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WOMEN IN TECH

Sara Sailors

Lead Engineer

SaraS

Why do you think it’s important for more women to join the tech industry?

I think that traditionally women have been pushed towards non-technical industries - such as teaching, writing and things that involved more soft skills like communications. Starting at a younger age, we need to introduce STEM and technology focused camps directed at young girls and women. There are many programs that have started in the last five years focusing on this, so hopefully in the coming years we will see an increase in women in tech. If an industry is male-dominated, it can be intimidating and not especially family friendly. If companies have more open policies, such a remote work, maternity leave, sick leave or flexibility for children it would also be a draw for women in the industry.

 

What advice would you give yourself just starting out?

I always had an interest in technology, but was directly encouraged to go a different direction when applying for college. It kicked off my career in a direction that was definitely not a fit. I would say follow your gut and pursue the path that most interests you and not what you "should" be doing. Don't be afraid to ask questions!


What first sparked your interest in working in the tech industry?

Though it started earlier than this, my high school in Baton Rouge was an early adopter of the "paperless" school concept and we all had laptops. I dabbled in everything from design, to code and even guessing school passwords to get into AIM so we could chat all day secretly. I really enjoy problem solving and logic problems, which is what a lot of development work comes down to.


What is the best professional advice you've ever received? 

My dad always encouraged me to be a lifelong student so that I never stop learning and growing. I try to take that into account and learn something every day.


What is your favorite book, podcast or tv show and why? 

I'm pretty basic - I like true crime podcasts, and recently I've liked an SVU podcast called "That's Messed Up" and also one called "This Podcast Will Kill You". It's actually about infectious diseases and their origin. For TV Show - recently it's been Ted Lasso. Just love how upbeat it is and all the characters.