Meet the women helping power Volt’s engineering team

At Volt, ambition fuels us – especially when it comes to building our products and infrastructure. As our Chief Technology Officer, Daniel Owsiański, puts it, our innovative spirit is “the backbone of our engineering prowess”, and our talented women Voltologists play a huge role in driving it. 

Sunday 23 June marks the 11th International Women in Engineering Day, with ‘Enhanced by engineering’ this year’s theme. Keeping that in mind, we spoke to our own Voltologists about how it feels to be making their mark in this field, and what advice they have for women looking to forge a career in engineering.

Linh’s time in the UK kickstarted her foray into engineering, as she recalls: “I did an Erasmus exchange at Prof. Roger Draheim’s lab in Portsmouth. We wanted to extend our research to include experiments and simulations conducted on a computer, and Prof. Draheim was kind enough to organise a week-long internship in Prof. Benjamin Hall’s lab in Cambridge.”

Now, as a Senior Backend Engineer at Volt, Linh is an advocate for quashing gender stereotypes, as she knows she has the power to “promote a culture of respect, collaboration, openness, communication, and kindness.”

It helps that her team enjoys working together on challenging tasks: “It’s great working with excellent engineers, outstanding specialists, and a great project team. It’s also really fun to go to work every day; among our team of eight, we have four different nationalities, which feels like Erasmus all over again! Our Product Owner, Hanna Kazlouskaya, is one of the best POs I have ever worked with.”

So, what sort of traits are best suited for someone looking to break into engineering? “Check you enjoy solving complex problems, have the necessary predispositions, and are gradually getting better at programming (for the last, it’s easier if you find a mentor who can objectively assess your progress).”

Joining us earlier this year, Alicja has 10 years’ experience as a developer after studying engineering in Wroclaw. For her, helping her brother at his software development company during high school motivated her to break into engineering.

She sees Volt as a welcoming environment for her to grow and further develop. “I don’t think there is any difference between men and women in engineering. We are all treated equally since we are equally passionate and talented,” she explains. “Volt has great people who focus on work and deliver quality solutions. Everyone helps each other and the atmosphere is awesome.”

Alicja doesn’t want any misconceptions around being a woman in engineering to deter anyone hoping to build a career and tailor their craft. 

“Don’t be afraid, just do what you want to do,” she shares. “There is no special or bad treatment for women in engineering. We are all equal.”

Gosia has been with Volt for over three years, starting in the same month we secured our Series A funding in 2021. Starting as People and Operations manager, it was this role that inspired her to get to where she is today.

“I like when something works well.” she says. “This applies to both people and the products of their work. I’ve always been interested in how to develop people and how to create an environment that enables people to collaborate effectively. Additionally, I have an analytical mind and organisational skills. Turns out the combination of this mindset, knowledge and skill set makes me an enabler.”

Gosia is determined to continue advocating for equality in engineering, noting that some things still need to be acknowledged: “The disproportion is large enough that it is obvious to everyone that we need to actively care about equality, and it is necessary to cultivate gender awareness.”

What advice does she have for others? “Know your needs and expectations and communicate them,” she urges. “Treat yourself equally to others no matter how big your impostor syndrome is – and be persistent. If someone ignores what you say, repeat it, come back to it in a while. If you are wondering how many times something needs to be repeated, the answer is as many times as it takes to get a response.”

For Agnieszka, engineering has always been close to the heart. Following her biomedical engineering studies, she branched out into the wider domain to begin her journey to her current position.

“Towards the end of my studies, I documented my projects and began applying to various companies,” she says. “I started to work as a programmer, and that continued for the next eight years. Now, I combine people management with engineering.”

Agnieszka is comfortable in her role, and believes women in this sector should be seen as the norm: “For me, it means doing a job that I simply enjoy. I hope that in time, being a woman in engineering won’t be seen as something extraordinary. The best part about Volt is the teamwork and the collective pursuit of goals.”

She shares the same view as Linh with her words of wisdom for beginners: “If you enjoy solving problems, this is the job for you. Remember that in this job (as in many others), continuous learning is the key to success.”

For some, the dream of pursuing engineering can come when least expected. In Marta’s case, it was time away from work that sparked her experimentation: “My adventure with programming began during my first maternity leave. At that time, my attention was focused on my son, but I felt the need to do something for myself as well. I decided to learn frontend development because I enjoy seeing the results of my work quickly. I really liked this subject, and after about three years of learning, I managed to change my profession.”

Echoing Alicja and Agnieszka, Marta’s gender isn’t what encapsulates her working in engineering: “For me, it simply means being a part of the team. I greatly appreciate that in engineering, gender doesn’t matter. What counts is your skills and logical thinking.

“The best part of working at Volt for me is the people and I really appreciate the way we communicate with each other. Together, we strive to achieve shared goals, which gives us opportunities for development.”

To those who are tentatively eyeing up engineering opportunities, but are nervous to take that first step, don’t wait, as Marta insists: “If you feel that you would perform well in a similar position and your current job isn’t fulfilling, first and foremost, don’t doubt your abilities. Seek out people who can support you in the process of change and remain consistent in your actions. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks.”

After 12 years in the construction industry, where she was responsible for customer service and supply chain management, Anna had an inkling there was more to be unlocked.

“During this time, I managed projects and organised the work of various departments,” she recalls. “Although I enjoyed my job, I had a persistent feeling that I could learn more, especially in the field of data and analytics. I decided to take a step back and switch career paths.”

She encourages women in a similar position to follow their instincts, believing that good things come from having confidence in yourself: “There are many people who will support you along the way. A friend once told me, ‘People grow when they step out of their comfort zone,’ and remembering this can be really helpful when things get tough.”

As for being a woman in engineering, after facing doubts over whether she could succeed, she now feels she’s exactly where she’s meant to be: “In my opinion, women bring a lot of value to the field, offering diverse perspectives and unique problem-solving approaches. The best part of working at Volt is that I can truly make a difference while working alongside many specialists. The high level of engagement from everyone is incredibly inspiring.” 

One person whose role involves helping maintain diversity at Volt is Jagoda Kumik, our Senior Talent Acquisition Lead. She knows how crucial it is for us as a company to ensure we bring in a variety of talent across the teams, notably engineering.

“At Volt, we recognise the critical importance of hiring women in engineering,“ she explains. “Diverse teams drive innovation and bring a broader perspective to problem-solving. We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.

“Last year, we had the chance to participate in the Perspektywy Women in Tech Summit. It provided us with valuable insights and connections that reinforced our efforts to attract and support female talent in engineering.“

If Volt sounds like a place for you to grow and develop your career in engineering, check out what current opportunities we have open. We’re proud that, within our 12 departments, we have seven women in leadership positions, and we’re dedicated to our commitment of being an equal opportunities employer.