DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.
If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!
What has your career journey looked like?
Throughout my career, I’ve always worked with emerging tech. In the beginning, that meant e-commerce which evolved into Fintech, which evolved into Digital Identity. Throughout this journey, I’ve worn different hats from development to architecture to sales, and now an entrepreneur. I’ve had the opportunity to understand how all the pieces of the business work together and the biggest takeaway I’ve had from that is how critically important someone’s willingness to be a team player is versus their technical aptitude. You can always teach technical aptitude but good team players are always hard to find.
When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?
I wanted to be a lawyer because I felt like lawyers understood how the world works. That wasn’t necessarily correct but it felt like the type of career that would give me the most growth and exposure for career opportunities possible as an adult.
As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?
It was not recognizing my strengths and spending energy trying to be more like other males in my field instead of recognizing my own strengths as a woman and focusing on those.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
The biggest thing right now is learning how to make that next strategic hire that can take things off your plate so you can be balanced in work and life. Recognize that if you surround yourself with very good people, they will give you the opportunity to go away and not have any worries.
How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?
It does start early. For young women interested in more of the programming side of technology, we need to encourage young girls to take that computer science class in grade 7 and not think that technology is just for guys. However, there’s a big misunderstanding that to work in tech you must be a coder. There are many fields within the technology sector including very creative outlets such as product, design, marketing, and sales. If you’re mid-career, don’t be afraid of making that shift and consider exposing yourself to new disciplines by taking some online classes.
What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?
It’s to encourage women to speak up and to put their hand up for roles that they would otherwise consider unattainable.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
I think a big challenge is that the fact that they are growing in a world that is already tech-enabled and that does not award them the ability to troubleshoot and learn the way that we did. This gave us the ability to be more creative with our solutions. We weren’t able to jump to the internet to find a solution, we struggled until we solved it.
Don’t necessarily succumb to the traditional thinking of what’s right and what’s wrong. We need to remind them to think for themselves and that their value is their own original thought.
What advice would you give to young women entering the field?
It’s the same advice my dad gave me – keep your options and be curious. You’re not going to know truly what your career will look like until at least 5 years in an industry. It’s so vast, it’ll take a while to find your sweet spot. Stay open to options.
Elena Dumitrascu is Co-founder & CTO at Credivera