Women in Tech: Gina Walanga (31), Emark Barcelona

An interview with Gina, Solution Architect at Emark Barcelona.

What exactly is it that inspires and motivates women to work in the technology sector? In the context of our ‘Women in Tech’ interviews, we are asking six inspirational women just that. Why should more women want to work in the sector? The answer to that is that women who want to study, work in, and lead businesses in science and technology have much to add and they should be proactively empowered to do so. So says Gina Walanga, Solution Architect at Emark Barcelona.


What sparked your interest in a career in technology?
When I lived in Paris I saw that many of my friends worked in exciting work environments, doing challenging jobs related to new technologies like eCommerce and digital communication. This stimulated my enthusiasm and I took the chance. I switched from what I was doing in international trade to the tech sector and started working as a CRM account manager. In the meantime I’ve already been working for Emark for nine months.


Women currently make up just 30 per cent of the seven million people working in Europe’s digital sector, and they are under-represented at all levels, particularly in decision-making positions. What do you see as the biggest barrier for women entering the tech industry?
Perhaps it’s that women might be a little apprehensive at first about anything related to coding? But actually it’s very exciting. Given the chance, girls usually find that they enjoy it, but how can they do so if the don’t have the opportunity to become familiar with it? This is why I’m a big fan of initiatives like the non-profit organisation Girls Who Code. This organisation is tackling the problem at ever-earlier entry points in students’ schooling. They are doing things like training teachers in primary schools how to code, producing coding-board books to put the curriculum into classes, offering after-school programmes in high school and summer immersion programmes in college.


Emark is a leading marketing technology company headquartered in the Netherlands and you work in its international office in Barcelona. What makes Barcelona different from places like the Netherlands and Paris, where you lived before?
Besides being a really cool place to live, Barcelona attracts many foreign profiles so it’s a great place to work in an international environment. Working for the largest and most innovative Salesforce Marketing Cloud Platinum Partner in Europe allows me to serve leading companies such as G-Star, Suitsupply, Basic-Fit, O’Neill, Bugaboo and many more. Yes, I can confidently claim to have a really cool job in a really cool place!


What’s the most exciting aspect about your current role as a Solution Architect at Emark?
I love working on creative solutions that involve projects related to very different companies and sectors. And thanks to enjoying a certain flexibility in my working hours, I’m also able to create a perfect work/life balance.


What’s the hardest problem you’ve ever had to solve?
Oh, that’s easy. Running a training course just after starting my job, when my knowledge was rather limited. But I managed!


What advice would you give to women who are considering a career in tech?
Just do it! If you are open to understanding the challenges that companies face in their transformation to digital marketing and communication, a career in tech is definitely something for you.