The International Day of Women and Girls in Science was born with the aim of recognizing the essential role that women and girls play in science and technology. Thus, since 2015 we commemorate this day in order to achieve access and full and equitable participation in science and ICT, and also to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, who play a fundamental role in the science and technology communities.

The technology sector, the engine of the world economy, is experiencing a shortage in terms of lack of talent. Paradoxically, and despite the good employment opportunities offered by ICT, the presence of women is still insufficient. Ensuring that new generations of women find their future option in the technology sector is the new challenge to be clarified. And to find a first explanation for this phenomenon, we must ask ourselves what elements are essential to encourage girls’ interest in ICTs.

WomenIT at SII Concatel

They lead the way, set an example, fight and get where they want to go. They are Carol and Estefanía, and they will tell us how they have become ICT Women.

Carolina Garrido

Why do you think the presence of women in technology is still so rare?

Indeed, it is true that I have more co-workers who are men and fewer co-workers who are women. Historically, women have opted more for careers in the social sciences and humanities, perhaps because they were believed to be more useful in these sectors. But I think that this is changing at an exponential rate and it is precisely because science and technology have become increasingly transversal in today’s society, their presence is in all areas, which makes the role of women is unavoidable in these areas. I am convinced that the presence of women in the ICT sector will grow a lot in the coming years. In the same way, I believe that in education scientific and technological training will be more combined with socio-economic training. I believe that we are going towards a world in which I think it is difficult not to come across ICTs at some point in your professional career, and that will undoubtedly help women to make their way in this world.

What did ICT awaken in you to choose this path?

My adventure in the ICT sector began 5 years ago as a result of a professional reinvention. I was looking forward to a change in my professional career, which until then had been in the area of ​​sales and marketing in multinational companies. One of the reasons that led me to opt for a profession related to ICT was the strong demand that there was and still is in the market in this sector. I believe that new technologies have become more and more a cross-cutting component in all companies that cover all business areas. This point seemed very interesting to me and I took advantage of my experience with the different departments of the company to occupy positions in which I acted as an interlocutor between the business areas and the technical area, and thus began to manage digital projects.

This adventure has been and continues to be a challenge, not without difficulty, where there is a learning curve that is undoubtedly worth it in the medium and long term. There is more and more mobility in jobs in medium and large companies and I would definitely recommend to anyone who had the opportunity to delve into the world of ICT for a while.

Estefanía Del Pozo

Why do you think the presence of women in technology is still so rare?

Because we don’t feel free to choose yet. And I think that’s the most important thing. I think we should put prejudice aside. We have become accustomed to giving our opinion without knowing, to judging based on what others think and not trusting our own criteria or, most importantly, the criteria of our sons and daughters.

I’m sure that if we stopped clipping our wings because of preconceptions, more girls would choose this path. For example, the simple fact that you play with a remote control car may lead you to want to study Telecommunications, or the fact that you want to study an Arts degree can make you a professional in video game design in the end.

Basically I think the only trick is that, to support them to continue their path without judging them. Society evolves at a dizzying speed, if we limit them in the present we are limiting their future..

I have been lucky, I know many women who have stood up to the prejudices that they had to live in their lives and are now true professionals in the IT sector. And it is true that I am proud to think about them, but I would like that, in the future, pride will not include the feeling that they have had to face prejudice to be where they are.

What did ICT awaken in you to choose this path?

As a child I always wanted to be an architect, I am fascinated by the world of construction and I wanted to be part of it. I got to study that degree, but my plans went awry when I had been studying for a couple of years and had to drop out of college and go to work. I plunged into a comfort zone for six years. I had two part-time jobs, very little time for me, and what I did was not fulfilling. Until I stood up and decided to change my future for the better: I decided to get into the world of computing. I’ve always been curious about this world, but I considered it a hobbie. I hadn’t considered working on it until then. And I transformed that hobby into something else.

I quit both jobs and started studying a professional training course, Cross-Platform Application Development, and while I was studying it I fell in love with databases.

I had only been teaching for three months when I started looking for work in the sector and a company bet on me. It seems impossible with the little training I had, but I assure you that I was completely sincere in the interview. I did not make up anything, I did not invent anything, I told them the same thing that I just told you.

They put my logic to the test, they saw that it was something that I really liked and that I wanted to learn and work with it. To this day I am sure that getting out of my comfort zone has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.