Who says ‘geek’ can’t be ‘chic?’ We caught up with Kamila Stępniowska, COO of Geek Girls Carrots, in a lightening round interview. In 5 questions, she tells us everything we need to know about why coding is cooler than we realize, and what cosmetics a savvy woman should never travel without.
Q: What’s the biggest misperception about what it means to be a woman in Tech?
A: I think the better question to ask is, “What does it mean to be a good specialist in Tech?” because many women would be able to answer this question well. A good specialist must continuously learn, and be involved in the industry. Things change every few years, and networking and participating in tech communities is part of what helps people increase their knowledge and recognize trends. Specialists are good at building relationships—not just end-products.
Q: How does your organization, Geek Girls Carrots, help women become more tech savvy?
A: GGC has a global network of Tech specialists who help us offer women opportunities to learn about, and engage within, the tech world in a variety of ways. They can learn coding and programming languages under the guidance of mentors; participate in workshops; receive feedback on projects, and business ideas; listen to guest speakers and network with industry professionals. For me personally, the most important thing we do is create a situation in which women from different backgrounds and skill levels can meet, inspire and learn from each other. P.S. Our next Django Carrots workshop will be in Montreal at PyCon—the biggest Python programming language conference in the world!
Q: What are some of the cool things fashion-forward women can do with coding or programming knowledge?
A: That’s a good question! A lot. Programming is only a tool. My favorite thing about technology is how it can be used to solve problems in our lives—this applies to fashion too. For example, my friend Ewa Galant is working on a clothing subscription startup called ‘ TheCloth.es;’ once a week you receive a new set of clothes—based on your individual needs—, and at the end of the week you exchange them for a new set…they remove the stress of finding your ideal wardrobe by doing it for you. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll be able to find me the ideal pair of jeans.
Q: Your work takes you around the world; what can’t you travel without?
A: I do have a couple of things which I always have with me—phone, laptop, chargers, notebook and a credit card. Cosmetics are also on the list. I don’t have a lot of them, but I would not feel comfortable without base, mascara and eye shadows in my travel pack. The rest I can buy everywhere, but I don’t always have time to find the right base, mascara and eye shadow.
Q: Now the question we all really want to know the answer to—as a woman in Tech, what do you keep in your bag?
A: *Laughs* That’s funny, but it seems that the list is pretty much the same—phone, laptop, chargers and a notebook. I also have a lot of business cards and bills. I used a backpack for a long time, but then I found a great white, green and brown handbag from a Polish brand called “Simple,” and now I simply couldn’t go back to my old backpack habit.
An interview conducted by Hesper Hobsburhg.