Power Plays for Women in Tech: Fears Will Be There Until You Tap Into Them and Decide to Change Them by@alexamoeco

Power Plays for Women in Tech: Fears Will Be There Until You Tap Into Them and Decide to Change Them

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The HackerNoon editorial team has launched this interview series with women in tech to celebrate their achievements and share their struggles. We need more women in technology, and by sharing stories, we can encourage many girls to follow their dreams. Share your story today!
Alexa Sinyachova HackerNoon profile picture

Alexa Sinyachova

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Moeco

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

The HackerNoon editorial team has launched this interview series with women in tech to celebrate their achievements and share their struggles.

We need more women in technology, and by sharing stories, we can encourage many girls to follow their dreams. Share your story today!

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Alexa, I am Ukrainian. I am the Co-Founder & CEO at Moeco.io and WTech Berlin curator.

I am a global business executive and entrepreneur with over 12 years of experience in the digital transformation between industry and technology. I am the one who builds the bridge between deep tech and its application in the real world, looking for the best use cases in various industries.

Why did you choose this field in the first place?

I have always been excited about how technology is transforming the way we live and always wanted to be a part of it.

Even though I don't have an engineering degree, I’ve spent a lot of time understanding it and finding ways to explain it to non-tech people and this is how I gained the skill of selling tech solutions for enterprises.

I have always worked with tech founders (real nerds!) and helped them to find the best way to apply their knowledge and package their ideas for business applications.

So far, I have helped several startups to find their products’ market fit and get their first clients, and co-founded Moeco.io to apply this experience to my startup this time.

What tech are you most excited/passionate about right now and why?

I am excited about the data and how it can be used daily to help people make better decisions by sourcing, analyzing, and turning the data into actionable insights.

The sourcing part is the most exciting for me right now as the real-time data flow from our sensors enables our customers to understand the conditions of the goods in transit.

This is all due to the most recent connectivity options that have only been available in the last few years. The cost of hardware and connectivity slowly reduces every year, which allows us to source the data in the most cost-efficient way for our customers.

Our plan for the near future is to be able to fully automate all the processes in logistics with the help of real-time data flow and eliminate all the risks and manual operations in the supply chain. 5G expansion will make it even faster than we thought.

What tech are you most worried about right now and why?

I am most worried about my Ukrainian colleagues. There are plenty of great tech projects and bright minds in Ukraine such as 3DLOOK, Readdle, Petcube, Grammarly, Ajax, etc.

Due to the war, we must adapt, relocate teams, and open hubs in other countries. Luckily, Ukrainians are cool beans, we are resilient and will come back stronger.

That is why you will hear more and more Ukrainian names from all around the world in the upcoming year.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of tech?

I practice yoga and meditation and am a certified yoga teacher.

Additionally, I ran the San Francisco half marathon and created a female-focused health and wellness community called SupergirlsSF.

When I moved to Berlin, I became the ambassador of Wtech - a community of Ukrainian and global female entrepreneurs, so I devote a lot of my free time to events, mentorship, and helping Ukrainian founders and entrepreneurs to expand globally.

Let's talk about breaking the glass ceiling. What were the biggest challenges you faced as a woman in tech, and how did you deal with them?

This is the most common question I have been asked in the last 10 years and I think the answer to that question was being taken seriously in my career.

I first started as an executive assistant at a media-tech startup, and I have always been treated as “the girl who sends emails and brings coffee” until I once expressed my opinion on the project we were doing.

Then and there I was heard and treated seriously because I was always thinking more than I was required.

I think that the expectations from women in tech are quite low in modern society, but more and more women are proving that we can do so much more than people would expect.

I think standing up, expressing your point of view, and taking action to make a change in this world is what a lot of modern women dare to do just as you read these lines right now, so please expect more and more female-led companies in the near future.

Any questionable misogynistic story/situation you faced/handled, and you want to share with the HackerNoon Fam?

The recent experience I had in Saudi Arabia showed me that the world is changing the right side up.

Even 5 years ago it would have been hard to imagine a female founder pitching her project to the Tech Accelerator in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in front of nearly 200 investors at the time of Ramadan. It was not easy to get a visa for a woman, even if she had a business partner/client there.

Now Saudi’s government is opening the doors for female tech founders, welcoming and integrating them into their economy, making the 2030 vision of a “digital country” a reality.

This is a very impressive change that happened very recently and that is a good example of how the governments of different countries should approach their improvement.

What was the biggest setback/failure that you faced, and how did you manage it?

The deepest and biggest insight of all time for me is that the wrong hiring process can ruin the business.

Even hiring one person who has different values could dramatically shift the way a company develops and the direction in which it goes. I think aligning the vision and constantly checking in with the team is the only way to build the company right.

If the values and vision are not aligned, the company will be falling apart slowly but surely. One cannot build a company on their own; everyone was always telling me that the people are the key, but I want to make a statement from my experience now:

“Each individual is the key and the company has to have the right set of keys to open up the door into the unified dream.”

What's your biggest achievement that you're really proud of?

I think building the company is an achievement on its own, but having a diverse and distributed team is definitely a highlight.

I am proud of the people I was able to bring to the team and I am proud to keep it up even during the time of war in my country, as it is not that easy these days.

I think that the creation of a team diversity protocol together with the 5G Open Innovation Lab and the successful implementation of the diversity program in Moeco is the key to success.

Creating diversity in teams makes the company more sustainable and stronger during shaky times. It makes the organization operate as a single organism with different functions and capabilities to get to a single goal faster, more efficiently, and have some fun along the way. Don't forget about that part!

In your opinion, why do we see this huge gender gap in the tech industry, and how can we reduce it?

I think it has a lot to do with the leadership aspect. It was always common for men to lead and most of the time women were just following. Some really good examples like Cisco, Goop, 23andme, Bumble, Eventbrite, Glossier, RentTheRunway, and CreditKarma have changed the perception of women’s leadership and created role models for females to follow.

Now we can see more and more companies founded or co-founded by women and the better performance statistics these companies show investors and the whole world.

I think it’s a great example of how the mindset can be shifted dramatically in such a short timeframe.

Who is your tech idol? Why?

Whitney Wolfe Herd started her successful career in dating apps when she was a co-founder and vice president of marketing at Tinder.

When she filed a lawsuit against her boss for sexual harassment, she was forced to leave the company. After Tinder, Herd decided to compete against her former employer and create a new dating app.

With financial help from Badoo founder Andrey Andreev, Herd created Bumble, which allows women to make the first move after matching. Today, Herd remains the CEO of Bumble, which is valued at $1 billion and has 35 million users.

Do you have any advice for aspiring girls who want to join the field?

Fears will always be there until you tap into them and decide to change them.

We all have fears of not being good enough and in the tech world, females were always considered as “not technical enough”, “not smart enough”, and “not very good at taking the lead”, so it became even easier to just stick with the common ideas and not to take any steps towards changing it.

Changing the world starts with changing yourself and getting rid of all the obstacles on this path are, primarily, our own fears and insecurities.

Be brave and curious, always get to the core of things and be able to transform yourself on the go.

“Build the place on the flight” is the best description of the field you are joining.

If you are ready for that, take the step and don't wait for the invitation;  it is already there for you, waiting for you to accept the new reality, the new you.

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