3 reasons why IT and fintech are the best areas for women’s career development in Ukraine

I was pleased to read the top of the most successful women of Ukrainian fintech on PaySpace Magazine and find myself there. I can name another 5–7 equally worthy candidates, but it still means a lot to realize that the benefits of your work and expertise are appreciated.

It all reminded me how often I heard the stories about difficulties to build a career in other areas of work for women — and there are incomparably more of such examples than in the sphere of IT and financial technologies in where I work. Some activists, before another March 8, will probably recall the inequality of opportunities and prospects in real labor relations in our country. And they will have the right on their sight: for the problem to be solved, we must talk about it. However, I still want to talk about the reasons why there is no need to put near with the word “equality” the word “problems” in some segments of the Ukrainian economy.

#1 — Full blast globalization

Fintech and IT are the most innovative industries that do not always try to “catch up” with processes in the West. Why? Because we became the part of these processes long ago. Our development companies are among the best world outsourcers, our M-banking makes progress in advancing to the homeland of mobile banking (UK), etc. The very essence and spirit of innovation is formed by a close connection with globalization phenomena.

The main value for the progressive part of our planet is not a gender, but a person himself, his intellectual capacity/ skills and benefits they can bring. Therefore, chances to approve oneself thanks to skills and zeal exist for everyone — men and women. Female developers, testers — this is not news for Ukrainian IT, and among all the colleagues-CEOs of Ukrainian companies there are no prejudices in this regard.

#2 — Relative “novelty” of industries

The standard office culture in Ukraine was formed before the boom of IT companies and the development of e-commerce. It absorbed many Soviet archaisms and traditions, in which equality in the main referred to a declarative principle, rather than to the reality.
IT and fintech are another matter. The Google and Facebook standards of office culture are ideal for virtually all companies in our field of work, and this is not just about fashionable furniture in Loft-style, cool designer renovation and lunch. This is mainly a comfortable and non-toxic work environment in which employee self-realization and comfort are interconnected with financial results. Traditional office roles cannot simply exist in such conditions. At LeoGaming there are both female developers and male accountants.

#3 — Projects are at the interface of technologies and creativity

Any good payment solution is, first of all, a comprehensive approach aimed at solving small customer problem. People working in it are sometimes required to think outside the box. Team work is not people working as the cogs of a common mechanism, but rather a team working on a common result. The description is similar, but the essence is different. The first example builds hierarchies in which stereotypes will inevitably arise. The second generates ideas whose value depends on skills, rather than biological installations.

I agree, sometimes such assessments substitute the wish for the reality. Kiev is not Silicon Valley, it is true. But, moving towards innovations and development, it is simply impossible not to improve yourself.

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CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank

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Alyona Shevtsova (Degrik)

Alyona Shevtsova (Degrik)

CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank

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