November 24, 2020 In Guria, J-P, Regions, Themes, Women in Technology
Meri Ezieshvili, 27 years old, Ozurgeti, Guria
“I was born and raised in Ozurgeti. I was interested in social media and programming, but I thought that business, accounting, and auditing were jobs more suited to me. I even learned auditing, but didn’t ultimately choose that field – I realized that I was interested in something else and I was looking for something new. I made various accessories – wallets, bracelets, decorative handmade Christmas trees and I sold them at markets and exhibitions. I can probably make anything that can be handmade myself.
I was 25 years old when I participated in a training by ‘’Innovative Education Center’’ – social media marketing and web programming. A month and a half before the project started, my child, who was then two and a half years old, told me – “I want the world to know you” – he had such ambitions. I explained that I wasn’t sure about the world, but I promised Georgia would know me. In addition, I was interested in this field because I wanted to open an online store for my accessories. I needed Facebook and Instagram pages for this, but I didn’t know how to manage them. Everyone can make a page, but having a page is not enough, if you don’t manage it in the right way, don’t choose the right segment and so on, there is no point to have it. When I was told about the project, I thought, I’ll try to use it later for my pages – I didn’t think I would achieve such success. When I went through certain stages of the training, I realized that I could do more in the social space than I imagined and started working for it more enthusiastically – for me, it was important to learn it deeply and to be totally concentrated. Before that, I was always told that I should be a role model for others, and I thought to myself – after that I’d be an even better role model for people. When I say that, I mean for teenage girls. We had so many great trainers, and we got comprehensive answers to all the questions. Some girls also worked as a group, we had active communication with each other and with this, I learned how to work in a group. Everybody supported us, at any time, we could call any supervisors or mentors and ask them what to do and how.
When the training was finished, 40 girls were selected for the internship. We had the opportunity to introduce our work; I was one of them. After the presentation, I found out that I got into Grapevine Marketing Agency – this is a marketing company where I could maximize my abilities. Since this company didn’t utilize WordPress yet, I started learning to code. As for social media, they let me manage several Facebook accounts and I was actually pretty good at it. Also, I used to sit down with designers and learn what they were doing. Then, I was told that if I learned web design, they would help me in development. I learned web design, already using my own funds, and I’m very happy that they gave me a chance to develop myself. I was on an internship for a month, and then I stayed at this company as a graphic designer.
This project also changed my life financially. Now I also take private orders. In the future, I want to know everything related to technology. I’d like to offer a complete package to the customer. If I can do this, and I know I can, I’ll be very happy because my son’s dream will come true. I realized that just as others can help me, I can do the same and teach others. I have a plan to conduct trainings for women. I also want to do activities for women in the regions. My friends and I are thinking to record lectures for women on social media and to share experiences. Soon we’ll have Youtube channel as well.
I always had support from my family. My parents have always been proactive when I was learning something. When I decided to participate in the training, my sister quit her job to take care of my son. Later, my mother replaced my sister. My dad uses to say, how can you be learning something all the time? Take a break, have some rest. When I called him and said that I had some success and I’d be more successful in the future, he was very happy. They believe in me, they know that whatever I’m doing I’m doing it at my best level.
I want those stereotypes about women to be broken. It’s very important to me that I’m in this field today and I’m doing exactly this job. Especially it’s important in the regions, where women rarely get such opportunities. I advise all girls to aim for what they want and they’ll be able to do everything. The goals lead us to success and success is important for everyone.
Author: Nino Gamisonia
Photo: Geda Darchia
“Meri Ezieshvili was one of the 124 participants in women’s web development and social media marketing training program in 2019. The training program was part of the UN Women project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia” funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. The views expressed in the story are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of UN Women, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, United Nations or any of its affiliated organizations.”