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Women in STEM: Hande Demir Holopainen

In this series, we interview women at Aiforia sharing their experience of working in STEM. Meet Hande Demir Holopainen, our Project Specialist & Internal Image/Slide Repository Management!
Written by Aiforia

Interview_Hande Demir Holopainen

How long have you been at Aiforia, and what do you do?

I’ve worked at Aiforia for over a year as a Project Specialist on the Science team. My main job is managing the internal slide and image repository. I take care of the repository and purchase new images and slides, which are necessary for the development of our products. I also help with customer projects by supporting AI model development and design. 

What is your background?

I have a B.S. in Bioengineering from Turkey and an M.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Helsinki.

After graduating, I started working in a research laboratory that belonged to Helsingin ja Uudenmaan sairaanhoitopiiri (HUS) and worked as a lab manager for over five years. My research was deeply integrated with the hospital, so we did a lot of clinical research.

As a lab manager, I organized everything in the lab, did the experiments, and ensured everything operated smoothly. I had a lot of control over my tasks and was quite satisfied with the job at the time, however, I always wanted to work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.

Thus, Aiforia was a great option! I am delighted to work here! 

What is a positive thing about working as a woman in science?

People look up to you when you are a successful woman in the tech industry, and it’s always encouraging. It’s especially inspiring when I see a woman with a successful career and a family simultaneously.

Science and health tech is an excellent place for women to grow and succeed. It inspires me to see successful people. This industry has great potential, is dynamic, and allows you to learn constantly, and women are great at adapting to changes!

What it’s like to work at Aiforia as a woman in science? 

So far, it has been amazing! My job consists of two essential parts: one you, and the other your colleagues. I have understanding, supportive, and empathetic supervisors who always allow me to feel valued and acknowledged. I find it essential to be recognized, and people at Aiforia are continuously acknowledged for their job and achievements. It is a vital part of the culture. Everyone on the team is thoughtful and understanding about difficult personal situations. 

What advice would you give to women wanting to start a career in science?

Science can be either theoretical or practical. There is always a need and place for women in both. So depending on your chosen path, you need to focus your studies on that. Of course, it helps to know what you would like as soon as possible and set your sights on that. 

What is your favorite part about your job?

Paying attention to details, organizing data, and inventory. As a service-minded person, I enjoy being a part of the team and making my contribution the best possible for the team's benefit. I always push myself to complete my tasks the best I can. I’m eager to take on challenges and learn new things. 

What do you do for fun?

I don’t have any free time because of my lovely two years old toddler [laughs]. We do a lot of activities together like swimming and other. I’m very much a family person. I also play computer games occasionally, sometimes with my husband.

I also volunteer! As part of an international branch of a nonprofit, I organize company visits for foreign women, primarily mothers, who live and work in Finland. This allows them to learn more about different companies in Finland and to network. It is an excellent opportunity if they want to know about a company or advance their careers. Currently, I’m actively working on organizing such visits to health tech companies; it’s something I’m really passionate about!


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