Although strides have been taken toward greater gender equality, the presence of women in STEM remains low. In Europe, only about 20% of women work in technology-related fields, and this number is not getting any better.
Given that so many future jobs will be technology-related, we must encourage and empower women to play a greater role. Moreover, as technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous, only teams with a lot of diversity will be able to create products that are suitable for all types of people. This is a priority for me and the reason why I am trying to encourage women to take a greater interest in technology-related fields.
To these ends, I am helping the Asturias Google Developer Group and AsturValley (Asturias Organization of Startups) to organize a global event powered by Google and promoted by Capgemini Spain as a Tera sponsor—this first-ever Women Tech Makers Asturias—which is taking place on April 14, 2018. While all the speakers in this inaugural event are women, it is open to the entire community and will cover a wide range of topics in speeches and workshops, including Ionic, Aurelia.JS, Angular.JS, SVG, R, Robots, Biotech, Machine Learning, and Firebase. The response of the Asturian community has been great—the sign-up list is nearly full two weeks in advance. With this event, we want to empower and promote women working in technology in Asturias and throughout Spain.
For developing personal projects in collaboration with my husband I have created a personal brand called Afaya. As part of it, last Christmas we presented two technical workshops for girls aged 11–17 in association with the women’s organization La Curuxa. We taught them some basic things about HTML5 and CSS3 while they developed their own electronic Christmas cards. We plan to continue with this initiative, holding regular sessions once or twice per month. The idea is to show girls what software development is really like and hopefully interest them in a career in technology. We want to focus on small towns because girls in larger urban areas have more options and our main objective is to let them explore their abilities and interests in an empowering environment. Also we will offer our mentoring as an effective way of promoting women in STEM, in order to guide them during their studies in a future.