Meet an Invest Diva: Female Engineer in Sweden
Our goal at Invest Diva is to educate and empower women in the male-dominated industries. As a former Electrical Engineer, I became passionate about this and made it my mission.
In this new series, I'd like to bring attention to women who work in the male-dominated industries around the world, and ABSOLUTELY CRUSH it!
Today, please meet my dear friend Negin Javan. She is a .NET developer and IT consultant based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has recently started investing to grow her wealth.
Her story and how she has been overcoming her challenges as an Invest Diva in a male dominated industry is truly empowering.
I left Iran at the age of 18 when I was awarded a scholarship from Japanese government to live in one of the most high tech countries in the world to start my journey in the engineering field. Japan is an amazing and beautiful country with wonderful people. I should say that I had a fantastic life with lovely experiences there and at the same time many challenges that I could never imagine until I started living there; the Japanese language, classrooms filled with guys, being one of the very few girls, being the only foreigner, you name it. Despite all these I was always so fascinated about Japan and still am. However, these questions kept bothering me all the time:
How can a country be so developed but still show many signs of gender inequality in the society? Why do women still earn much less than men here?
So that I decided to move to Sweden, the country of equality, to continue my studies and eventually start my career journey.
Sweden: the land of peace and high standards, the leader of equality. I got my master’s degree in software technology, learned the Swedish language and now proudly work as a female programmer in a male dominated branch.
The interesting thing? None of these surprises nor equality questions ever ended even in the land of equality. Of course I have seen the equality in Sweden more than any other place in the world that I have lived in or traveled to but unfortunately not yet enough in IT branch, nor in the finance department. Just imagine a work place full of guys who fundamentally girls can’t code or do other “manly” tasks. Isn’t it the 21st century, and aren’t I in one of the most advanced countries?! While there certainly are some forward-thinking people who see me just as a programmer and not a girl, but unfortunately still too many, probably unconsciously with no bad intentions, think and behave this way.
Sometimes I have wondered how easier it could have been for me in all these different difficult stages of my life to just give up and choose the easy path that I had as a girl. But instead I fought back, took the responsibility for myself and other women and welcomed all the challenges. The good news is that my patience has been rewarded with those amazing male colleagues of mine who can now see me as a true colleague and not just a girl. This has helped me stay strong. I can see the light of hope at the end of the tunnel in the IT and finance industry for women, especially for our generation.
Although it is challenging to be a woman in IT or in finance, but I believe these fields certainly need more women to help balance out the industry with new ideas and perspectives. It’s us women’s responsibility to accept the challenges, bring the new ideas to these male-dominated fields and open the minds of those who just can’t see the necessity of a balanced worked place. Change can only happen if we take the challenge, and the end result can be fascinating, fun and rewarding.
So if you are a woman out there in a male-dominated industry and meet Mr. Challenge, tell him to watch out! We are here to stay.