From online journalism and education to programmers’ community: the stories of women from Moldova who are studying IT

They were attracted by difficult things that require perseverance in order to become integral and clear. Or they wanted to leave the teaching job to learn the programming language which is at the core of digital apps. This way or another, their main motivation was to study the IT and become part of the programmers’ community.

Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019

From online journalism and education to programmers’ community
1,000 women and girls from Moldova of all ages are participating in a National IT Training Program. Credit: UN Women Moldova/ ATIC.

These are the stories of some of those 1,000 women and girls from Moldova of all ages who participate in a National IT Training Program, implemented by the Moldovan Association of Information and Communications Technology Companies, with the support of UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) and funded by Sweden, under ‘Empowering Women with ICT Skills’ Project.

“I understood that I want to solve puzzles

and to enjoy the results...”

For many years, Irina has been at the center of events, she remotely supervised live broadcasts from the scene where the action was happening to ensure the comprehensiveness of the news delivered to her readers. She managed the newsroom of one of the most read media portals in the country, and was implicitly attracted by the digital world, ensuring that the technical part of the website wouldn’t play a low-down trick in the most important moments.

Irina Luca, participant: “I was doing online journalism for many years, and most likely it was the first step to the IT realm which I really wanted to discover. For instance, I could explain details about HTML, the difference between front-end and back-end and so on. But I came to a moment when I realized that I no longer want to do monotonous things, but to solve puzzles and enjoy the results. In fact, I was always attracted by the digital world, by the technology, I was curious to learn how this system works. IT is a surprising, action-packed field which captivates you and conquers you extremely easily.”

From online journalism and education to programmers’ community
Irina Luca, participant in the Programme. Credit: UN Women Moldova/ ATIC.

Armed with motivation and knowledge in IT, Irina decided to retrain and changed the words and sentences correctly chosen for the elegant syntax of programming languages.

Irina Luca, participant: “The training program was a challenge for me. I decided to go to these courses the day when I made a news on this topic and I said, “Why not?”. This educational game helped me to understand that in fact IT isn’t so complicated. In order to succeed, you must want to, enjoy and be all set to learn new things every day. Currently, IT is present in all spheres of activity and to work in IT means to make ongoing progress. It’s a profession allowing you to work anywhere – in the office or remotely. Furthermore, currently women can show their creativity and can have successful careers in this realm’.

As many of her course mates, Irina accepted the challenge to discover the virtual universe and she is determined to work in this area.

“I want to be a programmer,

because it inspires me...”

When her parental leave ends, Natalia wants to return back to work. Although she likes pedagogy and the school she taught in, she sees her first working day in the IT department of an important company.

Natalia Lopotenco, participant within the programme: “I’m a teacher, I worked as an educator, and currently I am staying at home with my children and I prioritize all my time to the new field – IT. Although I have relevant studies – I should have become a computer science teacher – I chose to take a break in order to raise my second child. Now, I am completely devoted to lessons and homeworks. I see myself as a programmer and I’m determined not to teach again, although I love the children and the school. Before getting involved in online lessons, I was thinking to become a software tester. However, after I started to attend these lessons, I realized that I want to be a programmer’.

According to her, the lessons are short and clear, but complex as regards the content. Her desire to work as a programmer is above all, motivating her even more to be a conscientious student.

The training Program is conducted during October 2018 – May 2019, during which the participants have the task to accumulate 8,000 points in four specialised courses: HTML, CSS, Javascript, VueJS+ES 6, studying only 15 minutes per day. The courses are free-of-charge and are taught in Romanian and Russian. Their main purpose is to encourage women to work in the most dynamic industry. 

Ana Chirita, Strategic Project Director, Moldovan Association of ICT Companies: “IT companies face a number of difficulties in finding and attracting labour force for the projects they implement. The idea to directly and indirectly support the private sector seemed right to us. That is why AICT and its development partners aim to motivate girls and women from the country to attend IT courses in order to subsequently work in the most dynamic industry and benefit from equal opportunities of the professional assertion.”

Lucretia Ciurea, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at UN Women: “UN Women Moldova is happy that there are women in the Republic of Moldova who break the stereotypes in the IT sector, which is still a male-dominated field. The fact that there are more and more girls and women in the IT sector is very encouraging. This sector, with its huge employment potential, is a good opportunity to reduce gender gaps on the labour market and the gender pay gap. In 2017, the gender pay gap in the IT sector reached about 33%.

‘Empowering Women with ICT Skills’ Project was launched in June 2018 financed by Sweden and UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women). The main objective of the project is to promote gender equality through ICT and to raise awareness that technologies are tools that allow to create a society where women and men can contribute and participate substantially and equally. The actions taken under the project are meant to support girls and women from Moldova to make full use of their potential and vocation and to assert themselves as professionals, leaders or entrepreneurs.

 

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