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International Women’s Day – Nataliya Komleva

Women in Big Data is spotlighting amazing women.

Nataliya Komleva is a Software Program Manager at the Architecture, Graphics and Software Organization at Intel Corporation. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Informatics from the National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE), Faculty of Maths and Computer Science.

As a schoolgirl I was told that IT industry is not for girls, and this is the greatest prejudice I have ever heard. Now I am working in IT and volunteer for the Women in Big Data organization to empower women all over the world. I’m excited to share my journey on the International Women’s Day 2021.

I grew up in a non-technical family in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, but computing (in particular, software development) has always been my passion. I was going get a degree in computer science and dedicate my life to it. Since I was completely self-taught in IT and there were no female role models I was familiar with, IT seemed to be completely a men’s world, where you cannot succeed as a woman. That impression got even stronger when several people around me told me that IT is not for girls.

So, with a heavy heart, I decided to give up this idea and pursue my other aspiration and get a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics. After graduation, I felt the urge to get back into IT, so I took a gap year to improve my hard skills, which helped me step into a software developer role in a startup.

Also, to sharpen my technical knowledge and meet my career goals, I got a Master’s degree in Business Informatics from the National Research University Higher School of Economics. During my studies I joined Intel Russia, where I am currently working as a software program manager. As a program manager, I focus on continuous process improvement in the software release system, which enables Intel to release more than 30+ software products.

What excites me about my work is helping software products go to market and seeing the value they bring to customers, solving complex tasks, and being surrounded by the most talented people. In addition, I get truly inspired being a part of the Women in Big Data organization, which I joined 3 years ago. Since then we have organized dozens of offline and online events and have grown our Russian community up to 1000+ people and two cities.

Based on my experience, I believe that raising awareness about women in STEM is important and should start from an early age. Even though the world is changing and more women are getting in STEM, a lot of women are still unaware of their capabilities or feel insecure about them, so it is priceless to have such an educated and supportive community. I have no doubts that if Women in Big Data existed in my school years, my journey to tech would be smoother and I would believe in myself better.

So, remember, always believe in yourself and do not be afraid to fail, as failures are a great chance to learn on your way to success.

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