Tahmineh TayaraniTahmineh immigrated to Estonia from Iran in 2020, where after a year she joined the Starship team as a field assistant.

She quickly progressed, moving from a role in the mapping team to a robot operator and now to her current position as operations shift lead in one quick year.

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

My name is Tahmineh Tayarani and I’m 33 years old. I’ve worked as a customer service and marketing specialist for 10 years, with a background in management and a degree from the University of Tehran in Iran. Throughout my career, I’ve always been curious about technology. When I first came to Estonia and saw Starship’s autonomous delivery robots in action, I was fascinated by this exciting technology. I started researching the company and did my best to seek out an opportunity that would allow me to become part of it. At first, the COVID-19 pandemic made this a challenge, but I didn’t let it deter me and I applied again the next year and this time was successful!

My first role was as a mean Robot Operator for Starship Technologies and I loved it – I felt like I was dreaming. Every day was a new day for me as I started learning about tech and robotics. With time, my skills grew and now I’m working as an Operations Shift Lead at Starship.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

A career plan is an integral aspect of your career growth – that plan is like having a path that you want to walk down to achieve your career success. I’d also say that whilst it’s important to plan your career, it’s equally important to make the move according to the situation, whether that’s something you envisioned or not. Sometimes there are opportunities that we need to grab instead of insisting we stick to that original plan.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Yes, I’ve moved from an operator and field assistant to an operations shift lead position, which was one of the biggest challenges in my career. I face a new challenge with each shift in prioritising what to focus on. I try to do my best and prepare for the next position.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

For me, each step of my career is an achievement in itself and every new chapter or event is something to toast. For example, speaking in an interview with a platform like WeAreTechWomen that helps support women in our industry is a huge achievement for me – it’s an honour and a pleasure to do so.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

One factor that I feel has helped me achieve success is my positive mental attitude. I believe that engaging in activities in a positive, confident, optimistic way helps you to become so and live the best life possible.

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

First of all, be confident. That is the most important factor that goes into being successful and progressing in your career. Also, be yourself and do your work with dedication; enjoy it and be passionate about it.

For me, happiness is key to performing to the best of my ability at work. Never stop learning; keep up with current industry news and develop your knowledge. I like this quote from Steve Jobs: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do – if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

Unfortunately, despite the international conversation around diversity in tech, women are still underrepresented. Still, in my opinion, if women want to do it, we can do it! Too often, women have been made to feel unconfident or underestimate their skills.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

I believe one of the most difficult things for companies is to address workplace culture which has been shaped by unconscious bias. As long as women are considered the primary caregivers of children, we will never achieve gender equality in the workplace. Companies can work towards remedying this by taking action around gender equality in the workplace. As a woman, I would say women need to be in visible leadership positions.

There are currently only 21 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I would remove the fears and anxieties that some women can harbour around their capabilities and qualifications to work in the tech space. You can do it!

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Tech ladies, which is a community of some 100,000 women in tech. Also, I would say that no matter who you are or where you work, I encourage you to learn something new. LinkedIn is also one of the most powerful resources.