Daria Pacewicz is the Manager of Data Science and Data Engineering at Pega. With a degree in IT and Data Science, she finds joy in unravelling the stories hidden in numbers. Her focus is on Cloud data management, specifically in cost optimisation. When leading teams, she exhibits a strong passion for fairness and kindness.

Beyond her role, she is a co-chair of a regional women’s organisation in Pega. Her goal is to encourage more women to step into leadership roles. Daria believes in a workplace where everyone has a chance to shine, and kindness goes hand in hand with success.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and your current role at Pega.

I started in the tech field with IT studies, focusing on data management, which I found interesting. I then specialised in Data Science and worked as a Data Scientist for a few years. Later, I wanted a role more connected to people and business, leading me to become a Manager.

I’ve been at Pega for three years, currently managing a team of data experts. Numbers have always intrigued me, and I enjoy telling stories through data, a big part of my work now. I’m passionate about diversity, so I actively participate in Women@Pega, where I run initiatives supporting women in tech.

Outside of work, I love spending time at home and reading books. I’m also a creative person, enjoying activities like playing the piano, crocheting, painting, and other arts and crafts in my free time.

Did you intentionally chart out your career trajectory, or did it evolve organically over time? Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

My career path naturally shifted from technical roles to leadership positions over time. An opportunity to become a manager presented itself and the biggest challenge in my career was to take it. You’ll always find a reason why not to do something. I knew I didn’t have managerial experience and the team was working in a fast-paced and demanding environment, I took a shot. I overcame any challenges on that journey by admitting to not knowing everything and asking a lot of questions.

What stands out as your most notable accomplishment in your career up to this point? What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in your achieving success? 

Getting on the stage and presenting. This experience gave me a tremendous confidence boost. The key to success was taking one small step at a time, beginning with smaller audiences, and gradually progressing to company-wide presentations.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology? 

Ask a lot of questions. It’s perfectly okay not to know everything immediately, especially in an era where business and technology are evolving so rapidly. Additionally, ensure that you genuinely enjoy your job and have a good relationship with the company. It’s hard to excel at anything in a toxic environment.

What barriers for women working in tech, are still to be overcome?

A significant challenge for women in tech is reaching higher leadership and C-level positions. As you go up the ladder, you see fewer women, and the balance is still far from being equal.

Could you talk about the ERG you are part of at Pega.

I’m the Co-chair of WomenPoland@Pega, focusing on Poland. A significant part of last year was spent gathering the community through various events, where women from Pega could get to know each other. These connections allow us to learn from different perspectives and ensure that our initiatives are diverse, catering to everyone’s interests.

In an ideal world, how would you improve gender diversity in tech?

I think most women are fully aware of diversity issues in tech. It’s time for everyone else to notice that. We need more allies!

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, e.g. podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

I highly recommend organising networking events in your office. You’d be surprised how many connections you can find within a proximity.

If you enjoy reading and data I recommend “Invisible Women” by Caroline Perez

I’m also a huge fan of the Women In Tech Summit – a conference that takes place in Warsaw, Poland. I’ve never seen so many women in one place!

Are there allies, mentors, or others who have significantly influenced your career choices and growth? How have they impacted your journey?

My manager is my biggest ally. Not only did he prepare me for a managerial role, but he also believed in me from the start. He taught me that there are no stupid questions and that your biggest asset is your team. Another impactful group is the WomenPoland@Pega Leadership team, consisting of three remarkable women. They’ve taught me more about confidence and self-worth in a year than I knew in my entire life.

Maintaining a work-life balance is often challenging. How do you manage to strike this balance, especially in the dynamic field of technology?

Given the global nature of the IT industry, it presents a variety of unique challenges. One of them is dealing with various time zones. I ensure that the meetings I attend fall within my working hours and are convenient for colleagues in other parts of the world as well.

Don’t forget to rest and take your time off. Nobody can be productive 100% of the time.

Building connections is essential. How do you approach networking, and how has it played a role in your career journey?

I believe in expanding my network to find people to collaborate with or learn from. To achieve that, you need to be genuinely interested in other people. I discovered that having common interests makes networking so much easier. Book clubs or discussion groups allow you to not only meet someone new but also connect with them on a deeper level.

Technology evolves rapidly. How do you stay updated and adaptable in an ever-changing tech landscape?

By being open-minded and curious. While there’s always something new to explore, it’s not necessary to implement every change immediately. Rapid changes also mean that you should throw perfectionism out of the window, if you spend too much time trying to get some perfect masterpiece at a first run, soon you’ll notice that everyone else is far ahead of you.

Diversity and inclusion are vital in the workplace. How do you advocate for these values within your organisation?

I aim to encourage more women to take on presenting roles, whether it’s in company meetings, smaller department calls, or external events. I understand that speaking in front of an audience can be intimidating, but any exposure helps in breaking barriers and demonstrating that women can be headliners too.

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