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Women Driving Innovation in Technology: Empowering Engineering Excellence

Women Driving Innovation in Technology: Empowering Engineering Excellence

Women Driving Innovation in Technology: Empowering Engineering Excellence

In celebration of Women in Engineering Day, Nasstar wanted to proudly highlight the incredible journeys and achievements of female engineers who are reshaping the landscape of cloud technology. Their passion, dedication, and invaluable contributions have made them true innovators in the industry. Here we delve into their stories and gain insights into their experiences as software engineers as they break barriers and empower innovation.
We spoke to Karen Austin and Latha Balne, two of our Software Engineers to discuss their careers that combine both technology and engineering.

Unveiling the Desire for Software Engineering

"What made you want to become a Software Engineer?"
For many of our talented engineers, the allure of software engineering lies in the ability to harness strong programming, problem-solving, and debugging skills. The intricate attention to detail and the satisfaction that comes from solving real-life problems within limited time frames serve as constant motivators.

Karen: “I was first introduced to I.T. in the early 1980s, when the industry was in its infancy. I was fascinated by this new technology and wanted to learn more about it.”

Latha: “Designing computer programs lets me use my strong programming, problem-solving and debugging skills. I also really enjoy paying attention to the detail. Supporting platforms that are live with real-life problems is always challenging and solving them in a limited time gives me great satisfaction.”

Carving a Path in the Industry

"How did you get into the industry?"
These remarkable women have embarked on diverse educational and professional journeys. From taking the initiative to study with the Open University to pursue a Master of Technology in Digital Systems and Computer Electronics, they acquired a deep understanding of languages and technologies that drive development in the industry. Many began their careers through college or university placements, gaining training in Java and software life cycles, which further fuelled their desire to support IT solutions.

Karen: “I gained an H.N.D. in Computer Studies, but didn’t work in I.T. until much later, when I studied part-time with the Open University to complete a degree in Computing. It was while I was still studying for my degree that I obtained a trainee role with an insurance company, who then sponsored the remainder of my studies.”

Latha: “I graduated in Electronics and Communication Engineering, then I worked as an Assistant Professor in an Engineering college. I wanted to improve my knowledge and did a Master of Technology in Digital Systems and Computer Electronics. 

“As part of the M. Tech Project, I worked in MATLAB, VHDL and Verilog-HDL – Hardware Description Languages that are used to design Integrated circuits and self-tolerant systems. I loved the way computer languages work to solve problems in either software or hardware languages. 

“I started my IT career at IBM from a university graduate programme and I’m trained in Java and software life cycles. As I learned more and started to use my knowledge to solve problems, it created a further desire in me to support IT solutions.”

Pioneering as Female Software Engineers

"What is it like to be a female software engineer?"
Despite being in the minority, our female engineers have found themselves surrounded by supportive colleagues and managers. They appreciate the flexibility and work-life balance offered by the industry, which allows them to excel in their professional roles while embracing their roles in other areas of their life, outside of work. Recognising the gender pay gap, initiatives such as the Nasstar Women in Tech Employee Resource Group aim to address this issue and promote inclusivity.

Karen: “I'm in a minority, but I feel positive about the balance being redressed, and Nasstar’s commitment to it.”

Latha: “I am very lucky to work with my colleagues, either in IBM, KCOM or Nasstar. I’ve always had very cooperative and supportive peers and managers.
“As a software engineer, I have a high degree of flexibility in terms of career options, work hours, and work settings. This helps to fulfil the work/life balance of being a mother, daughter, sister, and partner without many difficulties.  The gender pay gap in this industry is still an issue, but it’s good to see Nasstar trying to tackle this with initiatives including the Nasstar Women in Tech Employee Resource Group.”

Embracing the Role and Thriving

"What do you enjoy about the role?"
Every day presents new challenges, pushing these engineers to learn, explore, and solve unique problems. With a focus on supporting various live systems, their work revolves around enhancing customer experiences and driving continuous improvement.

Karen: “I enjoy problem-solving and the satisfaction of resolving complex issues.”

Latha: “Every day we face new situations, each posing a new challenge, and I’m currently supporting various live systems. There is always a chance to learn, explore and solve something new. We’re always trying to provide a better experience for our customers.”

Empowering the Next Generation

"If you had to offer advice to a woman looking to start her career in engineering, what would you say?"
Our experienced engineers wholeheartedly encourage women to pursue engineering careers, emphasising the vast opportunities, the industry's supportive work environment, and flexibility. They suggest exploring roles such as Cloud Sys-Ops engineer, Architect, Network Engineer, DBA, Data Scientist, and Software Engineer, depending on individual interests and aspirations.

Karen: “Go for it! Great opportunities across the industry await you.”

Latha: “It’s the best career path for a woman to work in terms of work environment and flexibility, it also provides many career opportunities! Depending on your own interests here are some of the potential career opportunities for women in engineering I would suggest: Cloud Sys-Ops engineer, Architect, network engineer, DBA, Data scientist and Software Engineer.”


On Women in Engineering Day, we celebrate the triumphs and resilience of these exceptional female engineers who inspire us with their dedication to not just the industry, but to their personal careers. Their stories encourage us to break barriers, embrace diversity, and propel the industry forward. As we forge ahead, let us remember that the future of cloud optimisation and engineering is brighter when we recognise and celebrate the contributions of women in technology . 

Learn more about what Nasstar is doing to encourage Women in Tech.