Today is International Women's Day and from Emiral we join this fight to achieve equality. In addition, in our sector it is a day to remember that a woman was the first computer programmer in history: Ada Lovelace.
However, in the technological sector there is still a long way to go, as indicated by the latest data published in 2019 in the White Paper on Women in the Technological Field, prepared by the Ministry of Economy and Business, according to which only 15 ,6% of women are dedicated to the technology sector. Another revealing fact is that provided by the European Commission on women in the digital sector, according to which only 24 out of every 1,000 women graduate with ICT studies.
Being a woman in technology
To commemorate this day, at Emiral we want to make a special mention and recognition to the women who are part of our team. We have shared with them how their beginnings were in this sector and how they foresee the future. This is what they told us:
What is your academic background?
Patricia Barbolla: I have a degree in Business Administration and Management from the Carlos III University of Madrid.
Maria Jesus Gimeno: I studied the master in SAP Consulting.
Coral Manzanedo: I studied Information Systems Engineering at the university.
How many years have you been in the technology sector?
Q: I have been in this industry for 21 years.
MJ:I have been working in consulting for 19 years, since 2002.
C: I have been working in this sector for a year and a half.
What position do you develop in Emiral?
Q: I am a Microsoft Dynamics Ax functional consultant.
MJ: Currently I develop my work as a consultant in the Sage X3 team.
C: I am currently a technical consultant for Sage x3 at Emiral. Although I also do tasks in other areas such as marketing.
Did you always have a clear idea of what you wanted to do or did you come to this sector by chance?
Q: In principle, my vocation was directed towards totally different sectors, such as health. But over time I decided on the technology sector.
MJ: Until I was 16 I wanted to be a doctor. Then I started with doubts until I finally scrapped the idea. Later I did not have a clear vocation of what I wanted. My path was not a straight path, but I was deciding on the fly based on what I was getting to know and I was liking.
C: It was always clear to me that I wanted to do computer science. In my family, my older brother (who is 20 years older than me) studied computer science, and since I was little I have heard and seen a lot about technology.
Have you encountered difficulties because you are a woman?
Q: When I started to work I didn't find any difficulties; The inconveniences came after having children and asking for a reduction in the working day, since, although you can work practically the same hours (consecutively), you do not work in the afternoons and that was seen as something negative.
MJ: In my case I can say that the fact of being a woman has not been a problem for my professional development.
C: At the moment, in the field of studies and work I have not encountered any difficulties.
From your experience, within the new technologies sector, do women have increasing recognition or is it still a sector predominantly for men?
Q: I think there are more and more women in the technology sector and that is very good news.
MJ: It is becoming more even, but there are still companies in which the man who holds the position of consultant reaches positions of responsibility before the woman.
C: I think it is still a sector mostly for men. Little by little, more and more women participate, but a very small part.
People are still surprised when you tell them that you are a computer engineer. The answer is always the same: “Come on! A girl programming, who has rarely seen that”.
What is the perception that customers have when technological implementation is led by a woman? Have you had any problem about it?
Q: Throughout my professional career in this sector, I only had one client who did not approve of two women leading their project. In it we were another companion and I. Except for that case, I have not had any problems, everyone has been correct with me. I believe that if the project and implementation are managed well, it shouldn't matter who leads it.
MJ: On occasion, but it has been a one-time event. In my case, the problem came more from someone on the client's team than from the company that hired me.
C: In my case, being a woman and very young, when I have met with clients the first impression is that they always stare. I suppose that being a woman and young in this sector, even facing society, continues to surprise or can even create little confidence.
"If the project and implementation are managed well, it shouldn't matter who leads it"
Is there a long way to go in this sector in terms of equality?
Q: I think that everything is becoming more even, but there is still a lot to do, especially when a woman becomes a mother. Teleworking is increasingly implemented and this helps a lot with conciliation, both for men and women.
MJ: There is still a long way to go in this sector as in many others.
Teleworking is increasingly implemented and this helps a lot with conciliation, both for men and women.
C: I think there is a long way to go. More than we would like. But I also think that every day we are closer. That among all of us who are still here, we are taking small steps for ourselves and for all those who will come.
What advice would you give to young women who are thinking of directing their training and professional future towards new technologies?
Q: The best advice I can give you is that if you like technology, don't hesitate to get trained. In this sector there is a wide range of possibilities where you can develop your knowledge, and it is an exciting world because it is constantly changing.
MJ: From my experience and after having tried in different sectors, I can say that technology is a very interesting path due to the rapid changes and advances that exist. You are always in continuous learning.
C: Let them not think about it. That this is also a future for women. And if they like it, keep going. I would recommend that you read a book on the journey of women in the history of technology, (from the books that are never taught in universities).
We hope that one day this date will not be vindictive, but commemorative of the day on which full equality of rights was achieved.