The perception that the engineering discipline in sports betting and gaming technology is dominated by men isn’t completely accurate. Maja Maljkovic is vice president of engineering for SB22, a software development company focused on disrupting the sports betting industry through innovative, sophisticated, and industry-first solutions. She has more than 20 years of software development experience.
SB22 is fast becoming a major player in the sports betting industry, largely due to its technology talent, many of whom are women with impressive backgrounds in sports betting, fintech, and virtual reality. In fact, due to its commitment to gender diversity, over 30 percent of the company’s team of 60-plus software developers are women in an industry and field that still is largely male dominated, with significant underrepresentation of women in technology leadership roles. SB22’s development team is led by and has been at the forefront of developing SB22’s groundbreaking and immersive transactional platform.
GGB sat down with Maljkovic to talk about why it’s important to get women involved in engineering at a high level.
What inspired you to go into the field of software development?
I was fortunate to have an aunt who was a programmer at a time when it really wasn’t common for women to be working in technology. My aunt and her colleagues gave me exposure to software development when I was early in my career, and it was truly inspiring to see women doing something new and serving in what were considered non-traditional roles at the time.
What are some of the challenges you have seen women facing in technology companies?
Although much progress has been made, women in technology are sometimes still faced with the challenge of having to balance pursuing a family or their career. Companies need to focus on empowering women and having a high level of workplace equity based on talent, rather than gender. It is very encouraging to see more and more companies dedicated to providing equitable access to training and skill building, giving women leadership of high-profile projects, implementing a more equitable and unbiased promotions process, and developing a strong culture of support for women through both formal and informal mentorship and sponsorship programs.
What excites you about your role at SB22?
At SB22, I can use both my technical and management skills to lead a team of superstar developers who have extensive experience in software development. Everyone is focused on innovation and solving problems with a team-first mentality. It is especially exciting to see women developers working on complex code and being at the forefront of creating innovative future technology.
How can more women get involved in the engineering field?
It is important for women to mentor and support other women and to provide guidance on how to achieve success. Being a mentor, sponsor, or role model is a fulfilling way to advocate for the early advancement of women in technical roles and can inspire women to see the possibilities of what can be achieved. We also need to encourage women to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers. These roles are so important in keeping our industry on the cutting-edge of technology, and in addition, STEM jobs are growing at twice the rate of non-STEM jobs, offering higher wages and more advancement opportunities than non-STEM jobs. I am excited to see the SB22 development team continue to grow in their careers and accomplish big things.