Meet Petra: Navigating Pregnancy While Balancing an Engineering Career

Workday Life
5 min readSep 15, 2023

I’m Petra, a Senior Software Application Engineer based in Prague who has been a Workmate for more than four years. When I joined Workday as a Business Analyst, our shared office in Prague had about 20 people. Since then, I’ve watched Workday grow to more than 90 staff and we’ve recently moved into a beautiful, large office with an incredible view of Prague.

I love how much my role and career has developed over the years and I love my Workmates. I learn something new from them every day while having a great time. And as my career continues to grow at Workday, so does my family! I feel supported in growing my skills here, and equally feel supported in planning for my upcoming maternity leave to bond with my little one.

I share my career trajectory in the hopes of showing there are many nontraditional ways to transition into an engineering career while also showcasing how Workday supports its Workmates through all walks of life.

The Excitement in Seeing our Growth

Initially, because of my financial background, I was brought in as an analyst to work on our People Analytics app. Now I’m on the team that takes care of this app’s data pipelines, algorithm engine configuration and other parts related to the app content.

It’s been really exciting watching People Analytics grow and be used by more and more people — at first it was installed manually and we only had four early adopter customers. Today, we have over 300 deployed tenants, which is a huge win and I know I contributed to this success! A year and a half ago, I also became a Scrum Master of one of the feature teams, responsible for delivering several customer-facing features and projects. It’s something that requires a lot of cross-team collaboration, which I really enjoy — it’s always fun having variety and working with Workmates from areas outside mine and in different countries.

A Day in the Life

My days usually start with a coffee whilst doing a read-through of my emails and Slack messages. My team partners with various Workmates in the United States, so my mornings are dedicated to catching up with what they have done overnight. The next part of my day is busy because I’m working on a couple of projects and I need to lead scrum ceremonies, do delivery check-ins and so on. Then, we start talking to our stateside colleagues on Zoom in the late afternoon to discuss product enhancements, fixes or to distill the work from the Product Managers into a viable solution.

The best thing about my job is that not only do I get to work on a great product, but I have the chance to be creative and help the product fulfill its full potential. We’re bringing data-driven insights to HR business users, which drives enormous improvements in their hiring and retention strategies. It’s very rewarding knowing that I’m helping to add so much value to companies and many thousands of people use the solutions I work on every day. We really are creating brighter work days for our customers.

I also feel like there’s so much scope to develop my career at Workday. I always look for opportunities to broaden my skill set and have more of an impact and there’s a lot of support for that here from the top-down. While Workday sets its people up for success, there are some skills one can bring to the table to have a successful career here.

The Key to Success as a Software Engineer

Beyond the usuals — proactivity, clear and open communication, and collaboration — I think the key to every successful project and team is achieving a good balance of perspective in various domains and having diversity of people and the ideas that come with that. I have luckily found that balance between the engineering, product and support teams with whom I currently partner.

Admittedly, there are some projects that mean you are dealing with a complex system that can seem overwhelming at first, but don’t let that put you off. If you stay curious and keep at it, you will get there — that’s one of the biggest lessons I have had at Workday. A curious mindset is necessary when you’re on a mission to create brighter work days for all.

Supporting Women in Tech

Very soon, I’m going to be on maternity leave. When I told my manager that I was pregnant, he was very supportive. He was open to flexible working hours and thought of ways the team could accommodate the workload if I wasn’t feeling well.

Our Maven family support benefit (provided by Workday) is great, giving us on-demand, cost-free virtual appointments with top practitioners, virtual classes, designated care advocates for personalised referrals, and a library of expert content tailored to your journey. Maven provides support in many ways from egg freezing, fertility treatments or pregnancy, to miscarriage, postpartum, adoption, surrogacy or returning to work after maternity leave. It even extends support to perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. Explore our global benefits here.

I feel very lucky to be so well-supported by my company and Workmates, in all ways. It’s such a great, safe working environment and I’m looking forward to coming back as a working mum and seeing what’s next for me here. The team are really excited to meet my little one, too!

Bring your authentic self, we’ll provide the platform to shine. Come and find happiness at work.

A brighter work day is just around the corner☀️. Explore career opportunities here. For more #WDAYLife content, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Workday Life

A view into #WDAYLife as told through our culture and the stories of our Workmates. Your work days are brighter here☀️.