WomenTech Global Awards Voices 2021 Winner Alexandra Shtetinska

    Alexandra Shtetinska is Senior HR Director at The Coca-Cola Company, where she provides strategic HR coaching to EMEA leaders on the growth journey to digitize the enterprise, refresh the world and make a difference.

    Alexandra is an organizational psychologist and a Senior HR professional with 10 years of experience in a dynamic multicultural environment. Her business specialization is related to HR strategic consulting and the design of the entire process of talent acquisition,  management, and development. 

    Especially for the WomenTech Network, Alexandra agreed to give an interview and share her story.

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    Congratulations on winning a WomenTech Network HR & Program Manager of the Year Award! How did it feel when you found out you had won?

    It was a very pleasant surprise considering how many talented professionals were nominated in this category. I’m genuinely grateful and proud of this recognition. Knowing that my work for girls in STEM makes a difference in the right direction is what gives me the strength to continue. This is a valuable award to me as a professional but also to the Company as we take consistent, targeted, and courageous steps to empower, educate and support women in their STEM careers.

    Tell us about your background, journey in tech, and what inspired you to develop your career in this direction.

    My journey in tech was not planned, I never believed that I would work in the technology world as I knew nothing about it. My journey started in a small boutique company in the field of career counseling, training, and talent selection. I was quickly attracted by the dynamics of technology and got the opportunity to work in the selection of IT and telecom specialists. I will never forget my first interview task, which included an extensive presentation of the C++ programming language. I had no idea what that was but I did my research, got help from friends, and landed my dream job.

    I became interested in the software world without even realizing it. My interest did not stop, I read a lot and joined different communities of technology professionals. I learned to speak their language and became a trusted consultant. My next career steps were related to talent management, leadership development, management, and HR partnerships for technology teams in various software companies. I was able to contribute to the community from an organizational perspective and put focused efforts to understand the IT motivation for progress and how the HR profession should evolve to meet these dynamics. I also nurture my IT interest with academic work as I study Ph.D. in Differential Psychology and Cultural Differences. Most of my research in the field is focused on the IT industry, as it blends well with my professional path.  I have always been interested in what drives people in their career choices.   

    For the last four years, I work in one of the largest, most interesting, and inspirational global companies. My role expanded into strategic HR partnership for various business areas and enabling functions but working for STEM has remained my passion and specialization. Our company has two major technology hubs in Europe: Sofia, Bulgaria - where we develop global Research and development solutions and enterprise services for the Coca-Cola system and Dublin, Ireland - focused on technology solutions delivery in the field of marketing, business intelligence, and commercial for the EMEA region.

    I’m proud of the achievements, innovation, and D&I principles we share in both IT centers. Coca-Cola is a great place for women in STEM.

    Any advice you would like to give to girls in STEM on pursuing their dreams? 

    It may sound like a cliché but my advice is to spend time getting to know yourself first and find a passion you truly enjoy. Then be brave, find your inner strength and motivation to give you energy along the way. Think holistically about your career, be consistent, spend time to grow your capabilities, and stay always curious. As women, we should be proud of our feminine qualities and should never forget our authentic selves and talents are our biggest strengths.