Why we need more diversity | Huawei European Talk with Claudia Mendes Silva
How can we teach the younger generations that technology is for all?
Diversity is a true asset.
More diversity and a better gender balance in the tech world will benefit us all.
Not just because it means more opportunities for women, but because it delivers more innovation, more revenue, and better products.
In our latest European Talk, Claudia Mendes Silva, computer scientist and ‘Women in Tech’ Ambassador for Portugal, talks to Huawei’s Berta Herrero about STEM education and the role of women in the digital era.
After a very exciting first episode with Beatriz Becerra, joining me today from Lisbon is Claudia Mendes Silva, our Women in Tech Ambassador in charge of the Portugal Chapter.
As a computer scientist working in the tech industry, Claudia is in a unique position to share her experiences with other women considering to take up tech-related jobs, and also with girls thinking whether they should enrol in science, math, technology or engineering programs – what we know as STEM.
Claudia, it is good to see you. Welcome to #HuaweiWomenPowerTalks!
You are what we call a ‘role model’: a brave and bright woman who decided to study STEM and is now working in a male-dominated industry. Why is it important to show the world that there are a lot of women like you?
Thank you, Berta, it’s good to see you too!
Let me start to thank Huawei for keeping up its work to raise awareness on the importance of achieving true and full equality.
In my organisation, Women in Tech, we want to make women with amazing paths in STEM visible, to show that their example is already changing the perception of areas that were, and still are, dominated by men. Our aim is to make people understand that diversity is a true asset, that it is a very effective way to innovate and ensure a bright future to the new generations.
Let me also say that diversity generates more revenue: women are not only needed in tech to drive up innovation, but also to increase profits. Research shows that diversity produces smarter and better results.
Also, we need to strive for tech for women by women, because, if women are not in technology, it is difficult that the needs of another woman will be represented.
Here, education plays a major role: we need to show young generations that technology and computer science are fascinating, and they are for all. We are talking about areas where you can be the creator of something new and what could be more exciting than that?
With Covid-19, all industries stepped into digital age even if they were not prepared to. And from now on, tech will invade every part of our economy.
Computer science is a growing field, one in which we desperately need more top female talents. It's also one where women cannot be left behind. The most valuable inspiration for girls and young women comes from seeing another woman succeeding in the tech industry. So let's show them that this woman exists so that they can also become one.
Indeed, indeed Claudia! Women working in tech sector need to be more visible to inspire other women to join as well and most importantly to let girls know that this field is for them as well.
So let's now lead by example and explain to our young audience what a computer scientist does on a regular day – a computer scientist like yourself, for instance. How can a high school student know whether this is for her or not?
Information technology is one of the faster growing industries. Every business is now driven by technology. And computer science is the study of how computers can be used to solve a wide range of problems.
Back to the basics: computer science looks to how to transmit and to transform information using computers. And this is valid for different topics such as mathematics, physics, engineering and design. In fact, computer science has been around in some kind of form as early as the 17th century.
With computer science, you transform your customers’ needs into products. You can be a developer in a financial organisation that needs to design systems to manage client accounts, a cybersecurity expert that creates strategies to avoid cyberattacks, a data scientist who analyses data to create models using artificial intelligence. There are so many possibilities, roles and functions that we will discover if you have the passion to embrace tech.
If you are creative and problem-solving, gender doesn't matter. Technology is for you!
Indeed, Claudia. Technology is for everyone who wishes to make a difference and contribute to a better connected world regardless of whether they are a man or a woman.
This was a very interesting conversation. Once again, thanks a lot for your insights!
And to our audience: on behalf of Huawei, a big thank you for following this new #HuaweiWomenPowerTalks series, which as you know is part of the broader #Huawei4Her project. We at Huawei want the digital era to be as inclusive as possible.
Stay tuned for the next episodes, and let’s all continue striving for a fairer and more equal world!