June 23 2023
Inclusivity is a top priority here at iProov and this is reflected both in building an inclusive workforce and creating a product that is made accessible to all. Today is International Women In Engineering Day and to celebrate we asked our Head of Platform AI Violet Snell, and Research Engineer Panagiota Konstaninou what they enjoy most about being an engineer and how they encourage and nurture other women in engineering.
I’ve always been intrigued by technology and especially computer science. The unique combination of mathematical knowledge and logical reasoning that is used to create a solution grips me every time I am given a new challenge. I became more fascinated with computers when I was taking my A-level in Computer Science. It was such an eye-opening experience in the world of programming. Since then, it has been clear to me what career I want to pursue.
I really enjoy finally cracking through a knotty problem that’s been troublesome, and seeing the fruits of my mental labors working and being used by others to their benefit. I like the sense of control and mastery over my tools, knowing that I can achieve whatever is needed!
What I find most enjoyable about engineering is its unconventional creativity. It grants me the freedom to think innovatively and develop ingenious solutions for intricate computer vision challenges. Moreover, I have the opportunity to witness my ideas being implemented in the real world, where they assist numerous individuals on a daily basis.
Throughout my academic journey, both as an undergraduate and postgraduate student, I actively engaged in various volunteering activities and organizations with the aim of fostering the growth of women in the tech industry. These initiatives involved organizing and participating in teaching sessions, ranging from introductory to advanced classes, specifically designed for young females and career switchers in collaboration with CFG. Additionally, I took on the role of mentoring computer science students, supporting them in building their confidence so they could make independent decisions and pursue their aspirations. Furthermore, I conducted workshops addressing bias in AI and career development, among others.
Having a gender-equal workforce is particularly important to me not only because it’s the right thing to do but because it makes our communities safer and healthier. By fostering inclusivity within teams, many of the biases prevalent in current AI systems could have been prevented.
I have taken part in a variety of mentoring schemes, from my old Uni to national ones, and also done volunteer teaching for Code First Girls. The latest addition is Women In Tech, which is worldwide, so I look forward to meeting techie women from other countries, too. I have also supervised a number of young female engineers over the years, interns, graduates, and post-doc, and it’s always rewarding to see their careers progress.
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