It’s no secret that it’s not always easy being a woman in the engineering field. We interviewed two Pipefy developers who are tackling outdated gender stereotypes to help make Pipefy the ultimate Lean process management platform and a safe place to work for all employees.
Caroline (Carol) Santos: Front-End Developer on the Experiments Team
“I came from a communications background and graduated with a degree in Public Relations,” Santos said. “I never thought about working in tech. I was working in a communication agency and had to learn how to build landing pages after a coworker quit.”
They say experience is the best teacher and in Santos’ case, nothing could ring truer.
“This forced me into the field. I spent time on YouTube teaching myself and learned how to do what I needed to do within a week.”
While you might say her passion for engineering was an accident, she threw herself into the field full force. Today, she has a powerful Twitter following based off her tech talks and gusto for industry equality.
“I am passionate about talking about diversity in companies,” Santos said. “I gained a lot of followers on Twitter that way. I am a person who won’t stop fighting for diversity. Before getting hired at Pipefy, I mentioned on Twitter that I was looking for a job (some companies don’t want to hire someone so loud about diversity) and Igor Alves (Pipefy’s CTO) reached out to me.”
Her first question to Alves was how many women engineers had Pipefy already employed.
“There were none,” she said. “But Igor explained that they wanted to change that. I became the very first woman to be an engineer at Pipefy.”
She was pleased to discover that at Pipefy, diversity is something taken very seriously.
“It’s not just a sales tactic like some startup businesses use to lure in job candidates.”
Being the first woman in a group of men can be intimidating, and women in the engineering industry are oftentimes already accustomed to being a minority in their prospective departments. Santos said joining a tech community for women is a great way to get advice from other women, discuss workplace issues and to brainstorm initiatives for companies.
“Pipefy is a safe place for everyone,” Santos said. “Pipefy is growing fast and we have some challenges, such as how to maintain the startup culture with the big company we’re becoming. But we are lucky to have leaders who support us and our decisions.”
Santos looks to women such as Ada Lovelace (a forerunner in programming and the person who wrote the very first algorithm), software developer Loiane Groner and Microsoft Regional Director Dani Monteiro for inspiration.
As far as leaving behind the world of PR, Santos has no regrets.
“When you see something you make come to life, it’s an awesome feeling. We’re creating the future and get to be part of it.”
Follow Santos on Twitter to inquire about Pipefy’s work culture or open positions on the Engineering team.
Priscila Gadelha: Back-End Developer on the Core Team
Unlike Santos, Gadelha reigns from the engineering industry, with a Bachelor of Computer Engineering from the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Ceará (IFCE). She is currently working toward her master’s degree at Intituto Tecnológico da Aeronáutica—ITA, where she is studying airport operations studies and aeronautical systems development and analysis.
“In school I started out in physics, but changed my major after three years after falling in love with programming,” Gadelha said. “In high school I always liked physics and math.”
While some might find it intimidating to undergo a major change (no pun intended) after devoting years to a subject, Gadelha found the challenge exciting.
“The beauty of programming is that you can teach anyone with the will to learn,” she said.
Gadelha held software engineering positions at a few companies before discovering Pipefy—or rather—vice versa.”
“Pipefy chose me,” she said. “I was contacted and told that I fit the profile.”
After some previous trouble feeling counted out at jobs for being a woman, she was excited to be welcomed to the team by Santos.
“It was really cool being welcomed by another woman,” she said. “I felt relieved. People won’t think I’m the problematic girl here. At other jobs, men would sometimes change the way they talked to me when I came into a room.”
Gadelha emphasized that there’s tons of support at Pipefy for women training to become developers.
“Everyone is very transparent and communicative at Pipefy,” she said. “People want to collaborate with you and are very helpful. People in other places I worked are more worried about finishing their next task and less worried about improving. Here it’s about quality and learning.”
Although she’s only been with Pipefy for a short time, she believes she’s already seeing improvement in her work.
“There are all these qualified people who make for excellent codes of reference. I’ve been ramping up and getting better after only being here a little more than a month.”
As far as inspiration goes, Gadelha also looks to Ada Lovelace, but her grandmother comes in first place.
“My grandmother came from the bottom, working hard, cleaning houses, and she started to study and ended up earning her degree. She worked in the government and accomplished so much, always making sacrifices. From the start, she was telling me to earn my own money and to be financially independent.”
Although Gadelha knows firsthand that there are additional struggles for women in engineering, she doesn’t see these obstacles as grounds for quitting.
“Never give up,” she said. “I really love what I do. I’d have to considering the things I’ve been through. So look for friends and don’t give up.”
Those interested in learning more about working on Pipefy’s Engineering team can reach Gadelha on LinkedIn.
Interested in working for Pipefy? Be sure to take a look at our Career page today!