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International Women’s Day 2019: Celebrating Women in Tech

International Women’s Day 2019: Celebrating Women in Tech

published: March 8, 2019

Each year, International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women while calling for a more gender-balanced world. In recognition of International Women’s Day 2019, we are proud to share words of wisdom from a few of the many inspiring women in tech — who are also a part of Team Avigilon.

When did you first learn about your field of work? What called you to it?

I have always enjoyed math and physics. My brother studied engineering in school, and I remember one day he came home with a project and it was an autonomous car — and that was it! I decided to study Engineering. I was lucky to meet a mentor early on in my career who told me about Product Management, which was the perfect balance of technical, business and people skills for me. I interviewed multiple Product Managers to figure out how they got into their role, and I followed their path. Today, I take pride working in the video security industry because our products help keep people and their assets safe, and that’s my little contribution to our world.

Name a woman whom you look up to. How has she inspired you?

My mother. The strongest and most hard working woman I know is my mother. The biggest lesson she taught me was to be independent and fight for the things I want in life. She is a surgeon who worked day and night so we could have a good life. While she was at the peak of her career, she gave it all up to move her family to Canada to give us a better future. She is the reason I fight to be the best version of myself, to be kind and to never give up — because, despite all the hardship, she always smiled. She is my hero.

- Shay Shariatzadeh, Product Manager

What is your professional motto?

Practice makes progress. There are trade-offs in most decision-making processes and perfection is subjective, so rather than strive for perfection, I strive to learn from my experiences and make better decisions the next time around.

What is your favorite thing about your workplace?

I love the dynamic between me and my co-workers. They are very approachable and patient when I ask for advice on design. And we sure don’t miss out on having fun! Nerf gun  battles and board game nights are some examples of our shenanigans after work hours.

- Cindy Lan, Firmware Developer, Co-op

When did you first learn about your field of work? What called you to it?

When I first graduated from college, I went into a management trainee program, and I quickly progressed to an operations manager. But, after a few years, I decided that this was not the career path for me and went back to the drawing board. I took an inventory of my skills and where I thrived, which led me to enroll in a Masters program for Human Resources Management. The rest is history!

What did you want to be as a child?

I wanted to be a lawyer. I go to great lengths to prove my point! To this day, I’m a great debater — just ask my husband.

- Samone Word, Vice President, Global Human Resources

When you face challenges in your career, how do you build yourself up to overcome them?

One skill I have developed over the course of my career is to embrace discomfort. Regardless of the nature of the challenge — technical or interpersonal — the path to resolution always involves getting out of your comfort zone or doing something that you may not feel confident in. Whenever I recognize that my internal reaction to a situation is discomfort, I take it as a cue to act on it — after all, doing nothing is the worst thing you can do when facing a challenge.

Name a woman whom you look up to. How has she inspired you?

Rosalind Franklin. Her x-ray diffraction images of DNA led to the discovery of the DNA double helix, which James Watson and Francis Crick received a Nobel Prize for — though her name is hardly ever referenced alongside theirs. I learned about her thanks to a high school project, and since then, I’ve felt like the world owes it to her to share her story and the incredible discovery she made. Her story always motivates me to not be deterred by problems (or by people), because I think that she would’ve fought for what was rightly hers, had she been given more time.

- Gulipek Candan, Software Developer

What did you want to be as a child?

A Bollywood actress or a firefighter!

What is your favorite thing about your workplace?

My favorite thing about my workplace is that diversity is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. Everyone is equally respected and supported, and we all share the same commitment of trying to make a difference in our world.

When did you first learn about your field of work? What called you to it?

I was in my last few semesters of a Health Science degree and was thinking of going into Health Informatics. Somewhere during that process, I became more interested in Software Development and eventually stumbled across my university's Software Systems second degree option. I knew nothing about Software Development, other than that it was something I wanted to try. So, I did, and (luckily) it worked out well!

- Sonal Unadkat, Software Developer

If you’re a woman in tech who is interested in developing products that help keep people, businesses and cities around the world safer, check out the current job openings at Avigilon on our careers page.

© 2019, Avigilon Corporation. All rights reserved. AVIGILON, and the AVIGILON logo are trademarks of Avigilon Corporation. Other names or logos mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

About Avigilon

Avigilon, a Motorola Solutions company, designs, develops and manufactures solutions in video analytics, cloud, security cameras, video management software and hardware, and access control. Avigilon is an industry leader and, together with Motorola Solutions, provides integrated solutions for video security, access control and critical communications. To learn more about Avigilon, visit

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