Paulina Dragoeva is a QA Team Lead at Accenture. She shares with us that she feels extremely complete and respected in the place she currently is. Regarding gender inequality in the workplace, Paulina sees a trend towards positive change. She admits that sometimes it is difficult to separate her professional and personal life, especially
for a workaholic like herself.
Paulina Dragoeva is a QA Team Lead at Accenture, who shares with us that she feels extremely complete and respected at work. Paulina told us that she started working as a tester when she was at university and then she learned a lot about this profession. After university, Paulina went to Austria, but something has always pulled her back to Bulgaria. She shares that regarding gender inequality in the workplace, she sees a trend towards positive changes. Paulina adds that more and more companies are taking action to hire more women, which is commendable, but unfortunately the situation is not that good from a global perspective. Paulina shares that sometimes it is difficult for her to separate the professional from personal life, especially for a workaholic like her. Paulina tries to diversify the mental work with a physical one by riding a bike, walking in the park, or training at home. She says that during the pandemic she managed to develop a new hobby – growing flowers. Paulina is now almost a specialist, despite all of her previous unsuccessful attempts. What is more, because of her perseverance she expects about 100 tulips to bloom on her terrace. According to Paulina, qualities are built individually by each person and are not divided into genders. Paulina says that so far she has been lucky enough to work in companies where she has not faced any discrimination in relation to being a woman. However, she said that some time ago she was at an interview where they told her that the salary for their position, which was quite low, was too good for a “woman in the IT field”. To her, the members of a professional team need to build good friendships with one another and get along so that they understand each other in just one word – just like her team at Accenture.
“The good QA team lead has to know the strong and weak sides of every single person of their team, to distribute the tasks so that everyone can provide quality testing, but also to develop their skills if needed.”
Share something about yourself that we can’t find on LinkedIn.
During the pandemic I developed a new hobby – taking care of flowers. I’m also a specialist now although I wasn’t always successful. But I’m persistent and I ‘m expecting around 100 tulips and bulbs to bloom.
Have you ever faced challenges in your career regarding the fact that you are a woman?
Until now, I’ve always been lucky enough to work for companies where I was not discriminated against for being a woman. However, some time ago I went to an interview for an IT firm where I was directly told that the salary of the position, which was extremely low, was great for a “woman in the IT sphere”. What came as a bigger shock to me was the fact that the person who said this to me was the HR specialist who was also a woman.
Do you know how many women work in your position?
I know there are many women working as QAs, I even have some very successful friends in the sector.
Do you think that the problem with gender inequality still exists in Bulgaria and globally?
In Bulgaria, I think things are going well. More and more firms are taking actions on hiring more women, which is great. Unfortunately, I don’t think the situation is as good in a global plan though. The percentage ratio for higher rewarding is still in the benefit of men.
Do women’s appearance and charm help you be successful in a professional way?
I don’t think it’s related. And it was proved to me during last year when all of us have been working from home. We communicate with people online, some of which I’ve never seen in person, but we still manage to be successful.
How do you get along with men in your company? Do they treat you differently?
I always try to keep on the friendly mode with everyone, but I can’t say I receive any special attention from my male colleagues. In the team we’ve developed friendships and suit each other in a way we get along pretty well.
How do you balance your work with your personal life? Do you follow any specific rules?
Sometimes it’s really hard, especially for a workaholic like me. I try to diversify the brain load with physical load – I ride my bike, go for walks in the park and work-out from home.
Which sources would you recommend to us? (podcasts, webpages, influencers, youtubers, etc.)
You’ve graduated from Sofia University with Applied Mathematics. What inspired you to choose the IT sphere?
Ever since high school I’ve been interested in information technologies and I’ve been looking forward to computer science classes. Our teacher presented the lessons in a way that always caught my attention even if it was hard sometimes. I definitely liked working with a computer back then. I started as a QA when I was still at university, but I had no idea how the process of developing software looked. And once I got more into those things, I realized that’s what I wanted.
Which are the most important qualities of a Quality Assurance Team Lead?
The good Team Lead has to be able to multitask, to always know what’s going on in the teams and to remain calm in stressful situations. The good QA team lead has to know the strong and weak sides of every single person of their team, to distribute the tasks so that everyone can provide quality testing, but also to develop their skills if needed. I always try to pay the needed attention to each colleague and give them directions to solve their problems. Perfect organizational skills, dedication and responsibility also count.
Read More Inspiring Stories for Women in Tech in WRTech here.
How can we be absolutely sure of the quality of a product?
The product has to answer the needs, expectations and desires of the customer. The truth is, there isn’t a single software without any bugs. But the quality is judged by other factors such as efficiency, good functionality, assurance and most importantly – whether it’s convenient enough to be used by the end-user. For the different products we have to develop a different test strategy, where testing processes have to be done with the desired strictness and preciseness.
When and how should we put the borders between the workday and life after that, as everything happens in one place? Can you give examples of some good practices?
The best example is turning off the computer after 6PM and stop thinking of work. However, this does not always work for me – very often I can concentrate and do a lot of things after everyone else goes off and Teams is not constantly filled with new messages. The best thing is to learn how to prioritize our tasks and if they aren’t so urgent we can, for example, put them off until the next day although for some people it’s hard to leave the undone work. A walk after work is very efficient for me.
A striped blouse.
High heels or flat shoes?
Low ones – especially white sneakers.
Which is THE thing you never go out without?
A phone, a mask and a hand sanitizer.
Favourite lipstick colour?
Which is the feminine quality that you don’t possess?
I think that such qualities are developed by each individual and can’t be divided into genders.
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