The Midis Group Interview: Nesrin Demirci from MDSap talks about building a career in IT
"Women hold the power that helps equalize the work environment."
Midis Group affiliate MDSap strongly believes building a more gender-inclusive and diverse work environment is a key element of success in the digital world. MDSap General Manager Nesrin Demirci took to the stage at Bahcesehir College’s fourth “Ladies In First” event in January 2020 to share her experiences in the sector to encourage young girls to pursue a career in IT.
At the college, in a suburb of Istanbul, Nesrin talked about her 20-year career in the IT industry, the challenges she faced and how she overcame these. “The point, of course, is to inspire, especially, young girls to pursue a career in tech so I talked about the opportunities that await them and assured them that there is nothing they can’t overcome.”
In Turkey, only one in ten employees in tech are women, so Nesrin discussed how important it is to increase this ratio. She highlighted that technology has the power to transform the world and this transformation is only meaningful if women and men are equally helping shape it. She also talked about how we should break the “tech=boys” misperception and also discussed maintaining a healthy and productive family/work balance.
After her talk at Bahcesehir College, Nesrin was asked questions about her own career in IT. She was asked what she’d do to build a career in IT if she was 18 again.
“I would tell myself to keep on following my passion! To do things that I love to do, and keep engaging in activities that would help me to go forward. I’d say, read more, spend time with people that would help improve competencies and most importantly, to believe in myself and never be afraid of making mistakes as long as these mistakes contribute to leadership skills and business acumen.”
Nesrin talked about the challenges she’d faced when starting out in IT as a woman. “Even today the number of women in the IT sector is low, and it was considerably lower back when I first started working in the industry. Having just a few female role models in the industry, my biggest challenge was struggling in a male-dominated world and defying social expectations. But women hold the power that helps equalize the work environment, such as the ability to solve problems, multitasking, graceful touch and kindness… All these, combined with a positive attitude, professionalism and hard work, helped me overcome the challenges I faced and contributed to the overall success of our business.”
Nesrin was keen to set out practical steps to take to ensure more girls study tech or digital subjects and develop careers in the industry. “The first step would be to increase the number of women role-models in tech and have mentorship/internship programs that provide hands-on experience to females to make the sector more approachable and accessible. We need fundamental changes in how we educate our children, getting rid of the bias such as boys=techy toys vs. girls=dolls.”
Homelife is important, too, for all professionals, said Nesrin. “We also need more policies that enable more flexible work/life balance like proper childcare opportunities.”
After completing her university degree at Anadolu University, Department of Business Administration, Nesrin Demirci started her career as a Sales Representative at Mikroset in 1998. Throughout her career in the IT sector, she worked in sales and executive positions at leading companies, including Servus Bilgisayar and Oyak Teknoloji. Nesrin has been with the MDSap family for eight years, four of which she’s been serving as Turkey General Manager. Nesrin is married and has two children, a boy, and a girl.