Women in Tech is a brand-new Nexton series where we chat with the brightest women in the tech industry about their careers, stories, and more!
We sat down with Magalí Bejar, an emerging tech leader from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to talk about her career, the global tech community, and breaking the glass ceiling as a woman in tech. Currently working as a technical Product Manager, Magalí is the host of her own podcast “Tiene que haber algo más”, where she features entrepreneurs and prominent digital nomads based anywhere in the world.
Nexton: Magalí, thank you for participating in our new Women-in-Tech series! As many people know, you’re a very successful technology professional and digital nomad. We’d love to get to know your story, how you got to be where you are now, and what’s motivated you along the way.
Thanks for having me! Indeed, I started out as a Computer Engineer and I have been working in tech for over a decade. After trying different roles, I found Product Management, which ended up being the perfect position for me since I have a deep technical background and startup knowledge combined with business experience. These factors allow me to be a strong technical PM able to take things from 0 to 1, which is something that deeply motivates me.
Alongside my career development, at one point in my life, I realized it was time to explore a different lifestyle outside of the norm; but it wasn’t until 2018 that I finally started working remotely with international and distributed teams, which gave me the opportunity I had been waiting for: the chance to start my digital nomad journey, which led me to where I am today.
Nexton: In 2022 you started a podcast called “Tiene que haber algo más” (“There’s got to be something more”), where you explore life as a digital nomad and have conversations with professionals in the tech industry about how they broke free from the standard 9-to-5 work model, just as you did back in 2018. What inspired you to create the podcast?
“Tiene que haber algo más” came from my pursuit to gain freedom and a more flexible lifestyle. After 2 full years of traveling the world, the COVID-19 pandemic helped me understand that I had knowledge to share with the world after living these incredible experiences.
Back in 2016, when I first realized I wanted to become a digital nomad, I wished there were more people out there showing that it is possible to be an outstanding professional while traveling the world and living life on your own terms. So the idea of helping others in the industry choose a different, more fulfilling lifestyle that aligns with their personal values and interests ultimately inspired me to create the podcast.
In order to show atypical lifestyles that tech professionals can choose to live by, all of our guests at “Tiene que haber algo más” have a common denominator: freedom. In other words, they have to have had this common question that there has got to be something more to life other than the norm, and they have had to have taken action to change it at one point or another.
Moreover, developing the podcast in Spanish was also a conscious decision, so another common denominator of our guests is that they are all Spanish-speaking professionals from all over the globe. It always felt very important to show diverse stories and different perspectives, so everybody in our audience can feel represented.
Nexton: That’s truly inspiring! Speaking of the podcast, were there any roadblocks or difficulties that you had to overcome when you initiated the project?
When I first started, I did not know how to make a podcast, and I didn’t have a clue about what the process entails. I learned everything from scratch and at a fast pace by studying the industry. I always try to remember that “done” is better than “perfect”, and I just need to keep improving by 1% every single time.
Nexton: What’s your favorite part of creating each episode?
I love prepping for the interviews! I research the guests for hours before they talk to me and they get very surprised at how I can ask such specific and tailored questions. I really enjoy the interview process because it is a 2, or even 3, hours time block where I am only paying attention to interviewees without any distractions whatsoever, trying my best to create a safe space for them to open up.
Nexton: That is definitely noticeable in each episode! So before you started your podcast series, you were already involved in the tech ecosystem. What drove you to help build the community? Why do you think it’s important for technology professionals to build, and be involved in, a community?
Thanks to the different projects and startups I worked at, I got to meet incredible colleagues and friends. I had such great team members through the years that we kept in touch and tried to help each other out along the way. There are so many opportunities that there is no reason to not collaborate with each other.
Nexton: Switching topics a little bit, you were recently selected to participate in a program from The London School of Economics and Political Science as an Emerging Leader, along with many other inspiring women from around the world. We'd love to get to know your perspective on disparity and inequality, particularly in the software development industry:
In the past few years, have you seen positive changes and progress on this matter? How do you see the DEI initiatives developing in the field?
Change is slowly happening. Hopefully, companies in Argentina and Latin America will keep up with this because it is a real issue. We need to have more women in leadership positions making decisions because we will only benefit from having diverse ideas and opinions.
Nexton: Nowadays, are there encouraging aspects and/or more opportunities for women in the tech industry than before? In what aspects do you think the most work is required?
As long as real diversity and inclusion are on the companies’ agendas, it will create more opportunities for women to join these technical and leadership roles. We still need to work on having standardized salaries for seniority no matter what your gender is. Making sure the business is aligned with this goal is key so it is not just being used as branding to attract new talent.
Nexton: Do you have any pearls of wisdom for young women starting their careers in the tech industry?
Keep going, I am with you! I know it might be hard but sometimes you have to create the path for other women to follow. It helped me to read Melinda Gates, Glennon Doyle, and Brené Brown to broaden my perspective. Starting out in this industry can be a tough process… but do not get discouraged! Be part of the change you wish to see.
Nexton: Lastly, what do you think is the best way to make your past experiences shine in interviews? What advice would you give to fellow developers going through recruiting processes themselves?
My best advice is to be prepared. Think beforehand about past examples and situations that reflect your best work, and get to the interview a few minutes earlier because you only have one chance to make a first impression.
Interviews in tech are hard because you get evaluated on every level in multiple stages, and there are so many variables that need to be aligned for you to get the job offer. Practice makes everything better, keep showing up and iterating your pitch!