Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself. If you can't, stick by those who will advocate for you. Sometimes those you least expect have your back more than others.
Hero Digital is proud to feature Jackie Hayduk, Senior Front End Engineer, for our Women in Tech series. Entering tech as a woman has pushed Jackie to try and be the role model she never had for others. Read her full story below.
I ended up in my field almost by accident. While finishing high school and preparing to apply to colleges, I had almost no idea what I wanted to do. While working through this dilemma (and causing my mother stress), a letter arrived from Drexel highlighting their programs.
My mom and I ignored the letter—as it had been addressed to the wrong name (apparently, they sent all the letters out addressed to one student)—but my step-dad looked them up. He discovered their “Interactive Digital Media” program, and I almost instantly decided that was what I wanted.
I only applied to one other school (again causing much stress to my mother) but I refused to apply further. I didn’t actually discover my passion for development until halfway through my college years. Now, just about four years out, I am happily still developing and very thankful for that misaddressed letter.
When I think back on my time before I entered my field, I realize there were very few women involved. Even my few female professors were not in the development or tech side of the field. While this has definitely led to some imposter syndrome in the “why me” fashion it has also pushed me in a weird way to try and be the role model I never had for others.
The best advice I could give to others now is don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. If you can’t, stick by those who will advocate for you. Sometimes those you least expect have your back more than others.
Outside of work I am surprisingly anti-tech. I spend a lot of time reading (I always have a good thriller recommendation), working on my indoor jungle (no outdoor space for a garden…yet), and exploring just about everywhere with my dog.
Thanks for your interest in Hero Digital’s Women in Tech. At Hero, we strive to showcase outstanding female talent at our company, and in doing so, empower others—both within and outside of Hero—to join the growing number of women in technical roles across industries. Connect with us on our careers page to learn more about open positions at Hero Digital.