My hackajob Story: Removing the toxicity from tech

May 08, 2019
hackajob Staff

When relaying her experiences as a software engineer, Meryem admits that working in tech hasn’t always been easy. Here, she shares her story of how hackajob worked for her, and explains why more must be done to protect women working in technical roles.

I came to the UK about a year and a half ago. I remember coming here and feeling really worried about the language and culture. I was concerned that because English wasn’t my first language, I should settle and find a job, ​any job​, as soon as possible and so I signed up to multiple job sites.

When hackajob initially contacted me, I wasn’t sure what to think. I couldn’t believe that they called me out of the blue; that they seemed to care so much. Their suggested pay for me was high, and it seemed too good to be true. I just couldn’t understand why such incredible companies would want me via hackajob’s platform. This kind of system - that kindness - really wasn’t what I was used too.

After setting up my hackajob profile, I found that so many brilliant companies wanted to talk to me. Companies with real prestige you know? It filled me with confidence and because I felt I could trust my Talent Manager, Phil, ​I knew that I wouldn’t have a bad experience with his help.

Compared to traditional recruitment, hackajob is so much better. Those out-of-the-blue cold calls are hard to trust, especially when they sell you a story and then never get back to you at a reasonable time (if at all), and it can be hard to organise interviews when you already have a full-time job. It can be quite stressful when left to your own devices. It’s the people at hackajob, that human element combined with their AI and Machine Learning​ that makes them so authentic.

hackajob’s organisation alone makes them worthwhile. I swear, no other company is doing what hackajob do in terms of keeping me organised. They arranged and scheduled everything in my personal calendar on my behalf, which was amazing because, for me, it meant that my life could pretty much continue as normal.

Want another example of hackajob going above and beyond? Not only would Phil make sure that I was as prepped as possible, he’d also call the different HR departments of companies that I was interviewing for, and would ensure that I could be interviewed in a way that would work for me. This kind of communication was outstanding, and I really appreciated the sheer dedication from hackajob to help me find my next role. Because they went out of their way, I now work as a Software Engineer at a brand new company, and I’m really enjoying it. My role is great and hackajob negotiated far better benefits for me than what I had previously.

I’ve worked in tech for a while and even though it pains me to say it, I’ve certainly noticed a bias towards women. This is something that we’re seeing in the industry again and again, and it’s not right. There have been times where I have felt so alone, and it’s always the same. The typical story of a woman working in an all-male team and being ostracised (perhaps not intentionally), and it was too much for me. It makes me feel angry. Why should we be ignored just because we are women? We are just as capable, but there are times when our opinions are purposely quashed and it’s frankly unjust. And it’s not just the men. I can’t believe I’m saying this, yet I’ve previously had female colleagues believe that I am not as talented as my male counterparts because of my gender. The belief being, I am a woman and therefore not as intelligent. It’s a nightmare.

As women, we need to stand together, support one another and make ourselves heard. I believe that industry mentorship and women-only events are the way forward because I want to be in an environment that feels safe and inclusive, where people understand each other. It’s up to us all to work together and remove the stigma and toxicity from tech.