DataTjej of the Month: Mikaela Westring

Name: Mikaela Westring
Age: 28
Workplace: Acando
Plugged: Business system and service design at Stockholm University

Active year: 2015 / 2016

Can you tell us how you ended up at your workplace and what your duties are?

I thought Acando's trainee program was developing and that those who did it seemed to have such a wonderful community. So I applied for it and now work as a trainee at Acando. Acando is an IT and management consulting company, where I work as a consultant in systems integration. I help clients set up or move their integrations to the cloud by using Logic Apps located in Microsoft's cloud portal Azure. Simply put, I make sure that a company's different types of systems can have data flowing between their systems. In addition to working with systems integration, I work with how we at Acando can be better at equality, diversity and have an even more inclusive culture. We have realized that in certain aspects we are very similar and we believe that diversity gives (among other things) different perspectives, different solutions and thus we become better as a company.

Why did you get involved with DataTjej and what role did you have?

I got involved with Data Girl because I think it is important to create a culture and environment in the IT / technology industry where more women / non-binary feel welcome and included and that Data Girl was a way to do that. I also thought it was fun to enable networks between our students during university time, but also to enable more DataGirls to meet companies and gain an insight into company cultures and what jobs are available after graduation. Another contributing factor was that I knew about a lot of awesome girls who got involved in DataTjej so I knew that if I was elected to the board I would end up on a board with driven and inspirational girls. I had the post of vice chairman and business manager.

What is your best memory of your time at DataTjej?

I remember one of my first events that I had arranged and that it came around 40 DataTjejer from different universities in Stockholm and Uppsala. In addition to learning more about the company and what is good to think about before the job application, it was so inspiring to meet all the Data Girls and listen to what they studied, what they thought was the most fun and where they thought they would like to work with after studies. I made new friends there, new insights and I from there with a big smile. Just that power of competent and peppy people is cruel and that event was where I experienced it for the first time with Data Girl.

Say three things we didn't know about you / describe you as a character:

  • I talk so fast sometimes that people don't hear what I'm saying
  • I recover most preferably by going out into the woods
  • I had never programmed before I started university and was terrified of the first programming course

How can companies get more young girls interested in IT?

Hard question with many good answers! Don't think there is a right answer but one thing that I think can help is to tell you what breadth the IT industry offers and what it is actually possible to work with. And showcase women who have all these different types of IT jobs. I also think that working with associations like DataTjej can help companies reach more young girls. Then all companies look at how it promotes gender equality and inclusive culture in their workplace. It is not what the companies say but what they actually do that is important.

Are you an old Data Girl and want to tell your story? Or do you have any tips on questions we can ask for the next interview? Feel free to contact us at kontakt@datatjej.se.

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