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Women in technologies. Non-female professions? Haven’t heard.
Shodiyabegim Bakhtiyorzoda is the scholar of the TechWomen program- 2015 fr om Uzbekistan. She is a striking example of the successful woman who chose not the most traditional profession for females. By her example Shodiyabegim has been motivating young girls on fulfillments, persistence on achievement of their objectives and self-confidence.
Why did you choose the technical sphere? What served as motivation for your choice?
My choice of the technical sphere was not direct and unambiguous, rather it was the method of trial and errors. I received bachelor’s degree in the sphere of finance, but understood soon that I would not be able to work on this specialty. In 2003-2005 there was an Internet boom in Uzbekistan, the first Internet cafes appeared. In 2002 I created my own e-mail account, learned to find and read data. , I liked the world of the websites, internet chats and a possibility of communication through the countries and distances. It was an incitement for receiving degree of the bachelor in the business on computer technologies. Through interest in the Internet I came to programming and software development.
I cannot tell what motivated me. Actually, curiosity and inquisitiveness made me make a decision. When I started working I found more specific interests in the technical sphere. They were more conscious and now, having experience, I can diagnose in what direction to move further and what to study.
I chose the technical sphere because it develops dynamically. It is very interesting, there are no borders and limits of knowledge. The more experience and knowledge I have, the more I see how much I do not know yet. It sounds paradoxically, but it’s true.
Have you encountered any difficulties on the way to your career in science due to the fact that you are a woman?
Maybe I encountered such obstacles, but I did not realize that. Perhaps, if I were a man, many difficulties would be overcome more easily and quickly. I refused to accept difficulties and connect them to my gender. To inexperience - yes, to a lack of knowledge - yes, to an insufficient degree of giftedness, to laziness, but not to gender. I do not deny all the difficulties that a woman encounters at work, nor do I deny the fact that pursuing a career for women is more difficult. In the technical sphere, there are not enough of us, and even fewer occupy the managerial positions. During my participation in the TechWomen program, this was one of the most hotly debated issues. 99 women fr om different countries shared their experience in the technical field, as well as their position as a woman. These are generally accepted facts, and the whole world pays special attention to this matter.
I think, in any case, the employers, but not the women themselves, should think about the difficulties that are present on the way of women. This will greatly distract from self-development, working on mistakes, searching for non-standard solutions and focusing on their strengths instead of weaknesses.
What is your message to young girls and girls who are interested in technologies?
The main message is to understand and realize that the frames and barriers exist only in our heads. Real life is full of opportunities and choices! Professions are so diverse and go far beyond the personnel department, accounting, doctors and teachers, which are still considered traditionally female professions. You can become anyone, you can dream of any job, and girls and young women can do it, just like men. And this does not mean that women should behave like men. This means that such primordially feminine characteristics as patience, perseverance, attention to details and communication skills, are also applicable and in demand in technical sphere.
In fact, many studies have shown that the most effective teams and companies are those wh ere women make up half of the staff in any of the spheres. In addition, the technical sphere is one of the most "hungry" for workforce. Therefore, I would seriously advise girls of a curious mind and interest to read about electrical engineering, renewable energy sources, programming and large amounts of data. I am sure that they will discover a lot of interesting facts, which can subsequently influence the choice of career. And in a 5-10 years’ time they have a chance to become highly on-demand specialists.