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Women in Tech: Three female experts from PlasticOmnium share their journey into mobility lighting

When it comes to the representation of women in technical business areas, the global picture is improving – but a lot of work still needs to be done. Plastic Omnium knows about the importance and value of greater diversity in the workplace and wants to encourage more women to pursue careers in the tech industry. 

At its global center for software engineering in Iași, Romania, the company employs many talented women who drive a new generation of mobility lighting. We asked Marinica Bistricianu, Team Lead Test Engineering, Oana Gabriela Neamtu, System Requirements Engineer, and Denisa Turbatu, Software Technical Project Lead, to share their experiences and give advice to inspire more women to pursue careers in tech.

Can you describe your job and your responsibilities in a few sentences?

Marinica Bistricianu: At Plastic Omnium Lighting I lead an amazing system testing team. In my position I take care of all the issues that may arise in the system testing projects and keep close relationships with the software team, the hardware team, the system team, the quality team, and the customers.

Denisa Turbatu: As a SW Technical Project Lead, I interact with many people in different countries. Currently, I am involved in several projects where my main role is to coordinate tasks and team members so that we can deliver the software to the customer on time and in good quality.

Oana Gabriela Neamtu: I am a System Requirements Engineer and thus responsible for analyzing, documenting and managing customer requirements related to new features being developed. In order to identify our customer needs I work with many colleagues from other disciplines involved and specify the system requirements.

Oana Gabriela Neamtu

Oana Gabriela Neamtu

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Denisa Turbatu: I would say it is more than just one aspect. I really enjoy the collaboration with our international colleagues from all over the world. Furthermore, I like that my current job always offers me new challenges. It really excites me to find solutions for different problems. 

Oana Gabriela Neamtu: That’s true! We learn something new every day. As a System Requirements Engineer, I meet and talk to people from various disciplines in order to understand our customer’s needs. This way I also learn a lot about mechanics and electronics – I think that’s wonderful! 

Marinica Bistricianu: Working with people is what drives me. Seeing that together we can deliver a quality product that you can really use in a future car is a feeling I can’t describe.

What brought you to Plastic Omnium?

Oana Gabriela Neamtu: Marinica and I already worked at the company that was acquired by Plastic Omnium. So, we already knew our colleagues. In my opinion, working with colleagues that you can trust is one of the most important things. To have someone you can rely on when you have a problem or need to solve something. 

Denisa Turbatu: I think I’m the new one here. Actually, Oana recommended the company to me. We’ve already worked together in a previous job, became friends and stayed in touch. When I told her that I was looking for a new challenge, she told me about Plastic Omnium.

How would you describe your work environment at Plastic Omnium?

Denisa Turbatu: It’s very welcoming. Even during the application process, I felt that most of the colleagues are very open-minded. We help each other whenever someone faces a complicated situation on a project. And I also like that the management tries to be involved in our activities and supports our ideas. This makes our work much more enjoyable. 

Oana Gabriela Neamtu: I agree with Denisa here.  At Plastic Omnium it’s all about achieving something together, not just for oneself. I would say it’s a very collaborative workspace.  

Marinica Bistricianu: In Iași, we are all very close. It doesn’t matter which department you’re working in – you can always find someone to help you when you need support. I don’t want to serve any cliché, but I really think we are like a family.

Marinica Bistricianu

Do you notice a lack of women in tech? If so, why do you think that’s the case?

Oana Gabriela Neamtu: Yes, and I think that’s because tech is still primarily seen as a men’s world. But it’s a new age and we need to grow together. And I’ve seen more and more women entering tech fields in the last few years. It makes me happy to see us working on the same level as men but we need even more female representatives in some positions. We will see what the future brings.

Marinica Bistricianu: We decide in high school whether we choose a technical or a theoretical field and continue our studies at university. And more women choose the theoretical path. Unfortunately, there are not many women yet trying to get into tech. I have conducted many interviews, but only a few women were among the applicants.

What challenges have you faced on your way and what advice do you have to overcome them? 

Denisa Turbatu: When I told people around me that I wanted to study electronics and telecommunications at university, many said: „Oh my, that’s not for women. It’s way too hard.” But I made it, and here I am now. At the beginning it bothered me a bit what people thought, but over the years I have found my self-confidence. 

Denisa Turbatu

Are there any women in tech that have particularly inspired you?

Oana Gabriela Neamtu: In my case, it was my older sister. She is a software developer, which impressed me a lot. Because she always talked about her work with so much passion. That was a trigger for me to also pursue a career in tech.

What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?

Marinica Bistricianu: I suggest women to be more confident. Trust in your powers. 

Oana Gabriela Neamtu: Yes, and just go for it! Don’t stop because other people tell you that you can’t do it. Follow your intuition, and trust me, you can create a very good life as a woman in the tech industry.

Would you enjoy playing an active role in developing innovative lighting solutions? To join Plastic Omnium in Romania feel free to contact career.romania@plasticomnium.com or visit https://lighting.plasticomnium.com/careerto learn more about their open positions.  

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