Celebrating
International Women’s
Day 2021

08.03.2021 | GDi

IWD2021-banner-500px

Celebrating
International Women’s
Day 2021

08.03.2021 | GDi

IWD2021-banner-500px
In recognition and celebration of International Women’s Day 2021, we asked four of our female colleagues to contribute with their thoughts and experiences of life and working at GDi.
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Name: Nikoletta Szalai
Position: GDi Marketing Manager
Office: GDi Budapest

Can you tell us about your background and how did you end up in GDi?

I originally studied Economics with a specialty in Tourism and Hospitality. After obtaining my diploma, I worked in sales for an insurance company, but I wanted to switch to another field. That’s how I found GDi (or Esri at the time). I started out as a receptionist, then in a few months I became the office manager.

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Name: Alenka Jelen
Position: Technical Consultant
Office: GDi Ljubljana

Can you tell us about your background and how did you end up in GDi?

I joined GDi soon after finishing my studies in geoinformatics. And I said to myself I will try here with my first job. Several years later I am still here! And I believe it was the right decision to start my career in this company.

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Name: Greta Gliksman
Position: GIS Specialist
Office: GDi Belgrade

Can you tell us about your background and how did you end up in GDi?

Well, considering that my father is an electrician by education, mother has a PhD in Biology, and my grandparents and aunt are both architects, I guess that I chose to study something that on some level combines most of these things – Landscape Architecture.

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Name: Anđelina Šiljeg
Position: Marketing Communication Specialist
Office: GDi Zagreb

Can you tell us about your background and how did you end up in GDi?

I started working in GDi in summer 2019 as a receptionist in Zagreb office. I just received my master’s degree in art history but decided to take a different path. Since I am also student at Faculty of Economics, I was able to apply for a student job here in GDi and that’s how my journey started.

read more >
nikki-300px

Name: Nikoletta Szalai
Position: GDi Marketing Manager
Office: GDi Budapest

Can you tell us about your background and how did you end up in GDi?

I originally studied Economics with a specialty in Tourism and Hospitality. After obtaining my diploma, I worked in sales for an insurance company, but I wanted to switch to another field. That’s how I found GDi. I started out as a receptionist, then in a few months I became the office manager. In this position I helped organize events, and when our marketing manager left the company, I had the opportunity to step into her shoes. I was working hard to learn the ropes, but I was very determined. It’s now been 4 years since then, and during that time I have completed courses in marketing and attended a graphics design school.

How does it feel to be a woman in tech?

Strictly speaking I’m not involved in tech work, so I can’t comment on what female developers experience. But as the marketing manager of a predominantly male company I don’t feel I’m treated any differently for being a woman, my work is equally appreciated as anyone else’s.

Is there one thing you would like to see changed?

I hope to see many more girls choosing IT and especially geoinformatics as their vocation in the future!

Do you have any advice for women entering the tech field?

Never stop training yourself, and always look for new learning opportunities!

Fun fact about you?

I love creativity! I am a trained makeup artist doing makeup for weddings and wedding magazine photoshoots mostly, and I recently adopted a cheeky little dog called Rudi.

alenka-300px

Name: Alenka Jelen
Position: Technical Consultant
Office: GDi Ljubljana

Can you tell us about your background and how did you end up in GDi?

I joined GDi soon after finishing my studies in geoinformatics. And I said to myself I will try here with my first job. Several years later I am still here! And I believe it was the right decision to start my career in this company.

How does it feel to be a woman in an IT world?

I feel very proud and enjoy every day. Each day brings new challenges. It is excellent and enjoyable work with such great people, co-workers, and customers. They give me a lot, not only technical knowledge but also other life experiences.

Is there one thing you would like to see changed?

Not really. We always need to support each other and continue with our team spirit. With that in mind, “todo es possible” (spanish: Everything is possible) because everyone is a valuable piece in a mosaic.

Do you have any advice for women entering the tech field?

Don’t be afraid to work with mostly male colleagues! As women we have many unique qualities that we can bring to those industries and change them for the better.

Fun fact about you?

Outside of work, I spend time with typical ‘male’ hobbies! I am a caver, and geologist. I also love woodworking and anything to do with home construction.

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Name: Greta Gliksman
Position: GIS Specialist
Office: GDi Belgrade

Can you tell us about your background and how did you end up in GDi?

Well, considering that my father is an electrician by education, mother has a PhD in Biology, and my grandparents and aunt are both architects, I guess that I chose to study something that on some level combines most of these things – Landscape Architecture. During my studies, I thought I would focus on large scale and design private gardens, but it turned out I was more interested in small scale and spatial data! I was always drawn to technology, probably because my dad was such a gadget geek, and I wanted to do something pragmatic and in line with current technology trends.
During my Master’s studies, I applied for a GDi Belgrade organized student workshop and I was fortunate enough to be one of the 8 elected students.
It turned out I left a good impression and the GDi team invited me to join them. So now it’s been 5 years and counting since then.

How does it feel to be a woman in tech?

Honestly, I don’t think I can differentiate myself as “a woman among men in tech” because that is just not the atmosphere that the company promotes. We have a company structure that is not dependent on gender, and I certainly feel an important part of the team, certainly not as a minority. We all contribute, whether you are a girl or a boy.
Also, I grew up in a house with a sister, so my dad ‘needed’ to have a son and that was me! Sometimes I think of myself more as a man than a woman in some respects. Especially when it comes to activities I enjoy, such as repairing stuff and driving. I feel then that I can hold my own with the men at GDi! However, it is always nice to be appreciated and the contribution of women recognized. On 8th March in our office, we all get flowers and chocolates from our caring colleagues. And we love it.

Is there one thing you would like to see changed?

I could give a “Miss World” answer here, but I’ll stick to the regular wishes.
Honestly, there isn’t anything in particular I would like to see changed. I just hope that this healthy trend that we have going on in our company will be nurtured in future too.

Do you have any advice for women entering the tech field?

Yes. Don’t hesitate! If this industry is something that you love, there is no doubt that you will be successful. If I had the opportunity to do crucial life choices again, I would choose tech industry as a field of interest, but maybe via some different faculty.

Fun fact about you?

On one side of my family I have Jewish blood, and on the other side I have roots to some Prussian noble family.
Turns out my great-great-great-great etc. great-grandmother was a Prussian countess and was in love with a gardener. Her father was against this relationship, so he commanded that if she is to be with the gardener, she will have to give up all her wealth and inheritance.
So that’s how it happened. Now I have no Prussian castle and I have the love for gardens and landscape architecture.
Oh, and I sing in a band. Well not so much these days due to pandemic, but I bought a studio set for recording, so now I sing at home.

andelina-300px

Name: Anđelina Šiljeg
Position: Marketing Communication Specialist
Office: GDi Zagreb

Can you tell us about your background and how did you end up in GDi?

I started working in GDi in summer 2019 as a receptionist in Zagreb office. I just received my master’s degree in art history but decided to take a different path. Since I am also student at Faculty of Economics, I was able to apply for a student job here in GDi and that’s how my journey started.
It was my first working experience in the IT industry and I can definitely say that it has broadened my perspective. I am extremely happy to be surrounded with great colleagues, innovative minds, and fun spirits.

How does it feel to be a woman in tech?

Well, for start the woman toilet is always available. Just kidding! Although at first, it’s a definitely man’s world I cannot really say that I feel any sort of discrimination or that I was ever in a situation where I felt like I do not belong here.

Is there one thing you would like to see changed?

Concerning the position of women, not that much. I see that we have more and more female colleagues and we are working on encouraging women in science with our GDi scholarships, so I am personally happy with that.

Do you have any advice for women entering the tech field?

Not just advice for women in tech field but overall. Don’t ever think you are not good enough and always take chances. You can achieve anything!

Fun fact about you?

I have bachelor’s degree in Dutch Studies – but don’t expect too much of my Dutch!

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