HackerNoon editorial team has launched 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. ! this interview series with women in tech Share your story today Tell us about yourself! Hi! I'm a Ukrainian technical SEO specialist. My experience in IT started in 2011 with website creation and management, and then I added some digital marketing knowledge to this, and in 2014 I had my first job as an SEO for a large Ukrainian company, Govitall. I walked a path from junior SEO to SEO product and team manager. In 2020, I started to work as an SEO specialist at Belkins (a B2B US/UA company), and in 2021, I became the head of an SEO department with 7+ people. War broke our growth plans, and I moved to the UK, where for more than one year I have been a part of the Edinburgh Bike Coop family, between our marketing and technical activities. Why did you choose this field in the first place? I felt like I wanted to belong to the digital world. And I started my self-education with CSS and HTML. And then I realised that SEO was the best match for me, as my psychological education was the perfect background for understanding Google algorithms, particularly based on cognitive psychology. What tech are you most excited/passionate about right now and why? It is definitely . And specifically, the opportunity for specialists from different niches to change performance strategies from giving attention to thousands of secondary details to focusing on a few really important and creative things. We need skilled AI operators nowadays, and this leads us to the future with better range and quality of information. AI What tech are you most worried about right now and why? I worry about the impact of informational technologies and media on modern society. It's a great power, and it can be used for good or for harm. The consequences of can be really horrible. information warfare What are your hobbies and interests outside of tech? I simply love nature in all its appearances. I like yoga, swimming in the sea (or at least in the pool), and hiking. I like to travel to cities with ancient and beautiful architecture and visit museums. And I love to spend time with my friends and family. 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? I gathered my SEO teams from people of both genders. And it was a difficult thing sometimes to reach authority from male techgeeks. It took some effort to provide them with evidence of my professionalism. Finally, they usually evaluate the order I always provide for any of my projects. Any questionable misogynistic story/situation you faced/handled, and you want to share with the HackerNoon Fam? At the start of my career, I was struggling with my job promotion when my boss was a man. I'm not sure if this was because of my gender or some other personal reason, but I saw that my performance is high, while my role and salary have been basic for almost two years. I just found better work in the next-level role at the other company. What was the biggest setback/failure that you faced, and how did you manage it? All failures in my professional niche are quite common, and causes are common too. It can be one or a few reasons why website positions are going down: new competitors with larger budgets appear on the market, or old competitors are extremely increasing their budgets; Google launches new algorithms, which are not frendly in our case; the market goes down for different reasons; or it can be an important department in the company that badly delivers. I'll tell you about the most recent such case. The UK is now experiencing live-cost crysis, and the bike market is going down. On the other side, in October 2002, it was a dramatic Google update. has a complex website from a technological point of view and a very narrow budget for marketing and development compared to our competitors. I decided to improve our strongest aspects: our bike shops at Google My Business. Those shops are all over the UK, and all of them have good ratings. We do not need an extra budget to make them even better, which obviously will have an impact on our local and national rankings. And from the other side, our team has a plan for how to engage some extra budget in launching collaboration with the bike brands we are selling. Edinburgh Bike Coop What's your biggest achievement that you're really proud of? In 2021, working at Belkins, I built a highly effective SEO team that successfully performed on five projects and had brilliant results for one of them, related to the marketing site network targeted at the US market. Inside our team, there was no violence; all team members became friends and were highly self-motivated. In your opinion, why do we see this huge gender gap in the tech industry, and how can we reduce it? I can share with you one interesting observation: in Ukraine, we have no such a gap. Women and men are mostly at the same level, and disrespect can be met quite rarely and in light mode. In the UK, I haven't faced this issue yet, but I'm here for one year only, and I have a wonderful team. Mostly based on what my friends told me, I can draw the conclusion that men are afraid to be affected by the power of "women's charm." They can be afraid of being used for personal gain, as the biological part here can work against men. On the other side, sometimes the psychological issues of some men can be so strong that they make them assert themselves at the expense of others. And natural women's emotionality can be considered by such men as convenient weakness. I think companies can launch more psychological support to fix and prevent such issues. Sometimes, a woman can help herself by changing her behaviour. In more serious cases, women can appeal to the law and regulations. Who is your tech idol? Why? Elizabeth Churchill inspires me. I think it's really exciting to explore and improve Google users paths and features. Do you have any advice for aspiring girls who want to join the field? I usually have interns. They are mostly girls. I teach them, first of all, to be professional in what they do. And to have a realistic view of their own professional strengths and weaknesses. To feel what they need to develop and how to find the way to do this. And of course, I tell them to have self-esteem. We can choose a place of work where we feel really valuable and respectful, which is 100% healthy.