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What is your role at Hero Gaming?

I am a content coordinator and QA

What sort of education do you have?

I have attended four universities:

BA Level:

Computer engineering and communication from university of the Aegean

Film Technology and Marketing from Staffordshire University

Media and Communication from Birmingham City university

Master Level:

Media and Communication from Malmo University

How did you get into tech/coding?

It’s the future in my opinion. I was never a geeky person but I realised that it was easier than I thought to learn tech or understand the way it works. At first it was quite intimidating, especially at the university where I tried to learn to code.

As the years went by I avoided the subject because I thought I was not the type of person who could easily learn these things. It turned out the only thing I actually needed was to be a part of a company that would invest in growing me as a person and believing in my value even if I am not perfect at what I do. The will to learn and advance in tech comes only with a great support system around you, where your manager and colleagues believe in you and your ability to learn/adapt.

Have you always had an interest in coding/tech?

I didn’t have an interest in coding at all, but I strongly believe it was highly tangled in fear of not understanding it the way other people do. I did though find beauty in it after joining Hero Gaming. Watching people pair coding with laughter over a coffee and music in different corners of the office brought back to the surface a ‘cool’ vibe of coding if I could say. A sense of embracing it as a cool part of what we do every day. And as I would think that this coding ritual would happen more on a private setting, far away from me, not expecting me to be a part of it or involved, the opposite happened instead…I got challenged with positivity from developers to be involved, to learn, and to ask silly questions. So today I am looking more and more to be involved and have actually started to admire coding.

What would you say is the best thing about your tech-life?

That its cool. It allowed me to learn skills that can be used in man y different aspects of life, as technology right now is a part of our daily routine in everything we do. It made me smarter in a way and more aware of the possibilities around me.

Would you say that equality is high within Hero Gaming and your team?

I am confident that Hero Gaming is by far leading the game when it comes to equality. I see more and more women joining our teams and departments, and it is a beautiful thing to watch. To know that you gender doesn’t matter and that you are respected equally when it comes to tech skills is something that is vital and Hero Gaming is definitely investing in that.

Have you encountered any problems being a woman in tech? (like stereotypes and so on)

Yes in the past in other companies across the world that I worked for. In interviews, I was suggested a lower starting salary than others in my team, even though I was highly educated in comparison. I was also the one and only woman in that department, in a group of 14 people. It really didn’t feel good or balanced, I felt completely outnumbered. I have also been given less credit than men in my teams even though I offered a more fast paced and productive result everyday, I never received credit.

What do you think would make more young girls/women choose a career in tech and/or coding?

Just removing the label of women in tech if I can say. It’s not about women or men, its about allowing people from the beginning of their lives to see themselves as equal, no matter what their gender is. To allow people to breed in their system whatever skills they might have. Instead of giving your child a doll and the other one a puzzle, allow them both to have the opportunity to be stimulated from a young age with everything. As a child I never had in my a nurturing nature and my father allowed me to grow the parts of me that were considered back in the days more ‘manly’ skills. This is what made me believe in myself that I am no different than a man in tech today.

And last but not least, to pay women their real worth. Usually females are more educated than men and not willing to negotiate their salary. Offer women the equal pay they deserve, and if they are more educated than the guy sitting next to them then simply pay them for that extra hard work.

How have you been received as a woman in such a male dominated field?

Sometimes it has been amazing, just like it is here where I am now, where I am seen as equal and worthy of my role. Sometimes I have been perceived as a person that doesn’t comply with the role and should overcompensate, or even worse, sometimes my physical attributes have been commented instead of my interpersonal skills. That is a problem in male dominating companies, which doesn’t allow females to even create a support network sometimes.

In what tech-role do you see your self in 5–10 year?

I see myself in a more project manager driven role after I have understood in depth the tech info I need to learn at the stage I am. I believe I have good coordination and problem-solving skills, so combining it with tech background that would be ideal in the future.

It's not about women or men, its about allowing people from the beginning of their lives to see themselves as equal, no matter what their gender is.

Niki LazaridouContent & QA Co-oridinator