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Empowering exchanges: Bitpanda's women in tech Brainfood series

Elif Alp-Marent

By Elif Alp-Marent


Every International Women’s Day, people around the world celebrate and acknowledge the accomplishments of women in different fields. On this day, we come together to support, empower and reflect on the endeavour to achieve equality. Because we know that, despite our best efforts, we are not all equal.

Inequality exists…What now?

Although we can all see that things aren’t perfect, it can be hard to make an impact. But we can change at the individual and local level to improve our workspace and make a change in our communities. In this way, we can generate small changes and work from there. 

Bitpanda’s mission is to break down barriers to the financial market (which have played their own part in creating inequality). At Bitpanda, there is a community of women in tech that are working to address gender inequality in tech, simply by talking about and acknowledging it. This is why we’re shining the spotlight on women in tech in a new addition to an ongoing speaking series called Brainfood+.

The goal is to share different perspectives and spark much-needed conversations. By simply talking about and acknowledging biases in certain areas can make us aware of our individual biases. Over time, we hope this can generate a ripple effect and positively impact the working environment for all women in tech. 

What is Brainfood?

Once a month, Bitpanda’s entire product and tech organisation is invited to listen to a talk by a fellow team member. This internal platform for knowledge exchange brings people from different teams together. It’s a place where we can learn about new topics, and cutting-edge technologies, and stimulate growth within one another. 

A Brainfood talk purposely has a very low barrier to entry.  Typically,  it’s easier to present internally because there’s less prep work and it’s a useful stage to test some talks and concepts that can be shared with external audiences. Furthermore, it also gives speakers an opportunity to enhance their professional profile.

Brainfood is also an opportunity to stay curious, check out other areas of the business and explore new technologies. For example, if you learn about something that’s not currently used in the company, you can make your business case and present it to a wider audience to see if there’s interest in implementing it. It’s a terrific way to test new technologies.

Kick into high gear 

We started our series with a talk titled, “Kafka, the hard parts” Other sessions have covered interesting topics like being an open-source maintainer, building data pipelines, upcoming regulatory changes, and AI. Usually, people have to be nudged to present, but we’ve found that many of our colleagues want to present topics and talk about their interests and perspectives. In fact, the series is booked out months in advance! 

And now, with the embedded women’s speaking series, we’re adding an ongoing conversation around women leaders in the tech space to a popular and established platform, bringing it front and centre every quarter.

Exchange, grow, repeat

The tech field can be dizzying. There are front-end and back-end developers, data engineers, and designers - and that’s just a few of the job titles you’ll find in tech today. It can be easy to fall into the silo of your own area, but ultimately it’s beneficial to know what other departments are doing and to look outside of your comfort zone. 

A backend developer who understands what problems the front-end developers are having will make better APIs. Experience designers who understand how frontend developers work will have an easier time designing for an application as they’ll understand what’s possible, what’s complicated, and what the boundaries are. 

Understanding different roles in the tech sector not only enhances individual performance but also fosters a culture of collaboration and inclusivity. Breaking down the silos between departments can allow for a more holistic approach to problem-solving. Because we know that when diverse perspectives come together, innovation thrives. As we continue our journey to address gender inequality in tech, we’re also committing to breaking down these barriers, encouraging cross-departmental understanding, and building a stronger, more equitable future for all.

Moving forward

We all know there are fewer women in tech than men. But we also know that sharing our experiences and learning from one another is a tangible attempt to tackle inequality.  Everyone working with  Brainfood values being part of a group that is empowering and the Women in Tech working group that organises the quarterly takeovers share those same values. 

Happy International Women’s Day, to the women and men in tech who are actively working towards having better, more meaningful exchange and conversation! 

Elif Alp-Marent

Elif Alp-Marent