We celebrate the International Women's day on the 8th March (International women's rights day, in few countries) because it's important to remind that women are equal of men and it's essential to protect and respect their rights every days of the year but...
nowadays, women make up just 24% of the tech workforce, thus more and more women are encouraged to pursue careers in the tech industry. Initiatives such as Girls who Code and conferences such as European Women in Technology support this movement passionately.
And at Joomla, the trend is not much different. Because there is no fatality, we must do things in others ways and being more inclusive. In our community, some women are really amazing and I've decided to introduce you some of them. These women are so inspiring and so motivating. Really. Read their stories, their advices, their thoughts and you'll be convinced.
Because we need really each others, I do hope that these portraits will inspire others women to embrace a career in tech sector and/or to join the Joomla Community.
What’s your name and your role at Joomla?My name is Chiara Francesca Storti, even if, online, everyone knows me as Chiara Storti. I am a Joomla volunteer.
What excites you about your daily work?
Everything I do excites me: from the preliminary analysis necessary to design a website, to the actual development; from the attention to graphic detail, to structural and functional customizations; from a web marketing strategy conception, to playing and managing advertising campaigns or SEO activities.
There’s no better passage than other, because all are essential, like the links of a chain: only when each link is strong and well made, the entire chain will be strong and well made...
In every web project, getting good results is pure enthusiasm for me!
What did you study?
Thorny question: at school I attended a few years of Medicine and Surgery, keeping my passion for computer science in cold storage. Then I changed priorities: I made IT and web marketing my job, leaving the passion for medicine to volunteer activities.
In the “web world” the most famous constant form me is “to study”: school certainly helps, but you need to desire to constantly learn and improve your skills, so you can have results as good as you hoped.
I studied on many books, I attended courses and training events, I gained a lot of experience, and I continue to do all this, over and over again.
When did you start to think about pursuing a career in tech?
More than 20 years ago I started my first job in computer science: teaching an ECDL course.
Technology and IT (Information Technology) are a passion. First they were only hobbies, then web marketing became my profession, and I started to forge my career from it.
What challenges are you facing as a woman working in tech?
I have been working in this sector for more than 20 years, and I can say, today, woman’s challenges have finally decreased. In the beginning the main challenge was having to prove that I, a woman, was the professional in demand. Often happened fun gags: "Sorry Miss, we’re waiting for the web master/programmer/consultant, when he’ll come? will you make me call? " embarrassing ... but you have to make the best of a bad situation. They were expecting a man and they see only a secretary…
Nowadays in some sectors there is still sexism: very few women work in SEO, this fact insure that the "SEO" is a man; very few women involved in development and programming, and women are often labeled as content, copywriter or graphics workers, because they are more associated with these aspects, so the “programmer” is a man.
Other challenges, as a woman, were related to employment, interviews with irrelevant and personal questions. Other challenges, inner challenges, where not losing control towards really embarrassing comments like "she is beautiful, so she is nice on stage talking" ...no! "she is professional, really very expert, so you can listen to her, even without looking at her!"
The biggest challenge is a global one, and consists in demonstrating that, in some working areas, gender doesn't make a difference.
What would your advice to women considering pursuing a career in tech be?
Take up a career in the technology sector is like a journey, where the journey itself is almost more important than the destination, and luggage is essential.
Don't forget to pack a dose of healthy competition and a lot of patience, because skills often takes a while to be recognized. Always leave a space for curiosity and for the desire to learn and improve, because when you feel you accomplished, you risk your nek (professionally)!
Even if the journey matters more than the destination, you need to establish some objectives, and be ready to establish a new one, as soon as you reach the first one. Be ambitious.
Are there any specific Book/Blogs/Apps you enjoy & recommend ?
I try to name 3 for each type.
Books: "Business Model You" by Tim Clark, "Marketing 4.0" by Philip Kotler and "L’arte della guerra" by Sun Tzu.
Blog: can I say the Joomla blog? More generally, on web marketing, I recommend the Semrush blog and Seozoom blogs.
App: "Trello" to keep all jobs well organized, "Google Calendar" to plan days and optimize work performance and "connect.gt" because a forum is essential for me to stay updated, to follow problems and solutions, to collaborate and share.
Who or what inspires you?
My sources of inspiration are my friends, those who traditionally I should perhaps call “competitors”… but for me they’re only precious friends.
I should mention them all, because contributes to inspire me daily and encourages me to improve. I want to identify the 3 most important people who have inspired me in recent years: Giorgio Tave, followed since many years, Davide Mascetti, a real expert, and Anna Magri, fantastic woman, really admirable web professional.
They are an inspiration for me not only for skills or technique, but also for tenacity and passion with which they approach the world of the web, for the ingenuity and wit with which they always find new solutions and proposals.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?When I’m not working, I have to unplug my brain and set off my body and hands, not on a keyboard. I like to create anything with any material: wood, iron, fabric, paper… I love being outdoors, I love gardening and horticulture, so, when I’m out of office, the garden become my kingdom … inside such idyllic place, in the Piccole Dolomiti mountains, I can calmly live, walk and take amazing pictures anytime.
3 tips you would give your younger self?
If you like something, study it and learn to do it better than anyone else, don't give up.
If you don't give it a try you'll never know if you can do the job or not.
Don't let someone else decide your future.