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4 min read

WomenXTech: Meet Harpa

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At TimeXtender, we strive to be part of the change we want to see in the world. Diversity and inclusion are essential elements of our company culture. We are excited to launch our WomenXTech series, spotlighting remarkable women at TimeXtender whose work is making a significant impact. Through their experiences, we aim to highlight the importance of gender diversity in driving technological innovation and creating a supportive work environment.

Meet Harpa, a Lead Developer at TimeXtender, who we were fortunate to bring on board through the Exmon acquisition:



"Hi, I'm Harpa and I'm based in the Icelandic office. I studied Software Engineering for my Bachelor's and finished my Master's in Computer Science with a focus on Machine Learning last summer.

In my free time, I enjoy visiting coffee houses, drawing, painting, knitting, skiing, hosting dinner parties, traveling, and hiking. I'm one of four siblings, with two older and one younger. Right now, I'm living in Iceland with my boyfriend. Fun fact: My favorite food is potatoes!

In my role as a Lead Developer at TimeXtender, I handle everything from database operations to front-end development. This position allows me to apply a wide range of skills, collaborating closely with my team to ensure our products are effective and user-friendly.


1. What inspired you to pursue a career in tech and was there a particular moment or person that motivated you?

I’ve always been into creative stuff—painting, taking photos, drawing, you name it. And I’ve also been super interested in health. So, when it came to figuring out a career, I felt kind of stuck. I thought about medicine and architecture, but computer science? That never even crossed my mind. But then my siblings started talking about how cool and creative tech could be. They showed me that it's not just about coding—it's about solving problems and building new things. Plus, it can totally connect with healthcare. That's when it clicked: tech could mix
my creativity with my interest in health.


2. Can you describe a specific challenge you faced as a woman in tech and the strategy you used to overcome it?

One significant challenge I faced was imposter syndrome, which many women in tech deal with. To overcome this, I started attending industry events where I could meet other people in tech and learn from their experiences. I also made it a point to celebrate my own achievements, even the small ones, to remind myself that I deserved my place in tech and was on the right track. I focused on just keeping on learning, growing, and tackling challenging stuff.


3. In your experience, how does diversity within tech teams impact problem-solving and innovation?

I think having different perspectives is key to making good decisions and coming up with fresh ideas. When you have a diverse team, everyone brings something different to the table because of their unique backgrounds, experiences, and ways of thinking. This can save a ton of time later by catching issues early on that might get missed in a more uniform group. With a diverse team, you're way less likely to miss important details or fall into the trap of everyone thinking the same way.


4. How do you manage work-life balance in a demanding tech role? Any tips?

Managing work-life balance in a tech role can be tricky since you can pretty much work from anywhere. I try to plan my days with a to-do list so I know what needs to get done. Throughout the day, I take regular breaks to avoid burnout, like standing up from my desk and moving around a bit. It really helps keep my energy up.
Taking care of my health is also a big focus for me. I make sure to eat well, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. I also always try to make time for my friends and family—they remind me there's more to life than just work. Lastly, being open to delegating tasks when needed can really reduce work stress. It lightens the load and helps keep everything running smoothly.


5. From your perspective, what is one actionable step tech companies can take to improve gender diversity and create a more inclusive environment?

When job descriptions are too strict, they can scare women away from applying because they often feel they need to meet every single requirement to even try. Research shows that women tend to apply for jobs only when they believe they meet almost all of the criteria, while men are more likely to apply even if they check off just a few boxes. This can be linked to imposter syndrome.

To address this issue, companies could try to make their job descriptions more inviting. Instead of listing tons of specific qualifications, focus on key skills and mention opportunities for growth, training, and mentorship. By making job descriptions feel more flexible and supportive, companies can attract more women and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.


6. What's one piece of advice you would give to young women considering a career in tech?

If you're thinking about a career in tech, here's my advice: believe in yourself, be curious, keep learning, and take risks. Tech is always changing, so staying curious and picking up new skills will open lots of doors. Believing in yourself is crucial. Imposter syndrome can be tough, but remember, you have something unique to offer. Trust your abilities and don't let self-doubt slow you down. And don't be afraid to take risks. Some of the best opportunities come when you step out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself, try new things, and you'll find your way.


7. What role do you believe male leaders should play in mentoring and sponsoring women in tech, based on your own experiences or observations?

Male leaders can play a crucial role in mentoring and sponsoring women in tech. During my time at Exmon, I've had the privilege of learning from some really great male leaders. They've been a huge part of shaping my career, and I've always turned to them for guidance and inspiration.


8. What changes have you observed in the tech industry regarding gender diversity during your career?

Lately, more women are entering the job market, and companies are offering more flexible work
hours to meet a range of needs.


10. How do you see the role of women evolving in the tech industry over the next decade?

I think that companies will realize that gender diversity boosts creativity and innovation. More women will be stepping into leadership roles and tech companies will also be better at work-life balance, with more flexible schedules and policies.


Stay tuned for more stories highlighting the contributions of women in tech. Thank you, Harpa, for sharing your journey and being a role model for aspiring technologists.


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