Mane Sahakyan: The Future of an Armenian Woman in IT2 min read
Contributed by Mane Sahakyan (MEIESM ‘22)
Currently, across the globe, in all walks of life, women are formulating, innovating, and designing new solutions to create better life experiences for society. Recently, women in Armenia have become active members of the IT community. At this time, inventions in technology seem to be endless, and new types of applications are rolled out almost instantly. With a growing number of people joining the Internet daily, infinite amounts of data are generated that need to be analyzed. Many companies are already launching projects to analyze big datasets to gauge consumer product preferences and create new business models for future sales.
The Bold Decision to Study Data Science
I became interested in data science when I realized that artificial intelligence will shape our future in the most dynamic ways. Actually, my commitment to and involvement in mathematics has been long-lasting as I have held a deep respect for the subject. What excites me the most in mathematics is its accuracy: you can prove or disprove statements.
During the four-year undergraduate education at AUA’s BAB program, I have enhanced my knowledge in the business sphere, which is undoubtedly beneficial for my daily life. This experience helped me accomplish one of my goals and establish my own business, an English language center. During those four years, I was trying to persuade myself that I am on the right path, but in the end, I realized that I am not satisfied and happy with where I was, and felt the need to take action to change the situation. I realized that my solid enthusiasm in the IT-sphere would help me to make more significant progress and would satisfy my fascination with analyzing and working with large data sets. Thus, I applied for a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Systems Management (IESM) at AUA.
The Increasing Role of Women in IT
It is not surprising that half of the students in the IESM program are girls, which means that the stereotype that only boys should be engaged in engineering or computer science is no longer true or relevant. Today, we can see professional females employed in the IT sphere, which proves that gender doesn’t influence the choice of one’s field of specialization: the love and respect to one’s profession are all that matter. Armenian companies are making every effort to overcome gender bias by adopting gender equality rules in the workplace and a 50/50 hiring practice to keep gender balance. Many companies are explicitly requiring 50% of their IT department employees to be female, and 50% male.
As a woman in IT, I strongly believe that in the near future, I’ll use my statistical analysis, mathematical and programming acumen to contribute to the development and sustainability of our country. Many developed countries are using data and analytics to improve their citizens’ standard of living. Starting from simple data analysis to complex approaches like modeling can help enhance my country’s quality of life and advancement in various spheres, such as public health, public safety, government services, agriculture, etc.
Being a part of the group of thinkers at AUA, I am gaining knowledge in data structure, machine learning, and other spheres, which are fundamental for becoming an outstanding data scientist. Moreover, studying with talented prospective programmers who thrive on learning from one another in an intellectually stimulating environment helps me reach my goal more confidently.