In honor of International Women’s Day, Skype celebrates women, all women: professionals and stay-at-home moms, single and married, from Honolulu to Paris to Tokyo.
The status of women in society and industry is in steady evolution. That said, traditionally male career fields, like engineering, still only count a small percentage of female pioneers among their ranks. One of those women is Kine Camara, an engineer who develops Skype’s Android application.
Originally from Senegal, Kine says that she grew up interested in science but did not plan to become an engineer. She enrolled at the Polytechnic University of Montreal and remembers, “At first I was completely lost, but once I worked with friends to develop a mobile app, I knew I had to become an mobile software engineer.”
After obtaining her degree, Kine worked as a developer on different mobile platforms such as Java ME and iOS. She has recently relocated to California and now develops new features, fixes bugs, and ensures high code quality for Skype on Android.
Kine estimates that during her studies and in her initial professional experiences, “just 30% of the engineering and IT employees were women and many of them leave the sector in mid-career.”
“There is not an equal representation of men and women,” Kine explains, “But things are improving. There are more and more articles that talk about women in senior positions. There are more women at the head of large tech companies who write books and talk about their experiences. I think this will inspire more girls to go into engineering and technology.”
To Kine, “the modern woman is a person who works on her faults, who allows herself to dream and, especially, pursues those dreams.”
“She makes her own decisions – whether she decides to stay at home or to work, it is her choice. She is not afraid to break barriers or to take up challenges,” Kine says.
Moreover, Kine believes that Skype itself can support women (and people, in general) to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives. “Skype helps to stay in touch, share, and create memories with your loved ones,” she says. “It helps me to improve business productivity and meet with coworkers in efficient ways, but it is also how I stay close with my friends back in Canada.”