Trini Software Developer challenges others to #InspireInclusion

Trini Software Developer challenges others to #InspireInclusion

When Wendy Karamath was first introduced to Computer Science, she knew this was going to be her future and nothing was going to change that. As a Software Developer from Trinidad, she navigated through a mostly male-dominated space.

Loop News Caribbean spoke with Wendy on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2024 which was celebrated under the campaign theme #InspireInclusion.  

Wendy, 33, is a Muslim and mother who is a Software Developer at RBC Caribbean Financial Ltd, with responsibility for Software Compliance of applications and servers. This year will make it three years in her role at RBC and it’s one she is grateful for as it has allowed her to connect with people all over the world and help them reach their goals. 

In her role, Wendy tells Loop News she is the first female in her specific team at RBC. She says though the team had only men, no one made it difficult for her to fit in nor did anyone make her feel like she didn’t belong. 

 

So how did her tech journey begin? Wendy says from the get-go she knew she didn’t what to pursue what everyone else was doing at UWI… Engineering, Medical or Law programmes. She also did not like Maths that much nor Accounting. So, when Wendy was introduced to a Computing Programme at SAMs, she knew this would be her career path.  

Before finding her current position, Wendy worked various jobs that had nothing to do with technology including Inventory, Customer Service and Teaching.  

Along the way she faced barriers and challenges. Wendy says some years ago before she started functioning in technology, she had her first gig to gain experience in IT. She remembered having to go under a desk one day to remove computers to clean as part of her duties as a HelpDesk person. Little did she know her hijab would become the topic of discussion. 

Wendy remembered being asked: “Aren’t you afraid your hijab will get caught in the computer tower?” Despite saying her hijab was properly tied and she knew what she was doing, she was told that sometimes she made other persons feel uncomfortable ‘because they didn’t think a woman would go under the desk.’ 

In this situation Wendy felt this wasn’t for her, not technology, but the fact that if a person could not accept her as a woman, it wasn’t for her.  

She then left and entered the Oil and Gas field as an SQL Developer where she also faced challenges. She remembered someone made a joke, “We didn’t think they would have sent a woman to do a man’s job.” 

At first it was a situation she laughed off and tried not to take personally, but later it hit her that the technology environment especially in Trinidad from her view seemed saturated and with mostly men.  

Back then those circumstances pushed her to figure out whether she belonged in the world of IT and how to prove to men that she actually belonged in the field of technology.

Her advice for other women seeking to enter the field of technology includes keeping an open mind to learning, finding a mentor, maintaining authenticity to grow and building a network.  

 

 

With #InspireInclusion the campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2024, Wendy says she tries not to identify a person based on what they look like and remembers everyone is a human being capable of spreading kindness and including other people.  

She believes inspiring inclusion in the next generation will have to begin with children being taught to include people, regardless of what they see with their eyes.  

“We need to as parents, teachers, caregivers, society, whoever you are, treat everyone as a human regardless of what they look like. Don’t start off teaching your children about the difference between them and another child. Yes, we all have biases and sometimes it will surface when we meet people but, including people can bring about the change we need to be a better community.” 

Alot of Wendy’s values comes from the woman who inspires her the most – her mother. When she was 8 years-old her dad passed away and her mom who was a housewife for many years, had to go back out to work.

“That’s when I noticed how hard it is for women to even work.”  

Wendy learnt independence, determination and resiliency from her mother, and this influenced her not to give up no matter what.  

“That’s why wherever I worked I never gave up… yes, I didn’t feel included at times, but I didn’t give up. I kept working and building myself to where I am today and I think this is where I needed to be… and I’m still going up because I want to be better than I am today.”  

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, she wants women to know they can achieve their dreams just like men, but must put in the work. In addition, don’t hesitate from situations where you can help other women.  

  • PublishedMarch 20, 2024

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