It cannot be disputed that the tech industry has a long way to go before it reaches gender equality. But at Emark, we don’t want to wait that long. In fact, we want to accelerate the process. To inspire more women to work in the technology sector, and to connect to and celebrate them, Emark has commissioned a series of “Women in tech” interviews. This time we asked Jael Freixanet, Junior Solution Architect at Emark Barcelona, what she considers to be the biggest barriers facing women entering the tech world and her ideas on how to overcome them.
How did you embark on a career in technology?
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by maths and curious about how things work. Truth be told, I’ve disassembled and reassembled more than one telephone in my time! I’ve always liked thinking about problems and how to solve them, which is why I chose to do a degree in physics. Then, after finishing my degree, I was given the opportunity to become a Junior Solution Architect at Emark Barcelona, which, for me, was a perfect fit. I love solving problems and as a Junior Solution Architect that’s exactly what I do!
Who were your role models or mentors along the way?
I had several role models, ranging from famous physicists and mathematicians to wacky TV scientist, Beakman. They all stimulated my interest in this world, but I have to admit that most of them were men. Nowadays, I look to the people in my office – my colleagues – to learn from.
How remarkable that most of your role models were men. What do you think are the biggest barriers to women entering the tech industry?
I believe that years of male dominance has erected artificial barriers that prevent women from entering most sectors, not just tech. Prejudices still exist in society, which women must overcome. There’s the gap between men’s and women’s salary, for example, and that figurative glass ceiling still exists, all over the world. It’s a problem that won’t be solved in just a day, but it’s good to be mindful of how important it is to have gender -equality policies in place to overcome things like gender prejudices, issues about maternity leave, and so much more. It’s also very important that we get more female role models in every industry, particularly tech. Role models inspire younger women and girls, give them more confidence and help them identify the options that are open to them. So thank you for doing this series of interviews and thus giving us women a voice!
You’re quite welcome! Do you feel you are recognised on an equal footing for what you do? And is your voice heard?
To be honest, I’ve only just started at Emark. But so far I certainly feel that my voice is heard in the group and that my opinions are taken into account. It also encourages me to see that we have parity in Barcelona’s Emark office.
Good to hear. Tell us more about Barcelona, and Emark’s office there.
Barcelona is a modern, cosmopolitan, open-minded city that’s full of culture. Thanks to its great weather we usually all eat together on the terrace, enjoying the sunshine, which is definitely one of the nicest things!
What are the main skills a woman would need to have to be your colleague, and in which areas do you feel you need to improve?
Well, to start with, it’s vital that she has good knowledge of the Salesforce platform. I reckon this can be achieved in two ways: through experience; or by being proactive through further investigation and asking questions. Personally, I still need to improve how I manage client expectations and deal with problems that can arise during the process. I also need to learn more about the platform and ways to solve complex problems. But I really love thinking about how we can improve and exploit the platform’s tools so we can adapt data models and meet the needs of our clients. For me, solving problems is the best part of it all, and anyone who can relate to that will get along with me just fine.