We are proud to announce the launch of our Women and Diversity in IT editorial series. This series aims to speak with women about their experience in the IT and Testing industries.
Focusing on their stories, their highs and lows, their role, their advice to aspiring women testers and engineers, and who/what inspired them to pursue a career in IT and climb the ladder, we will explore what is it like for women in tech industries: from the diversity and inclusion to the challenges and successes.
Divyanshi Asthana is a Quality Assurance Test Engineer at IQGeo. Divyanshi specializes in Manual and Automation Testing.
So, we talked to Divyanshi to find out more about why she joined the tech industry, what was her experience, what are the challenges she faces as a woman in Testing, and her advice to aspiring women engineers and testers.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your current role?
I am a Quality Assurance Engineer. I have been working as one for five and a half years. I have experience in Manual and Automation testing. I have been working in England for 7 months. Before that, I was working in India. My current role is – QA Test engineer in a geospatial software company.
What inspired you to get involved in the IT industry?
In my childhood, I have always seen my elder cousins with their big old fashion computer, and I was fascinated by it. I wanted a computer too and later, it turned out I also want to work with computers and that is how it all started.
What inspired me to be a tester was that I like having everything high quality and that is what testers do. They make sure the product is of high quality. There are so many things you can learn and do in testing. Everything has its own concept, its own values, and its own goals. This keeps me engaged with testing and I never get bored. This is fun!
Did you study IT and if so where and what was that experience like?
I did a bachelor’s in computer science from one of the university’s affiliated colleges in India. My experience was good because I was always interested in learning. Every six months, your subject changes and you learn something new about computers and other related areas. It was so interesting, and I did not realize how fast 4 years passed.
What do you think of the gender diversity in testing and in the tech industry, in general?
I have noticed that there are way fewer women, not only in testing but in the whole tech industry in general. On the other hand, I noticed a greater number of women in Human resources or Management than in Tech.
Many companies already initiated to hire more women, and many have yet to start, to make the gender balance. In the future, we might see a good increase in the number of women in tech.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt that your gender affected the way you were perceived or treated? If so, how did you handle it?
Fortunately, I have not. It has been quite good for me. But I have seen a difference in salary. For the same role and experience. Men get higher offers than women. I have experienced it and it is hard to accept. I do not know why it is like this. Unfortunately, it is a recurring issue in many industries.
Apart from this, I do not feel like I have been treated differently because of my gender. Also, since there are fewer women at my work, we tend to get the priority for things. That is quite good.
What do you think are the challenges women come across in that industry?
What I feel is the most challenging thing is that they do not the same things for women and men. For instance, when women go into maternity leave, managers take it as a holiday and not an actual need This is something people and higher management especially should work on.
Also, it is harder for women to get a job if they are pregnant already or if you have small children. It is easier to hire a childless woman. When you are pregnant or have children, no one wants to put money on you. Because you might need to take care of your children and miss hours. That is a challenge because people do not understand that it is a need. Having a family life and a work-life is challenging for women.
In India, most women leave their job after getting married or having a child. They are often around 30-35 years old. This is hard to handle both. Families completely depend on them and if something happens, they must handle it.
Do you have any ideas or initiatives that could benefit women working in the tech industry?
I do not have any initiatives at the moment, but I think that free seminars or courses where you get a chance to teach somebody, especially women, are a good idea. I would like to join that. I want to teach them about testing, about everything I know. I think that could change a thing. And if there is a lady teacher, maybe it could inspire women to think that ‘if she can do it, why can’t I?’ So yeah, I really want to go and help.
I could tell women that they do not have to be smart, they have to start and learn. That they can do it.
Have you helped to introduce any other women to the industry?
In my family, there are many girls and I am the oldest one. I think that this is my responsibility to guide them in the right direction and inspire them. I tried to help them with school and guide them in all the way I can. I think it is really important to have someone like that in your life. I make sure that anybody who talks to me and want to know something, I get to teach them and guide them.
What do you think is the best part of being a woman in tech?
I think being a woman is the best! As for work, you must be a learner and you have to work hard.
I think women can be very good testers. Because women always look at the quality of everything. They always make sure that it is perfect. They try different ways to make their work the best possible.
Do you have any advice for women considering a career in the tech industry?
My advice is: please do not think you need to be smart to start in Tech Industry. If you have a passion to learn and curious about new things, you can do it.
You have to start. If you do not start, you will not know your potential. So, just start. It is as simple as this. With time you will learn. If you fear to code, for instance, start with manual testing. It is about starting, learning, and persevering. Test and test and test until it is the best.
What is your expertise and what is a typical day for you?
My expertise is in automation. I do mostly python and java. These days I am working with Robot Framework where I am automating web and mobile applications and solving the challenges I get.
What is your favorite part of testing?
My favorite part of testing is learning. Before I started, there were lots of tools I had never used, and I got to learn how to use them throughout the years. There are so many things, so many concepts to learn and so many challenges to overcome. I learn every day.
Finally, do you have a memorable story or an anecdote from your experience you would like to tell?
Nothing specific. I have traveled quite a few times for the work and met interesting women in tech that also inspired me to do and feel good about what I am doing.