At Invibes we understand the importance of supporting women and girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). By ensuring all talent is given the opportunity to grow and thrive in an environment that celebrates diversity and diversity of thought, we’re proud to have a workforce of just over 50% of extremely talented women helping shape Invibes’ innovations in technology.
To celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we caught up with Carol Van Der Donck, our VP of Technology and Justina Kanaseviciute, our Head of Creative Lab to discuss their journey through the field.
What first got you interested in science and tech?
Carol: At school I didn’t really have a predefined idea of what career I wanted, but I studied maths which ended up working out really well for me. From there, I did a master in applied mathematics which led to a research PhD that I ended up not finishing as I realised I was more interested in seeing the theoretical knowledge I’d gained in action. I wanted to see things in a real-world context and was inspired by constant technological progress and innovations yet to be imagined that made tomorrow's projects happen.
Justina: I think what sparked my interest in tech was my dad and I building our own computer; it was a great bonding experience and also opened my eyes to the world of tech and all its possibilities. As my interests for technology and gadgets grew I decided to move from my hometown in Lithuania to Denmark in order to pursue my passions studying multimedia, design and communications as it combined both creativity and tech. I found learning the programming languages really interesting and went on to do an internship at a VR (virtual reality) company that was actually founded by two women, which was incredibly inspiring.
What drew you to working at Invibes?
Carol: Tech is really at the heart of what Invibes does, which is what drew me to it. It’s really energising to be working in the core of the company, of who we are, what we can do and how we’ll define who we’ll be tomorrow. I think our tech is what really sets us apart at Invibes, and for me, being able to contribute to that is really fantastic. Plus, I have a great team. We’re all very enthusiastic about how we can apply tech to provide solutions that will optimise and make us better on all levels. We’ve got a lot of freedom to innovate and I’m super lucky to have the opportunity to work with a diverse team of great people. Day to day, things are fast-paced so no two days are the same, and it’s great to be able to have a real impact and be a driver of change.
Justina: I would always look for jobs where the company is made up of talented people with great values, and that’s really how I ended up at Invibes. The fact that there is a high percentage of women working at Invibes is inspiring, and knowing that the company is in many aspects led and driven forward by women is really empowering. The vibe here is one of acceptance, and constant motivation to grow and expand on my knowledge and interests, which is why I chose Invibes.
Why is it important that women and girls in STEM are highlighted and celebrated?
Carol: There are still so few! We’re proud to have as many women as we do at Invibes, in development, data/business analysis and QA (quality assurance), but across the industry we’re still far from full equality which is why it’s so important to put a spotlight on women in the field and remind people that we still have a way to go. There’s also the element of gender bias that can still be seen in education. It’s important to have women in the field represented and celebrated as positive examples for girls that they are capable, and STEM subjects are no more difficult for them than they are for boys. It’s a stigma that needs to be continually addressed. And finally, any lack of diversity really is a missed opportunity in all areas of life, but in tech it encourages innovation through more diverse thinking and ideas.
Justina: I think many women in this field lack a sort of sense of community. A lot of women and girls feel discouraged to even get started in STEM because of fears of being disregarded, misunderstood and not having shared interests with their peers. From my own personal experience, I saw so many of my classmates drop out because they felt like they didn’t belong, which was really upsetting. I think it would be beneficial for there to be more communities for women to share their passion and interest in STEM and be able to lift each other up and motivate each other. Also, highlighting the women and girls who are in the field is a great way to start these conversations and communities.
What message would you like to send to future generations of women and girls wanting to work in STEM?
Carol: Trust yourself and be confident in your own capabilities. From a very early age women are pushed into certain directions and it’s really important to break free of that and those kinds of prejudices. Especially because science and tech offer so many opportunities for creativity and growth with its constant evolution - it’s really one of the most exciting industries to work in because it will also shape the future for us all. Also because again, diversity encourages innovation and will accelerate positive change. Fundamentally, it’s essential that all genders are represented in STEM, so I hope that that will improve in the future.
Justina: It’s really important to not be discouraged by the lack of women currently in the industry. While tech and science is at the moment a largely male dominated industry, there are women who have found a way to succeed. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and you should really just follow your passions and find people with shared interests in the industry to support and motivate you. But ultimately you also have to focus on yourself, on your dreams, passions and priorities.
Speaking of the future, what Invibes innovations and new tech are you most excited about?
Carol: I’m really excited that we’re continuing to be an innovation leader for the advertising industry, driving some truly great campaigns and advanced insights through our unique combined offering of creative formats and cutting edge targeting with the power of our proprietary tech.
I think AI and machine learning will also be the future for all tech companies, and is something we’ve been looking into for some time to increase our activities, performances and advanced insights. But also ePrivacy, which of course is on everyone’s minds particularly with the impending arrival of the third-party cookieless world. While privacy is by-design for us, we’re also looking at developing and extending our Invibes ID Network which I think will be a real differentiator for us.
Justina: For me the announcement of our carbon neutral label is really exciting. As I was studying I was involved in a lot of European Commission funded projects around sustainability and renewable energy, which was great as sustainability’s of course very important to me. I’m really glad that Invibes is putting an emphasis on sustainability and trying to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry and I’m excited to see the company's sustainability goals of reducing carbon emissions aside from the carbon neutral label being put into action. I’m also super excited about the developments in and rising trend of AI alternate reality in the industry and the application at Invibes - so watch this space!
We’re extremely proud to have Carol and Justina leading the teams at the very heart of Invibes. Their work is invaluable to our development, and we’re proud to be able to celebrate their journeys and experiences as women in tech and science.