Build your own future!
A bit about me…
Hey 👋🏽 I’m Jasleen and I’ve been here at Wise as a graduate software engineer since September. You may also remember me from a year ago too as I was also an intern here at Wise!!
International Women’s Day has always been a day that has resonated for me and probably for the majority of you too. It’s not just about women fighting for equality, it’s more than that. It’s about us being heard, recognized and treated as an individual regardless of our identity.
Expectations from society
To some it may not come as a surprise, but as a South Asian woman my career expectation was already set out for me. I was always told that becoming a doctor was my ultimate career goal but I quickly realized it was to fulfil my family’s dreams and aspirations.
At the age of 15, I was given an amazing opportunity by Technovation to create our own app and pitch this to a team of judges. What an opportunity this was as we managed to win the UK regionals. A year later I got selected from the UK as the UK’s Ambassador and was flown over to the hub of technology, Silicon Valley! From that point onwards, I visited the Google headquarters, Adobe, Netapps and many more wonderful tech firms. I could envision myself working for a tech company. I still didn’t know what a software engineer does, but seeing the innovative offices inspired me to be one, and Wise has exceeded my expectations.
As they say, nothing worth fighting for comes easy in life…and this was exactly that. My family wasn’t accepting of my career change. According to the statistics on the international women’s day page, a staggering 69% of parents don’t know what engineers do, but what is even worse is that 73% of teenagers don’t know what an engineer does.
Creating my own path
After fighting numerous battles I finally decided enough was enough and went for a big leap. Even though I was studying biology and Chemistry at IB and had no competent experience of Computer Science, I decided to submit my application to University for Computer Science in secret. This ultimately landed me the job here at Wise! The biggest learning curve I found in this challenge was resilience.
Fast forward, I am now a junior software engineer and I feel confident that with the right motivation and willpower, you can do anything. I am learning new skills everyday and developing my own problem-solving skills. Working at Wise has probably been one of the best opportunities I could ever have. We still have a lot to do in terms of gender balance for women in the tech industry!
I am so grateful to have been and to continue to be on this journey. I am heard and my input is valued. I hope that other women are also able to feel valued. If we all do our part, then the next cohort wouldn’t have to fight so hard.
One way this could be achieved, and is done already at Wise, is through education! WiseWomenCode is an amazing initiative that the early career team have introduced. I would love for this to continue, so other women can also experience what an engineer or any STEMM field is like, before they close the door off completely. Had I not had that opportunity or exposure, I probably would have fallen under the bracket myself and not be where I am today.
We can do a lot to challenge stereotypes and educate people. We all have a part to play, and we can do more to call out any discrimination and actively drive success. More importantly, I hope that we can continue to do better and as a team embrace equity together.
It may be challenging, but ultimately it is rewarding when you see the positive impact!