Each year on March 8th, International Women’s Day 2021 is one of the most important days of the year to celebrate the amazing women in our lives and around the world. This year the theme #ChooseToChallenge highlighted that we can all choose to call out gender bias and inequality; to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements; and collectively, create an inclusive world.
At OctopusBI we are fortunate to work with and for many incredible women smashing their own goals and creating a better world through the power of technology, particularly in education. It is these women that we are so proud to celebrate every day.
So we asked them about what it means to be a woman working in technology, and what the IWD 2021 theme #ChoosetoChallenge means to them:
Manuri Amodhi – Senior Data Analyst
Heading the data analytics team, Manuri is passionate about helping schools in Australia to get the best out of their data by creating insightful dashboards and guiding them with their data analytics journey. Manuri carries out research and development activities in the edtech domain to further this goal and enhance OctopusBI’s technology and tailored solutions for schools.
“I am proud to be a woman in tech and I love what I do. If you have the will and passion, you can excel in any field regardless of gender, ethnicity or any other barrier. I think the stigma around women in tech will disappear completely. To all the aspiring ‘little women’ out there, don’t let society create these limitations in your head. Just go for it!”
Yasara Jayawardana – Software Engineer
Yasara is a Software Engineer at OctopusBI and currently works on OctopusBI’s SaaS (Software-As-A-Service). She has been working at OctopusBI for nearly three years now.
“I believe that IT companies need more women in their workforce, especially in software development sector. Women perform equally to men (even with handling all household work!) according to Sri Lankan culture so more high-performing women in IT careers is absolutely within our reach.”
Chathurangi Walimini Arachchige – Associate Data Engineer
Chathurangi is responsible for transforming data into insights that drive business value through use of Data Modeling techniques, Data Analytics and BI technologies.
“Women in technology are those who have the power and courage to put themselves forward.”
Tilani Subasinghe – Associate Project Lead
“Women are at the forefront of the IT field today and this is proved by the number of ladies working in the IT field and the positions they hold.
We are just emerging from the era of male dominated culture found in the IT field and women have started to take over the positions held by males and are working as hard as they did to achieve the same goals.
In 2021, I cannot see male or female workers, but only human beings at the helm of this field.”
On the 5th of March, the OctopusBI team was delighted to participate in a virtual event with the theme “She Challenges Technology” highlighting the contribution of women to the technology industry.
“OctopusBI reflects and is truly grateful for the contribution of women in technology and the workplace, as leaders and as peers, as significant contributors to family and social life and as wonderful colleagues and mentors,” said CEO and Founder Hansa Wijayasaundara.
We were lucky to have Mrs. Damayanthi Dharsha, the first school girl to represent Sri Lanka at the Olympic Games, as our guest speaker. Dharsha was just 16 years old when she won the 100 meters gold medal at the Colombo SAF games in 1991 in a new country record. In a sports career spanning across 17 years, Dharsha made history with multiple new records and adding many medals to her collection.
The International Women’s Day (IWD) event program followed an interactive session, sharing experiences from her life on being a successful female athlete and how she manages her multiple roles in career, personal and family despite many challenges she came across.
There were many parallels we could draw from Dharsha’s experiences that also face women in technology. For example the challenge of not seeing your gender reflected in the majority of roles and achievements in your field – but striving towards your goal regardless. Or the strength and determination required to overcome the stereotypes and challenges throughout your life and career. Technology, like professional sports, is one of the greatest arenas of high-performance and discipline, suitable for both women and men.
“At OctopusBI, we bring our whole selves to work and celebrate each other – that’s what makes us more than a place to work – we’re a family,” said Hansa.
To acknowledge the effort, dedication and strong values instilled in our people, OctopusBI sent cards to all our staff’s mothers to thanks them and show our gratitude to them for helping to raise kind, smart and talented individuals who are making a difference, both to our business and the world through transformative technology in education.
OctopusBI is proud to employ 12 number of women in a variety of roles across engineering and data analytics. Based in Sri Lanka and Australia, our talented female staff ensure our technology continues to deliver cutting edge service to the education sector, and beyond.