Triinu Magi is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Neura, a company leading the Internet of Things trend. As a business leader with an extensive background in mathematics and technology, Triinu serves as the visionary behind Neura's interoperable solution.
Prior to Neura, Triinu held several computer and network security positions throughout her 15 years in the field. Most notably, Triinu played a key role in shaping the Estonian e-government services, created an independent security analysis for Estonia's e-voting system and worked in research for Israel's RSA Security.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
My life experience has definitely helped mold me into the leader I am today. I come from an environment that instilled in me that everyone has the opportunity and availability to create his or her own life, happiness, success, etc. The notion of paving my own path and being responsible for my decisions has motivated me throughout my life, particularly when I moved away from my childhood home in Estonia to pursue my education.
My exposure to different cultures has also greatly shaped my career path and made me a well-rounded leader. When I moved from Estonia to Israel, I had my previous experience and knowledge of how things should be done, but I quickly learned there are many different ways to make things happen successfully. I believe these cultural experiences opened my mind and made me more open to accepting new ways of doing things and solving problems.
How did your previous employment experience aid your position at Neura?
I have worked in the technology industry for over 15 years, with a focus on innovative and cutting-edge technologies. Prior to Neura, I held several computer and network security positions. Most notably, I played a key role in shaping the Estonian e-government services, created an independent security analysis for Estonia's e-voting system and worked in research and innovation for Israel's RSA Security.
Without these experiences, I would not be able to hold the role I do at Neura. I consider each of these roles to have been stepping stones that have led me to where I am today.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
The true answer is that I do not J. I am always passionate about my work, so it's easy for me to work many hours a day, read about it and think about it. But, overall, I aim to split up my day doing only the things that are important to me in life.
For example, I do not have TV at home and I don't read books for entertainment-- I only read books that give me new knowledge. But I do have my hobbies, sports, friends and family that are very important to me, so I enjoy sharing my time with the ones I care about, and doing the things I love.
What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Neura?
With any start-up company, there are many ups and downs.
In the early days of Neura, the second floor of my home became the office. This was challenging because my home was the office and the office was my home. (Ohhh so many dirty dishes J!)
But there are certainly good times as well. As a company, we've always felt that we are one step ahead of the competition. While the connectivity of devices was under discussions within the Internet of Things space, we were already working with the intelligence of the devices and services. When we were receiving feedback that people believed in our team and its mission, it always added motivation to our busy days.
Through trials and tribulations, I enjoy working with our team. We have been working together for three years now. The majority of the team has known each other since the first grade. We are a tight-nitch group and I'm excited every day to be working towards transforming the technology space with them.
What advice can you offer women seeking a career in the technology sector?
In my professional career, I have worked mostly with male co-workers. However, the women who do work in technology are great people who aren't afraid to take on any challenge. If women are interested in working in technology, I urge them to follow their passions, do what they love, and work hard. Women in the technology field remarkably excel at managerial and analytical skills, and provide a great deal of value in this growing industry.
What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
The biggest issue for women in the workplace is home and work life balance. Traditionally, women are responsible for the care of the family and the home. Globally, I think women often feel responsible to act as the primary caretaker in the home and the workplace, creating mounting pressure and little time for themselves. However, as we move toward a progressive future and gender roles blend, I think this balance will be easier to maintain and uphold.
What are your thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In book and movement?
I identify with her talks and stories on a personal level and agree that we as women should "lean in." I believe that we should be the change that we want to see happening. I'm glad that Sheryl Sandberg has taken this step, and put forth the effort in order to bring more attention to the topic and behavior. She is an incredibly strong women and is empowering and inspiring other women to do what they love and achieve great success. Many stories of women in business and technology have become public and, even if we do not have many women colleagues in our field, we no longer feel alone and this is very powerful.
How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
I have been inspired by many different people from varying places, cultures, religions and professions. I don't think I can credit one single person for shaping and mentoring me, rather, it was a collection of many different people in my life. The commonality among all of these people is that they challenge me, and encourage me to think critically, and adopt news ways of viewing things in life. They are all an inspiration to me.
Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
These days, there are so many strong and confident women paving the way in their respective fields, it's so hard to choose. I feel that any woman who is confident in her abilities and follows her passion is an admirable leader, and I am inspired by them.
What are your hopes for the future of Neura?
I believe that Neura will be the solution that enables the Internet of Things movement to provide trustful, intelligent and adaptive services to connected devices' users. This is the future of technology, bringing intelligence to connected ecosystems, and we're very excited to be a part of it.
Follow Laura Dunn on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lauraemilyd