RITS' Women Power: discover the perspectives of OUR eight extraordinary women

At RITS Professional Services, women are actively involved in the efficient execution of every process. It makes us very proud. But, what does professional success mean to them? Who, what, and why inspires them? How do they manage to maintain a healthy work-life balance? And what advice do they have for young women aspiring to develope careers in technology?

A dance step in recruitment

Malwina HandermanderMalwina Handermander has been working at RITS for more than 6 years, and it’s been an amazing journey for her. “I started as an IT researcher and RITS gave me the chance to learn and develop my personal skills. Now, I’m the Recruitment Manager in one of RITS’ Business Units, and I’m really proud to be part of this fantastic team!”, she says.

Malwina thinks that professional success is something personal and different for everyone. For her, it is the moment when she feels that her hard work gives positive results and satisfaction. “Stereotypes may serve as obstacles in the IT sector, especially in terms of the positions that are traditionally associated with male gender roles. But there is a positive perspective because nowadays many companies prioritize diversity, and I believe that year by year, there will be more and more women in the IT sector”, she considers.

Building and creating her team, which achieved success and has grown year by year is Malwina’s most significant professional achievement. “This experience gave me a chance to assess my skills in various situations and see how high my abilities to multitask are”, she adds.

She loves dancing. “I spend many hours a month in the dance studio, where I can express myself in different ways. I also enjoy traveling and spending active time in the company of my husband. We cycle, skate, snowboard, and trek, depending on the season, of course”, Malwina reveals her ways to maintain a work-life balance.

What advice would she give to young women aspiring to work in technology? “IT gives a lot of opportunities!”

Finances under control

Aleksandra KacprzyckaAleksandra Kacprzycka is a manager in the controlling department. She joined RITS in 2018. “At the beginning, my role was mainly focused on administrative and billing tasks, but RITS has enabled me to develop my competencies in the direction of finance and management accounting – for which I am very grateful”, says Aleksandra.

Professional success for her is a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that she currently gets in her career. That drives her to take on new challenges and motivates her to a continuous development.

When we ask her what makes it easier or harder to succeed in the technology industry, and whether this is influenced by gender, she answers “Nowadays, especially in the technology industry the capability to adapt to changes and problem-solving are very important. It can facilitate working in such a dynamic environment, but strong technical skills are still crucial. From my perspective, the gender barrier is increasingly disappearing and I’d like to believe that women can be as successful as men, regardless of the industry.”

Her greatest professional success? “The trust I have been able to build among the RITS management is especially important due to the nature of my work. Trust and reliability is a long-term work that is consistently built every day. Another aspect that I could consider as a kind of success is keeping up with the constant changes that are taking place in the company’s external and internal environment. During my time at RITS I’ve discovered that I’m a very hard-working person who strives to achieve goals despite any difficulties”, says Aleksandra.

Aleksandra finds inspiration in every business conversation, regardless of someone’s role and position. She believes that listening to different opinions supports our development and, finally, allows us to make appropriate decisions and implement better solutions. She is also inspired and motivated while observing the changes in the technology industry that give us lots of new opportunities.

She maintains her work-life balance mainly by doing self-care activities and spending time with her family and friends. When she feels heavily overloaded, she looks for a short city break as it’s the best way for her to air her head.

Aleksandra’s advice to young women aspiring to work in our industry: “Develop strong analytical skills, be flexible and seek opportunities to gain professional experience. Moreover, it’s very important to do what you like, so try to find a job that really suits your interests and abilities, then it is much easier to build a great career and feel satisfied.”

Model relationships with business partners

Magdalena SzumielewiczMagdalena Szumielewicz has been working at RITS for over 6 years. Currently, she holds the position of Recruitment Manager and Client Success Manager. As the RM, she is responsible for managing the team and the entire project portfolio. In her role as CSM, Magda maintains continuous contact with business partners, during which they collectively define needs, goals, and establish priorities. What attracted her to RITS was, among other things, the opportunity to develop her skills in various areas, from team management and process building to collaboration with business partners.

“Success for me is achieving professional goals while simultaneously developing my skills. A significant facilitator is the ability to adapt to changing market trends, flexibility, and openness to change. Teamwork skills, problem-solving abilities, and continuous improvement of qualifications are definitely necessary” enumerates Magda. She also says that, during her over 17 year career in industry, she hasn’t noticed gender playing a role in achieving high goals and striving for success.

What does Magda consider her professional success? “In the role of CSM, one of the successes is achieving and maintaining the position of a leading competency provider for an American business partner, whose systems are used by hundreds of companies worldwide. I have been working with the client since 2017, and what I can certainly emphasize is that perseverance, goal-oriented mindset, and commitment to solving client’s problems, including the swift and efficient delivery of highly skilled specialists, undoubtedly contributed to the success. In the role of RM, building a fantastic team of experts with whom I have had the pleasure of working for several years is another accomplishment”, Magda describes.

She has always admired Wanda Rutkiewicz, a Polish mountaineer and one of the most outstanding female mountain climbers. Her determination, courage, and passion have always inspired Magda. “Rutkiewicz showed that even in a field where women were rarely present at the time, one can achieve great success through perseverance and professionalism”, emphasizes Magda.

How does Magda take care of work-life balance? “Above all, you need to set time boundaries for your work and then dedicate yourself to what you love. In my case, it includes gym workouts, walks with dogs, and music.”

Magda’s advice to young women aspiring to work in technology: “Don’t be afraid of challenges, set goals for yourself, and don’t fear making mistakes as they are a component of success. Develop your skills through various courses, not only focusing on system or tool proficiency. Work on enhancing soft skills such as communication, goal-oriented mindset, leadership, and problem-solving abilities. Define a plan for yourself and take action. As Brian Tracy says, 'Do it, do it.’ Simple, but very true.”

Creativity that goes beyond

Alona Svyrsa Alona Svyrsa is a Scrum Master with 11 years experience in IT. She has been a part of RITS since July 2023. “When I was searching for a job, RITS attracted me with its people – open, friendly and supportive. You will not find a lot of burreaucracy here and that’s awesome. Also organization’s transparency is worth mentioning. Processes are clear, HRs are very supportive and ready to answer any questions – says Alona.

Professional success for Alona means that you can use your best talents during work to help other people achieve goals and make customers happy. “When I see that my company greets my desire to study (ex. attending trainings), suggests convenient and clear opportunities to have vacations and sick leaves, enables every year salary reviews, has evolving processes (ex. HRM system), I’m confident that’s facilitating my career. Vice versa, a lot of bureaucracy, lack of trust from company or manager or not-competitive salary hinders career success, but these definitely do not describe RITS” explains Alona.

For Alona being a Scrum Master is like being a coach in football team. “Some coaches can govern direct orders or advices. But really good coaches ask good questions and allow the team to decide what to do. That can be really complicated at times – seeing them making mistakes, but, as the result, the team learns how to overcome impediments by themselves”, Alona says.

Her superpowers which help her every day? Empathy, ability to listen, art of asking powerful questions and facilitating team events (to help them come to best solution suitable exactly for this particular team). “Also people say that I’m kind, open-minded and describe me as a person who looks for a silver lining in every complicated situation”, adds Alona.

Alona finds inspiration in the people with whom she works on IT projects. “I’m really lucky to work on current project with so-called „Main Scrum Master” . For me she is a coach and great example. Also there is one Architect who is an incredible professional in his field, but on the other hand he is so easy to communicate with about any topic and with any audience- so I’m learning this art from him”, Alona shares her experiences.

To take care of worklife balance, Alona likes sketching simple drawings, going outside – she  adores walking in the medieval part of Krakow. She also creates artworks with her camera. “Right now I’m working on the series of photos called „Home is with you”. I have plans to make an exhibition of my artworks in MOCAK (in Krakow)”, says Alona.

Alona’s advice to young women aspiring to work in technology: “May the courage be with you. Do not be afraid of anything. Both men and women can achieve great things. It’s never too late to start something new. Be honest with yourself and others and you will succeed. While working in technology field, do not forget about your creative sparkle and gentle nature. Sometimes it’s a good idea trying not to resolve problems „in a male way”. Be wise and use your „female” power. Note! I’m not thinking that women are better than men or something like that. I use „male” and „female” words in a traditional meaning.”

Everyday support for employees with love

Aleksandra Kamieniecka“At RITS, I have the pleasure of serving as the Head of HR, thus combining work with what I love the most – providing support to people every day. Soon, in April, it will be two years since I decided to join RITS. After a long journey of gaining experience in an international corporation, I opted for a total change in the work environment. RITS captivated me from the very beginning with its flexibility, dynamic operation, freedom, and above all, the opportunity to create and implement my own ideas. This enchantment continues to this day” says Aleksandra Kamieniecka.

She defines professional success as a sense of fulfillment in the work she does, an internal conviction that she is in a place with which she fully identifies, with people from whom she can continuously learn and experience. “It is, of course, also a sense of recognition. If, in addition to this, I feel that I maintain the right balance between professional ambitions and private life, I can confidently say that I have achieved professional success”, adds Aleksandra.

Achieving professional success in the technology industry, according to Aleksandra, can be facilitated by appropriate competencies: technological knowledge, willingness to improve continuously, market awareness, openness to change but, above all, an open mind to different perspectives and dynamism.

“I want to believe that we are fortunate to function in times when gender should not in any way determine the achievement of success. Each of us is aware that the technology industry is still predominantly male-dominated, but growing awareness and actions promoting diversity, as well as supporting women in the IT industry, allow us to create an environment conducive to success for everyone – regardless of gender”, shares her opinion Aleksandra.

As the biggest professional achievement so far Aleksandra finds reaching the point where she is today. “Stepping out of a job in a corporate environment with established patterns of operation and embarking on an adventure in a completely new and unfamiliar industry – technology – was a significant departure from my comfort zone. In hindsight, I know that I couldn’t have made a better decision for myself and my own development. It was a milestone that allowed me to further refine my soft skills, work on assertiveness and building authority, create and implement my own ideas, and have a real sense of impact. I am proud that I can contribute to building an engaging workplace and support the people I work with to the best of my ability. I have always believed in being close to people, and that’s exactly what it looks like at RITS – giving me a sense of fulfillment”, underlines Aleksandra.

The greatest inspiration in her professional work comes from people – colleagues and business partners with open minds from whom she can learn and draw from their experiences. “These are individuals who not only possess business maturity built on years of experience and challenges but, above all, are proactive, visionary, and charismatic people, treating everyone in the organization as partners, unafraid of challenges. The opportunity to exchange experiences and share different perspectives is invaluable to me”, says Aleksandra.

Aleksandra is constantly working on taking care of work-life balance. She says this is a challenging aspect for her. “The best way to clear my head is through physical activity – nothing gives me endorphins, energy, and helps to forget about challenges and worries like physical fatigue (gym, running, cycling trips). In the realities we operate in – often a race against time, a multitude of tasks, and the need to combine professional duties with family responsibilities – a more extended vacation works perfectly for me. A genuine, two-week break that allows me to detach from work. For several years, together with a group of friends, we’ve been sailing across Europe – it’s my favorite vacation formula, and the lack of signal at sea helps me forget about the whole world”, shares her way Aleksandra.

Her advice to young women aspiring to work in technology: “Above all, believe in yourself, be confident, and persistent – don’t give up, even if you encounter difficulties or minor setbacks. Extract lessons from it for the future. Invest in yourself – acquire new knowledge and stay up-to-date with innovations. Don’t be afraid of challenges, but also remember yourself and your well-being – enjoy life beyond work. And most importantly – support other women in the IT world! Mutual support is truly a tremendous value and helps break down barriers!”

Always upward with joy

Magdalena SzarekMagdalena Szarek, has been the Head of Recruitment at RITS for over a year now. Throughout her career journey in recruitment and information technology, she has always held a main place in her professional narrative. She worked for giants like IBM as well as for tiny start-ups but, as Magada says, she feels best at a mid-sized and fast-growing companies like RITS.

“Achieving professional success, to me, entails finding fulfillment in your work. If you possess a genuine passion for IT, you’re already well on your way to accomplishing a significant portion of that success. Many people decide to try their chances in IT because of good money, remote work or flexible hours but with no real passion and interest in technology they burn out quickly”, considers Magda.

Her greatest professional success? “That’s probably a cliche but I consider being where I am now – at RITS, working with great people towards a superb change a success, and leading one of the project groups. It takes a lot of analytical thinking and organizational skills”, she answers.

Who inspires Magda in her professional life? “Even though they have nothing to do with neither tech nor recruitment, Denis Urubko and Nirmal Purja are my inspirations, as they are living proof that „impossible is nothing”. In my professional life I rather say, “when is it due?” than “that’s impossible.”

She actively maintains a work-life balance. A morning climb, an afternoon run and a hike on her day off are her ways of airing her head. In doing so, she emphasizes how she appreciates the opportunity to work remotely, which makes it much easier to take care of her work-life balance. She will use her commute time to walk her dog.

“Make sure that you want to work in technology because you like it. If so – everything will come much easier” – Magda advises to young women aspiring to work in technology.

Not only settlements in the spotlight

Hanna NowakowskaHanna Nowakowska is a Manager of the Billing Center Department at RITS. She has been with the organization since 2018 and directly with RITS since 2020. “The company’s mission and values are very inspiring to me and align perfectly with my own. I use my skills and experience to deal with new challenges on a daily basis. This helps me grow personally and learn new things. My work involves managing a team, monitoring and optimizing billing processes, and also supporting other departments with billing cases. I am pleased to be part of the RITS team and contribute to the organization’s success”, she says.

Hanna believes that professional success is when you feel like you are doing what you love and you are really good at it. “It’s the feeling of others appreciating your efforts and achievements, which leaves you fulfilled and proud of your work. Success in the technology industry depends on having the right skills and knowledge, as well as the ability to tackle new challenges. However, obstacles can arise from a lack of equal opportunities and gender stereotypes, which can significantly impact a professional career in this industry”, she considers.

One of her professional successes, of which she is truly proud, is creating the Billing Center department as a Manager within the RITS structure, with a cohesive, competent, and wonderful team. “During this process, I discovered many strengths within myself that contributed to achieving this goal, including organizational and planning skills, communication, data analysis, and team management”, Hanna shares her story.

What inspires her in professional life? “I believe there are numerous elements that inspire and motivate me every day, but the greatest inspiration for me is observing individuals who achieve success in their fields. Seeing their determination, passion and achievements makes me feel motivated to pursue my own goals and raise the bar higher and higher. The small successes of other people are truly inspiring to me and give me the belief that I too can achieve something”, says Hanna.

In her opinion, the best way to clear your mind and maintain a balance between work and personal life is to engage in activities that bring joy. It could be time spent on a hobby, meeting friends, or simply lounging in front of the television. “It is important to find time for yourself and not forget about your own needs. Don’t be afraid to say „no” when you feel the need for a break. After all, life is not just about work, right?”, reminds Hanna.

Her advice to young women aspiring to work in the tech industry sounds: “Be confident! Whether you’re at the beginning of your career or already feel like a leader, it’s important to be confident and believe in your abilities. Be ready to face challenges and don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed.”

Good Morning US! This is Marta speaking

Marta LewandowskaMarta Lewandowska joined RITS almost 4 years ago. Her current role involves leading the Lead Generation Team. Her journey with marketing started right after she graduated from university. “I really wanted to work with the US market and here I am, making my dream come true”, says Marta.

“It’s crucial to enjoy what you’re doing on an everyday basis, regardless of gender” declares Marta. “People who are happy about their lives make better employees and team members, thus, satisfaction is one of my definitions of professional success. The competition is serious in the constantly developing tech industry but there’s still a lot to be done. I’d say that the most important factor allowing us to be successful is being inspired and persistent.”

One of her greatest achievements so far is successfully building the relationships in the US market. As she says, it required a lot of work but she truly enjoyed being a part of this process from the very beginning. “I learned that by being creative and not giving up you can really get to the place where you’d like to be.”

Most often she finds herself inspired by the people she works with. “I get to know many different perspectives, attitudes and characters – that’s what I enjoy about my work most.”

How Marta airs her head? She enjoys spending time with her friends, her cat and going to live music shows. She is also an English teacher and, as Marta says, she can really relax during lessons with her students.

Marta’s advice to young women aspiring to work in technology: “First of all – believe in yourself! Choose a goal and be sure that you will try your best to achieve it. I think it’s also significant to be kind to yourself and the people around you, as it allows you to feel good with what you’re doing.”

Warsaw, March 8, 2024 RITS PRESS OFFICE

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