Women’s History Month: Meet Şeyma Kara, Invicti’s Director of Engineering

To honor Women’s History Month in 2024, Invicti Security is celebrating and sharing the voices of women at Invicti. In this blog post, Invicti’s Director of Engineering, Şeyma Kara, shares her story about her experiences about her journey as a woman—and a leader—in tech.

Women’s History Month: Meet Şeyma Kara, Invicti’s Director of Engineering

Where I was born and raised, certain roles were assigned to women, and these were not even discussed. Neither my mother nor I were allowed to take our adopted dog for a walk without my father. Similarly, it was considered unusual for my mother to learn how to drive because we needed my father’s company for our city travels, especially in winter when the days grew shorter. 

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized my parents didn’t openly discuss gender roles because they were trying to create space for new ideas rather than reinforce these roles. This idea of creating space for something new became a valuable tool for me in solving issues in my career later on in life.

How did I adopt the mindset I call a tool? 

As I grew in my career, I realized the existence of barriers that shouldn’t be. I objected to others’ thoughts being labeled as obstacles to me. As a director, I could be judged mainly by presenting myself with full transparency, as opposed to the idea of a manager who should hide their feelings, act like a feared boss, and dress formally. Instead of having hesitations about how I should behave, I freed my mind from these thoughts, and I became aware of my own potential.   

When faced with problems, I sought solutions to overcome them myself rather than expecting others to solve them for me. I first evaluated the barriers in my own mind and then began to explain to others why they were not obstacles by setting off on this path. Then, I became the first and continuous actor. As I said, I made gains from areas where I could liberate myself and used those gains to liberate other areas. 

My Invicti journey

My story began by leading a group of testers who believed in the product and had product knowledge with little testing experience. I dreamed of forming a team that would elevate each other by transferring their test experiences in return for developing product knowledge. I believe this dream has yielded beautiful results.

Then, as I got the first chance to lead people outside my skills, as there was actually no alternative, I continued. So I had a new dream. It was a software product that was more stable, did not cause uncertain problems, and could be planned ahead in terms of time. This dream also yielded more success, and here I am now, leading the success of the product with more responsibility and with the help of committed teammates.

I cannot deny that we face various limits in our company, budget constraints, lack of time, and decisions to merge or divide teams. Yet, I follow my dreams, which I believe will benefit all of us. My persuasiveness lies in being proactive and sustaining momentum.

I believe “A river cuts through rock not because of its power but because of its persistence.”

For fun

Let’s do a test. See the list of job titles below, and before you click each link, visualize what this person is like. 

Boxing champion, nurse, CEO, conductor, civil rights activist

  • Buse Naz Çakıroğlu: A Turkish boxer known for her contributions to women’s boxing in Turkey and internationally.
  • Luther Christman: An American nurse, professor of nursing, university administrator, and advocate for gender and racial diversity in nursing.
  • Indra Nooyi: An Indian-American business executive who served as the CEO of PepsiCo, known for her leadership and advocacy for diversity and sustainability.
  • Nisan Ak: Selected as one of the thirty most inspiring people under the age of thirty by Forbes Turkey in 2019, Nisan Ak is a rapidly rising conductor from Istanbul.
  • Rosa Parks: An African-American civil rights activist known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, sparking the civil rights movement.

When you are aware of certain assumptions you hold, you can make a conscious choice to break any limitations you have and overcome bias.

About the Author

Şeyma Nur Kara - Director of Engineering

Şeyma Nur Kara is the Director of Engineering at Invicti, based in Istanbul, Turkey. With over a decade of experience in tech, she has honed her skills in problem-solving and collaboration, mastering various significant roles along the way. Previously, Şeyma worked as Senior Engineering Manager, QA Senior Manager, and Security Test Delivery Management Team Lead at Sony Electronics.