Božidarka Radović, MSc in Biomedical Engineering, is a Better Meds Product Lead. Aged only 27, she has recently been nominated for Slovenia's female engineer of the year. She leads a team of product managers and analysts – mostly men and mostly older than her – and participates in the development of one of the most advanced e-prescribing products in the market. Our colleague and Božidarka's teammate Uroš Bonšek, Better Meds Comms Lead, had a chat with her about the nomination and her thoughts on being a woman engineer.
Božidarka, you are a woman in a traditionally male professional sphere, a foreigner working in another country, and among the youngest in the team. How do you cope with all that?
To be honest, it is a bit challenging from time to time. I am still learning how to cope with that, but I am getting better every day. At the same time, I must admit it is also motivating. But as we are both members of the Better Meds team, we know and have learned so far that regardless of who you are, or where you live, the things that count most are to do your best to help yourself and others, love what you do, and have a good team around yourself.
Yep, you couldn't be more right. Ok, since you are nominated for Slovenia's female engineer of the year: What, in your opinion, is women's contribution to the engineering or technological sphere?
Women have already proven that we are excellent in the engineering and technological sphere. We all know, contributors of some of the most significant innovations are women - Mary Anderson, who invented a windshield wiper mechanism for the car; Grace Hopper - a famous programming pioneer, or Thelma Estrin, who was responsible for converting analogue electroencephalogram signals to digital and for mapping the human brain using computers. And the list goes on and on.
Engineering and technology give you the power to change the world, and both women and men should use this power and work together to create a better world. So, I wouldn't speak about advantages between genders but instead about the needed balance so that everything could flow fluently.
In the team, we all know Batman is your favourite movie hero. Do you also have a female role model?
Yes, Batman is my favourite because he fought his fears, and if we stay in the imaginative world, I will then choose Princess Merida from the animated movie Brave. But in the real world, there are a lot of inspirative ladies whose stories are very motivating. If I have to go for one, I opt for the already mentioned Thelma Estrin because she was a pioneer in biomedical engineering and, even more importantly, she strongly supported women in science.
Since you just mentioned, and we both discuss this often during our strategic meetings, how do you rate the position of women and the support they receive in technological companies?
I believe that the position of women in technological companies is getting better, but it can definitely be improved. I said before how important it is to have a balance here. But regardless of gender, companies should do one crucial thing, especially nowadays - treat employees as people and care about them. Instead of asking: "Have you seen that email?", the first thing you see a colleague in the office, try asking: "How are you?". Small steps can go a long way. You cannot expect great results if you don't cherish people and take care of them.