Team Talk: Empowering Women in Tech at Comtrade Gaming

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Welcome to our special edition of “Team Talk”. Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’re sitting down with three remarkable women from our team: Petra Arklinič, our Senior Project Manager, Nataša Tabaković, a dynamic Project Manager, and Lana Živković, a skilled Software Engineer. They’re here to share their experiences, insights, and the paths they’ve carved in the tech world.

1. Could you share your journey to your current role at Comtrade Gaming and what it involves?

Petra: My path to Senior Project Manager started in 2018 when curiosity led me to Comtrade, initially joining as a Quality Assurance Engineer. Despite planning a short stint in QA, my previous project management experience and a strong team propelled me back into project management. I'm now leading projects with pride, thanks to our collective achievements and growth.

Nataša: My journey intertwines my technical background in mathematics and software development with project management. Although I occasionally miss deeper technical work, my understanding of programming fundamentals aids in leading teams and aligning projects with client expectations. This balance fosters both my professional development and our team's success.

Lana: Inspired by the EDIT program, I ventured into software engineering after completing my degree. Starting as an intern at Comtrade Gaming, I've since explored various technologies and worked with diverse teams. Mentoring a new developer recently has reinforced my fundamentals, contributing significantly to my career progression.

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2. What skills are essential in your role, and how do you work on developing them?

Petra: Key skills include empathy, active listening, and maintaining calmness, alongside technical precision and understanding of our products. Learning to delegate effectively has been crucial, allowing a balance between personal responsibility and trust in my team.

Nataša: Leadership for me is about creating an empowering environment, fostering transparency, and continuous improvement. Proactivity, anticipating issues, and arranging resources efficiently are essential. My leadership style focuses on adding value and facilitating smooth team operations.

Lana: My focus lies in C# and .NET technology, striving for clear and maintainable code, alongside proficiency in databases. Through mentoring and assuming the role of Team Manager, I've honed both my technical skills and leadership abilities, emphasizing teamwork, and simplifying complex concepts for my team.

3. In our quest for balance between our professional and personal lives, in Comtrade Gaming we employ various strategies to maintain work-life harmony. How do you balance your professional and personal life, and what personal interests help you unwind? 

Petra: For me, a way to unwind is always a good vacation. My recent highlight being a Mediterranean cruise! Also, other activities like culinary explorations, fitness routines, and participation in choir singing serve as effective means to fully detach from work.

Nataša: With the support of my team, switching off becomes easier, allowing time for family and activities like functional training and outdoor adventures. My hobbies, especially CrossFit and sourdough bread baking, keep me energized and fulfilled.

Lana: Balancing work and personal life is key. I maintain positivity at work and unwind through hobbies like swimming and travel. Evenings are my time to unwind, especially by watching favorite TV shows like ‘Criminal Minds’, movies, or getting lost in novels.

4. Facing challenges in a male-dominated tech industry, they've proven their capabilities and celebrated achievements, underscoring the importance of diversity and resilience.

Petra leads a team whose operations were initially relatively small but has now become one of the biggest and most successful gaming operators in Europe. She takes great pride in the impact of strategic innovation and customer-focused solutions have helped achieve so much. Nataša has worked to overcome gender biases, leading a diverse team that exemplifies innovation's power, highlighting the resilience women bring to tech. Lana celebrates forming meaningful connections and earning the 'Rookie of the Year' award (internal recognition project), finding mentoring and team management to be enriching experiences that have spurred her professional development.

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5. What are your future aspirations at Comtrade Gaming, and what advice would you give to young women starting in tech?

Petra: The growing presence of women in tech is promising, highlighting the value of intuition and nurturing in the field. Encouraging young girls towards tech is key to achieving gender balance. My advice: leverage your unique strengths and stay dedicated to showcasing your technological insights.

Nataša: I'm excited about AI's role in automating and enhancing project management. For young women starting in tech: believe in your abilities and make choices that best serve your future.

Lana: The joy in software engineering comes from solving complex problems and the continuous evolution of our field. I see us focusing on scalable, adaptable solutions with a societal impact. To aspiring women in tech: be fearless and confident, embracing opportunities to make a difference.

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This edition of "Team Talk" leaves us inspired by Petra, Nataša, and Lana's resilience and achievements in tech. Their stories underscore the essential role of women in shaping the tech industry, overcoming gender barriers, and leading by example.

Their advice for young women—to embrace their strengths and be fearless—highlights the path to success in tech. As we celebrate International Women's Day, let's champion the growth and inclusion of women in tech.

A big thank you to Petra, Nataša, and Lana for their insights, shaping a brighter, more inclusive tech future. Here's to the continued empowerment of women in technology.