International Women’s day celebrates women’s contributions to society and raises awareness about the fight for gender parity. We are excited to share the stories of these amazing women at Wave Technology Group.
37% of the employees in our two companies, Mobile Wave Solutions and Roller Gaming, both part of Wave Technology Group, are women, qualified and experienced professionals in various fields, assuming key positions. Our company culture is based on appreciation and respect, treating employees as the main asset of the business and key to success.
We are happy to present to you Irina Stoyanova (Commercial Director), Magdalena Kirova (Java Developer), Stela Kovacheva (Developer), and Daniela Mihaylova (Project Manager). Enjoy reading their true stories on the WAVE of Technology.
Find out what stands behind their motivation and dedication, as well as the challenges they need to face in the IT male-dominated world.
Do you remember your first day at Mobile Wave Solutions/Roller Gaming? What was your first impression of the company?
Irina: Sure I do. Had an interview with the CTO of a client, and met my Mentor f2f for the first time (I was interviewed during the social distancing period). And let me tell you, the HR team was amazing - so welcoming and supportive. I remember asking people I met in the shared spaces the usual “what do you do here? '' question and in lieu of short, dry semi-sentence I was getting surprisingly long and detailed answers. It stuck with me as it seemed people were passionate about their work. All in all - it was a pretty good day followed by an even better 1.5 years.
Magdalena: I remember very well the first day at MWS. I came from a smaller company, and what made the strongest impression on me was the attitude toward every single person. I was greeted warmly, organized, and had a personal handwritten message. All this made me feel in the right place.
Daniela: Yes, I remember it like it was yesterday. Time here passes so quickly and imperceptibly. It was a nice sunny day during the summer, the office was full of people who were looking so positive. I have received a very warm welcome from the HR team and the new (then) colleagues. A great beginning of a great and exciting journey.
Stela: I remember on my first day there was a lot of onboarding, meeting new people, and getting familiar with the company. My first impression was that everybody was very cooperative and responsive, which helped me feel relaxed. :)
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Irina: I work in a product professional services company with a flat structure, which means everyone has the opportunity to contribute and make a real impact. And because we are developing products across different industries, we're always learning about new challenges and finding creative ways to solve them. And of course, there is the exciting and humbling interaction with my colleagues. They would explain to me a complex engineering problem they are working on and after a couple of minutes of what I am quite certain is just them purposefully speaking in a Klingon dialect I am not familiar with I am reminded I have to keep up with people who are constantly pushing themselves to learn new technologies and stay ahead of the curve, which keeps things fresh and exciting. There's never a dull moment!
Magdalena: Literally everything! Communicating with people, the daily challenges of problem-solving, and learning new things. I haven't felt stagnant, which is the most important thing for me.
Daniela: Being a project manager is a very interesting profession where you always get a variety of people from cross-functional teams, problems to be solved, or proactively find them before they become a problem. There are also different situations to be managed and you never feel bored if you are fully involved and engaged with your project. I love making things work and especially when you have a strong team beside you as I have here in MWS, getting work done is just making me feel proud.
Stela: I am working as a front-end developer of lottery games - the most exciting part of my job is when I am dealing with animations, though I enjoy the entire process of developing a game.
What are the three words that you would use to describe your role?
Irina: Collaborative solution seeker. Well, I strive to be anyway. It takes a team effort to tackle complex challenges, and I'm grateful to have supportive colleagues who share the same goal.
Magdalena: Challenging, responsible, interesting
Daniela: Responsible, Exciting, Variety
Stela: Exciting, Inspiring, Satisfying.
What challenges have you faced in the workplace, especially in your experience in male-dominated environments?
Irina: I have dealt with my fair share of unconscious bias, stereotypes, and lack of representation, but never to a point where they were a blocker, rather amusing motivators.
The first one I remember was when the dev manager of my first “big” project in a new company, when introducing himself, told me that although he doesn’t know me he believes I am too weak and polite to lead a project of that size and the dev team will exploit that. He then proceeded to give me some scrambled info about the product and quickly returned to his initial premise. He might have said it to me if I was a man, don’t know, but thanks to that guy I spend the next two years studying my a** off so that I limit my need for communicating with him to the bare minimum.
To be honest I am still learning to address those biases directly and on the spot. Even now my initial instinct was to answer “I have not” to the question … but then the Cool Girl monologue started playing in my head (thank you, Gillian Flynn).
Magdalena: I have had isolated cases where I have been underestimated, but with hard work, one can easily break stereotypes.
Daniela: I have worked in the IT industry for more than 10 years occupying different roles and positions and I've been in situations where I've been questioned and underestimated for being a woman. I don't get offended, even the opposite. I am getting more motivated and in time my work, results and the feedback I've been receiving were changing these moods. Actually, I've made a lot of friendships starting with this "underestimation":)
Stela: The challenges I encounter are related to the work itself, which actually makes it dynamic and interesting. I feel good and confident in this environment.
What would you say to female candidates that are thinking of applying for a job at Mobile Wave Solutions/Roller Gaming and considering a career in IT?
Irina: I would say go for it! The tech industry is full of exciting opportunities, and Mobile Wave Solutions/Roller Gaming is a great place to work. We have built a collaborative and supportive culture and we value not only professional excellence, but also kindness, empathy, and a healthy dose of self-deprecation.
And if you're looking for representation, you'll be happy to know that our senior management team is almost 60% female, well above the industry average. So don't hesitate to apply and bring your unique perspective and skills to our team. We'd love to have you!
Magdalena: Not to hesitate! Once they have decided on this career path, they are strong individuals. at MWS/RG, I have not met anyone who does not respect women, even the fact that participation in such initiatives as "Women in tech" takes place shows how welcoming both companies are to female professionals.
Daniela: You are in the right place, the rest depends on you.
Stela: To apply. :)
What keeps you motivated?
Irina: It’s a function of various factors. The expected value of achieving my goals and good chocolate play a significant role; My dog with his expensive taste for Apple chargers; Additionally, and the degree of uncertainty surrounding those goals is a key factor. I find that the more unknowns there are, the more excited I become about the challenge of figuring things out; Also coffee … and my mortgage; And of course, the hedonic calculus of maximizing my personal utility is always at play. I want to feel fulfilled and happy in my work, and that means pursuing projects that align with my values and interests. The Guide says the best way to survive is to have a sense of humor, so I try to approach each day with a positive attitude and when I can’t I follow the words of the lovely Carlcock: embrace the suck and move the … forward.
Magdalena: I find motivation mainly within myself. Beyond that, I find motivation in proven leaders like my current DM - Gabby.
Daniela: I love my job and I love seeing results. I can't think of a single day without being busy with what I love to do - my work.
Stela: The dynamics of my role, striving for and achieving good quality.
What job did you dream of when you were a kid?
Irina: I wanted to be a poet and fighter pilot. I used to write a ton of moody “deep” poems and I was obsessed with the F-14 Tomcat (yes, I am that old). It had these cool twin tails, swept-back wings, and could go super-fast. I loved pretending I was a Top Gun pilot, zooming through the air, and doing barrel rolls.
Magdalena: I wanted to be a veterinarian to help the purest of creatures - animals.
Daniela: Oh, probably like most kids I was dreaming of different jobs. The funniest in my opinion was becoming an owner of a currency exchange office as I was collecting foreign currency and I was often playing this role :)
Stela: A Fireman. :)
Fun fact about you?
Irina: The first time I flew alone was as a teenager, on a paraplanner after one hour of instructions. I was given a radio station older than me to follow the instructions of the trainer - it stopped working after one minute in the air.
Magdalena: Since I was little, I think I can sing and bully others with my voice :)
Daniela: I was taking care of shrimps in an aquarium.
Stela: I like to find hidden images in different places like coffee grounds, asphalt, stains, and clouds.. :)