“We are all looking for role models that inspire us” said professor Helena Geirinhas, coordinator of the Gender Balance Group at Técnico, at the second session of the conference series “Women in Science and Engineering”, held this Tuesday, May 29. Antonella Quacchia, computer engineer and Head of Digital Communication Unit at the International Labour Organization (ILO), was the invited speaker and she is certainly a role model for many women.
Antonella Quacchia began his speech by saying what led her study computer science and enter the IT world. “It was passion!”, she exclaimed. The Head of Digital Communication Unit at ILO shared her professional journey, namely her experience at CERN. She also highlighted the importance of valuing the benefits that a woman can bring to the workplace. “Among other things women have natural propensity to care and this is important for a positive working environment”, she said.
“The IT world is difficult, I don’t deny it. It takes some courage and resistance, “said Antonella Quacchia. However, “it’s an exciting area, there’s always something new to learn, we change people’s lives, and at the end of the day we felt like we did something really important. ” In a simple, very personal and enthusiastic speech, the engineer pointed out that gender balance is also a priority at ILO. “Promoting gender balance in education is the best way to change this reality,” she said. “It is very important that girls are exposed to technology in early childhood,” she added.
At the end of the session Antonella Quacchia answered the questions raised by the audience. She stressed the importance of big companies promote gender balance and highlighted that the big mistake women can make is “don’t believe in themselves, don’t believe that they can make the difference”, drawing a big applause from the audience.