Recognizing and celebrating women's immense talent and engineering capabilities is vital for equality and inclusion, but it's also a powerful catalyst for innovation and progress in this field. It is a privilege to embark on a journey to shed light on the remarkable women within our company who have proven that their expertise knows no boundaries. This interview series aims to amplify their voices, share their stories, and inspire the next generation of engineers by showcasing their achievements and dedication. To kickstart this empowering series, we are thrilled to introduce Natasa Matic, our colleague who adds a unique spark of passion to our projects.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

Variety. I'm constantly learning new things. Also, it’s very challenging, there are always new problems that should be resolved in the best possible way. Generally, I like solving logical problems.

What exciting projects or technologies are you currently working on in SYRMIA?

I’ve been working on two projects. One is a program that emulates graphics cards, and the second one is docker related; we’ve been developing a docker solution that should run games. Regarding the technologies, I’ve been in touch with docker technology, git, embedded development, Makefile…

What has been your most rewarding experience as an engineer thus far? Why was it so meaningful to you?

When I was promoted to the Team Lead position. It meant a lot to me that my hard work was recognized and rewarded.

How does embedded programming differ from other areas of programming in terms of the work you do and the problems you solve?

A profound understanding of the field is essential to excel in embedded programming, as it requires delving into intricate details to solve problems effectively. Moreover, debugging becomes more challenging since conventional debugging tools are often unavailable, necessitating the analysis of logs and unconventional methods.

How do you stay current in your field and continue to learn and grow as an engineer?

I stay current and continue to grow as an engineer through various means. One way is by actively seeking diverse projects, which have exposed me to a wide range of learning opportunities. Additionally, I have benefited greatly from the guidance and knowledge shared by more experienced colleagues. Furthermore, I have taken advantage of various courses offered within my company to enhance my skills and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing female engineers today, and how do you think we can overcome them?

After talking with a few friends who had small kids, I got the impression that balancing work and private life is not easy, especially for moms. Taking time off from work for at least a year and a half with each child can potentially affect a woman's career progression. One significant way to overcome this challenge is to increase the percentage of men who take parental leave, which is still very low in our country. By promoting more equal sharing of childcare responsibilities, we can create a more supportive environment for female engineers and help them navigate the work-life balance more effectively.

How do your male colleagues in SYRMIA demonstrate their awareness and support of the position of female engineers in the tech labor market? Can you provide some examples of how they have shown their support?

Male colleagues at SYRMIA demonstrate their awareness and support of the position of female engineers in the tech labor market in various ways. They create a pleasant working environment by fostering a culture of support. Whenever we encounter challenges or need assistance, our male colleagues are always willing to help and offer guidance. Moreover, there is a commitment to equality within the company, as there is no discrimination based on gender. Female engineers are offered the same opportunities for growth, recognition, and career advancement as their male counterparts. This gender-neutral approach ensures that everyone can thrive based on their skills, expertise, and dedication.

How do you integrate your personal values and priorities into your career, and how has that influenced your approach to work and life?

I think that commitment to your values is crucial for achieving success in all fields in life, concretely if we talk about work. If you are helpful and support others in their success, it will help you achieve your goals and become a better engineer and person.

How do you see the role of women in the engineering field evolving in the future?

When I started working, there were many more male than female colleagues, but I have noticed that this proportion has changed in the last few years, which is great progress. However, when it comes to leading positions, there are still more men than women. I hope that this disparity will be changed in the future as we continue to work towards greater gender equality and representation in the engineering industry.

What advice would you give to young girls interested in pursuing a career in engineering?

I have some general advice that applies to all fields in life. For a person who knows what she wants and is hard-working, the sky is the limit 😄