YNTL Stories – Vasiliki Ntampasi
These series of YNTL stories is a close collaboration with women in Tech that are proven to be gamechangers, frontrunners, role models. Women who decided to go for it. And we need those!
For the first series of YNTL Stories I’d like you to meet Vasiliki Ntampasi.
This is her story,
I am Electrical and Computer Engineer, I have an MEng. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and MSc in Advanced Industrial Control Systems. I have worked in R&D since 2009 as Research Assistant and Project Manager and I am a former startup founder.
Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do , where you are working and what a typical day for you is like?
I am working in Lightyear as a Project Manager. I am responsible for the Software and the Electronics department of the company. My day to day activities are to ensure that all projects are delivered on-time, within scope and within budget, develop project scopes and objectives involving all relevant stakeholders and ensuring technical feasibility, develop a detailed project plan to track progress and measure project performance using appropriate systems and tools.
Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do? How did you decide to go into computer science?
I believe that STEM is in my DNA. I knew that engineering was the area for me when I was 10 and I started my first programming lessons. Also my family’s background was a boost as my father and my older brother are both Electrical and Computer Engineers. I grow up in an engineering environment, I had the opportunity to visit several factories and assembly lines and I was always thinking what I can do to make the humans life easier.
There are stories from women who felt that being a woman has affected the way that they are perceived or treated. Have you ever been in a situation like that?
I have faced the problem of gender equality when I was 23 in my first job application for a big multinational corporate. I ran the two rounds of the interview with great success and on the final interview the boss stated that in order to hire me, because I was a woman, I had to sign that I will not give a birth until 35 years old. I was shocked. The first thing that I thought was “is it a joke or a kind of test”? I replied to him “thank you for your time but from my side I can not see any fit” and got out of the office. That experience made me even stronger and from that moment my motto was “Keep focused on what it is you’re trying to do. Your worst enemy is going to be yourself throughout this” journey.
You relocated from Greece to pursue your career in tech. First of all, what a badass move and secondly we would like to know more about this.
When I was in Greece I ran my own Startup company and I had the opportunity that our offices were located to Orange Grove, an initiative of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Athens . We had day to day activities and communication with experts and companies from Netherlands, I saw how well organized the things are here, so when I decided to make a step in my career path, the Netherlands was the first choice. As for Eindhoven, is like a paradise for engineers. A lot of opportunities out there in different fields and of course innovation in everywhere. And for me, innovation is part of my DNA. So that’s how I ended up here!
Were there any challenges you faced?
The only challenge I can share was the network. I had some contacts of course from Greece, but still were not enough. But this is not something people need to feel scary. You can start from LinkedIn, like I did! I managed to create a network in Eindhoven before my arrival. Like with you Nadia, we had an initial discussion through the platform!
Do you have any tips to share for likeminded women who are thinking about / or taking the ‘leap’ to do the same?
If you have at least a thought like “what about moving to the Netherlands”, you are one step closer! Just do it! You will never regret it!
What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
I learnt to overcome myself every day! Technology is fast paced, and being in an area that changes and evolves constantly has forced me to study, read, and explain things that I never expected. I constantly feel obliged to go beyond my limits and I jump at the opportunity to learn something new.
It’s a hot topic everywhere, a lack of women in Tech. Do you notice this lack of women in technology? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
To dissect the problem, we need to look at early development. At high school, girls achieve better grades than boys. Yet for females who do pursue computer science at university level, they find themselves being outnumbered by males “ 82% versus 18% “ one of the highest gender disparities in course subjects. And this imbalance isn’t helped by the falling trend of females taking up science, maths and computing courses.
“A possible reason for why more girls don’t pursue maths and science related degrees is due to the ‘pinkification’ of girls in early age”.
Toys, clothes and job possibilities are still marketed towards either gender, despite recent developments in breaking this historic trend.
Any advice that you want to share with our YNTL Community members or women who are considering a career in the tech industry?
Keep focused on what it is you’re trying to do. Your worst enemy is going to be yourself throughout this journey. Don’t think of yourself as an extension of anything; whether it’s a culture, a place, an environment or industry. Have the guts, have the courage and the belief in what you do. Think bigger, think within a planet where you only exist. That’s where the interesting stuff happens.
The YNTL Community
We are working very hard on the launch of the YNTL Community. A brief introduction:
YNTL started with the motto to “Empower the women around you” and we found out that our motto and vision is so well received and supported by companies and women throughout Europe that we simply couldn’t handle the inflow with the current way of working any longer That of course is amazing and something we could only dreamed of. This means that more is needed in order to continue with spreading our vision and make a greater impact together what we will be doing through the Community.
Keep an eye out on our website or sign up via the Community waiting list via to already join.