LORA KIOSSEVA | DAYE
Tech and Tampons. From menopause bracelets to menstrual trackers, the Femtech industry has grown rapidly since 2016. The first tampon however, was invented by Earl Haas in 1931! During the 1930s there was common social discomfort with the idea of women touching themselves at all near their vagina. At the time, many people, including physicians, believed that women touching their reproductive organs during tampon use would cause them to sexually pleasure themselves or break the hymen. Thankfully things have moved on A LOT since then...and with sustainable and ethical companies like Daye, women now have the the opportunity to make educated and sustainable decision when it comes to their menstrual cycle.
Today we hear from Lora, Software Engineer at Daye - creators of the world's first CBD infused tampon - about her journey into tech, why culture is so important when wanting to attract a diverse workforce and how she finds inspiration in her everyDAYE life!
HI LORA, THANKS SO MUCH FOR TALKING TO US TODAY...WE LOVE THE DAYE BRAND EVERYTHING IT DOES FOR WOMEN'S GYNAE HEALTH AND THE PLANET! CAN YOU START BY TELLING US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU BECAME A SOFTWARE ENGINEER?
It’s a family affair! - I come from a family of engineers with both mum and dad and also my grandma and grandpa being engineers - so I have been exposed to it for the majority of my childhood. I soon joined this family trait and went to Sofia Highschool of Mathematics – the classes were generally made up of mostly boys – I was one of eight girls in a class of thirty – but to be honest, I never really noticed the significance in that ratio back then.
I went to the University of Strathclyde where I studied Mathematics and Computer Science and following that attended The Data Lab Academy - Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI and I received a scholarship through them. They covered my MSc tuition fees but also provided additional training and networking opportunities with people from the industry, as well as a paid internship while I was doing my MSc dissertation. It's a great organisation that helps a lot of people build data skills or even change careers.
AND WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO DAYE?
During university my internships were mostly in the automotive industry that was basically just middle-aged men. I didn’t feel like I really fitted in, in terms of ethos and didn't feel like sustainability was much of a priority and this is something I'm really passionate about. I had been interested in implementing my knowledge into the healthcare industry so when the position at Daye came up, I went for it. My manager Ed is amazing, the most wholesome person on the earth and the interview was more of a great chat that left me feeling positive and excited. Finding out about the culture at Daye really excited me as it's super friendly and inclusive. You are surround by like-minded people and everyone is always on hand to help with any questions you have. We actually have a selected “Culture Guardian” who’s job is to arrange an activity each month to bring the team together – the next one is ‘painting with wine’ so painting with a wine reduction and drinking wine...
PAINTING WITH WINE SOUNDS RIGHT UP OUR STREET! YOU MENTIONED THE CULTURE WAS 'INCLUSIVE' WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU?
ED&I is super important to have different perspectives when it comes to problem solving - leading to better and quicker solutions...it really is a no-brainer!
WE WHOLE-HEARTEDLY AGREE! IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE BIT OF ADVICE TO SOMEONE WHO'S THINKING ABOUT FORGING A CAREER IN TECH, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Do your homework - there are so many different roles in tech, you can surely find something that suits you, transferable skills are super important. Research what type of companies get you excited and start a conversation with them - you never know where it might lead!
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I find tiny bits of my everyday life inspirational. It can be a nice gesture I saw someone do or the way that tree in front of my home grows.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO UNWIND AFTER A BUSY WEEK?
I think having regular screen detoxes so important and I love being outside in the beautiful Bulgaria! In the winter I ski and in the summer; hang out on the beach friends and play tennis. I am also in the process of getting my captain license for a sailboat and hoping to soon be a fully-fledged captain.
A CAPTAIN'S LICENSE? THAT'S INCREDIBLE! WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE RECIEVED DURING YOUR CAREER IN TECH?
Take a walk! When you get stuck on something and hyper-focused the best thing to do is get outside in the fresh air, take yourself off for a breather and you will usually come back to the issue with a calmer and clearer approach.
FINALLY, DO YOU HAVE A MANTRA TO LIVE BY?
No… not really 😁 But whenever I get overwhelmed I try to focus on my breathing!
Thanks Lora you rock 🤘
Interview by Sophie Eadon