my heart I knew I could accomplish what I set my mind to. I overcame the challenges and excelled in my school. Today, as a Director of Content, I manage the website content for the various platforms, including Visa Developer. I feel great to be part of a team where everyone is treated with equal respect, we value each other’s opinions, and help each other on various initiatives."
This year’s theme for IWD is #EachforEqual – an equal world is an enabled world. How does this resonate with you?
"An equal world is an enabled world: This resonates with me since having equality enables not only opportunities but the pursuit of opportunities. Too often women are discouraged by society regarding what they can and can’t do. Knowing you are just as good or better empowers you to reach new levels women could only dream of previously."
- Diana Tran, Implementation Analyst, Visa Developer Support
"This year its about the power of the do. How can I have my connections help, how can I help other women. Not just setting up coffee, not just getting people connected, but following through. Following through on those connections, helping people get connected helping people get jobs and actually giving mission critical advice that people can use to achieve their goals."
- Ilkay Can, Vice President, Visa Developer
What does it mean to be a woman in tech – an industry that has become so male-dominated?
"Being in an industry so male-dominated – serves as a reminder of two important facts: 1) that we still have a long ways to go, and 2) that there is an important role for men to play in workforce equality. The individuals with the most power to make the greatest change are those who sit at the decision-maker table. And if that table is full of men, we need to make sure that we are educating our senior male leaders on the impact of diversity in the workplace, and holding them accountable for the change we expect to see.
We have to have well-educated and equipped male allies to fight for the rights of the unrepresented. As a women in tech, it is so important for us to express our expectations of equality with our male counter parts, and we need to enable, allow (and expect) men at all levels to be an active participant in solving the problem. "
Any advice to inspire girls to pursue a career in STEM?
"In my personal experience, you don’t need to have a STEM degree to get a career in STEM. I graduated with a BS in journalism but had a passion for the tech space. The key is finding what you are good at, and what you are passionate about, and don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing that goal.
The only way technology companies, or any business, can be successful is be ensuring we have diversity in thinking, diversity in people. And that includes women with a STEM degree, or a degree in journalism."
"I am from Vietnam, which does not have many females pursuing a career in STEM. This did not stop me as I still pursued hobbies that interested me like creating web pages and reading coding books.
If you are persistent and passionate, you can achieve anything you desire."
"We need to use successful women as motivation for girls. Schools should encourage more females who have STEM careers to come and share their experiences. It starts from elementary school where kids are building their foundation.
Second, ditch stereotypes. Cultural stereotypes are a reason why we don’t see as many girls in STEM fields. By breaking them, we will change the traditional role girls have in our society. Don’t question and put extra baggage on yourself because of these stereotypes, keep moving forward. Keep making mistakes and keep learning from them."