For Amber’s new Women In Tech interview series, we speak with female thought leaders from around the world to hear their experience growing a career in tech and to get their advice on overcoming challenges and adversity during their career.
For this week’s interview, we caught up with Adriana Belotti, Marketing and Community Supernode at Prismatik, to talk diversity and advice on how to build a career in tech.
Can you tell us a little about what you do and what a typical day looks like for you?
I was born in Brazil and lived in Rio until the late 90s when I moved to New York for a couple of years. At the time I was working in the music industry. My first visit to Australia was just before the 2000 Olympics and I fell in love with Sydney and the laid back Aussie lifestyle.
I’m a night owl. My morning starts around 8am with a couple of espressos, followed by exercise. Around 10am, I dig into work, catching up with messages and ticking easy tasks off my to-do list before lunch. Productivity peaks in the afternoons, when I work on tasks that require deep focus. That’s when the phone notification get shut off and I concentrate. At least twice a week, there’ll be a meetup in the evening, but when I’m at home, after cooking a nutritious dinner, I catch up on industry content and practice a skill, before shutting off around 1am.
That’s easy: the internet.
The transformation that it brought to the world, decentralising information and how people connected. I just had to get involved!
In 2005 when I decided to move to Australia, I took a chance at a second degree and landed in Sydney to study Applied Computing. My first bachelor was in English, back in Brazil, so it was quite a challenge to do a tech degree, outside of my native country and my comfort zone. Best decision ever!
Many women in the tech industry have felt their gender has affected the way they are treated in the workplace and industry. Have you ever been in a situation like that? How did you handle it?
Before I jump into how I deal with issues, I want to emphasise that things are changing for the better. The constant support that women give each other and get from amazing men is amazing and is growing.
Occasionally I have to deal with those “well meaning” joked about comments that add no value. I speak up when it happens, because I believe it’s important to show when that line is crossed. Otherwise, no one learns where the damn line is!
The positive outcome is that, most of the time, when you call someone out on their behaviour, it improves. Even when someone hold on to their bruised ego on the surface, internally they check themselves and the behaviour changes.
Being able to make a contribution for a better world. It’s more practical than it sounds, really.
I look for ways to inspire the community in pursuing meaningful and constructive work. For example, at the meetups, we discuss how this new industry can help solve real problems and, most importantly, we hang out, creating a space for the peers of this peer-to-peer evolution to meet and connect. At Prismatik, we support community efforts to create and promote an inclusive culture. At the Blockchain Pro podcast, we unpack our guests professional journeys, to find out what made them want to work in the industry, hoping to inspire our audience to join the movement to decentralise the web.
Anyone can contribute to a better world by filling their own lives with good intentions, meaningful connections and work awesomeness.
What advice would you give to a woman starting her career in the tech industry? Is there any advice you wish you had known at the start of your career?
Learn to speak up. I don’t mean just when something bad happens, I mean speak up at every opportunity. If you are afraid of public speaking, work on getting over it. I was too, and I wish I worked at it sooner. Learn to present and submit talks for meetups and conferences. We need more female voices out there, there’s huge demand for it.
Also, be inclusive and supportive. We are all part of the tech community and it’s important to enjoy each other’s company, and learn together. In the end, no one likes an asshole, no matter what gender they identify with.