Tech women: interviewing Nuria, computer expert, maker and fighter

.Women technology IT robotics arduino

 

Nuria is a woman who has worked in the Computing Service of the Carlos III University of Madrid for 28 years. Since 1990, It has been a while! She has been going through all the groups of this service until four years ago she landed in the IT Security group: @CertUC3M where she plans to retire. 😀
We do not know what she eats for breakfast, but she has an inner balance and strength that I have seen in few people I know personally. She is special, and very brave, so I wanted she to be known in this blog. We have a lot to learn from her.

 

Nuria, by the way, what does  a champion like you have for breakfast?

I have a bad breakfast. I have some juice to take my iron pill. As a sportswomen, I must have an additional contribution of this mineral and I have a single coffee without sugar too. I can not eat anything when I get up, then in a couple of hours I eat whatever.

When did you know that yours was computer science and technology?

When you’re young and you’re stumbling around when deciding what to study, you do not know what to do until your older brother tells you: “look at this about computing… is new”.  A long time ago 😀

 

What did your family say?

Fortunately my family has never gotten into my decisions. My parents, especially my father, has advised me a lot but as he said: “This is a piece of advice I give you, you will know how to use it”.

 

Have you found any barrier in your professional career?

Yes, who does not? As a worker and as a woman.

 

And talking about “career”… why did you start running marathons? Do you run for any reason?

I have always liked sports. I used to run and do handball. Then I played football but at that time there were few girls teams and you can imagine the tag people put on us. Later I did Kenpo-Karate until I broke my knee. The recovery of that knee took and during that time I was pregnant with a very big bug to which I owe everything in my life, my son. After giving birth, I started to run to recover the shape and  the  J body1  that I had.  😀
I started, I started, I did my first race, the half marathon of Getafe (I was big, why do a 10km race? hahaha) and I decided to join the club that organizes it and until now. Now I train between 5 and 6 days a week, it depends on what I prepare.
There is no cause to run, I can only say that it is a moment in which I focus on my thoughts and nothing else.

 

What do you do in your “free time”?

Whatever that keeps me entertained. That big muscle that we have covered by a cuirass and hair must be fed. The more you eat, the more you want.
I’m always involved with things. I like computers but a year ago I discovered a world, the maker world, my world, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc.
I am changing my thinking, and as the great Obijuan2 says, going down a step, going to the hardware.

 

A recent achievement of which you are proud of…

All of them. You always have to be proud of what you do. I tell my son many times “if you have a dream,  struggle to get it, it does not matter if you do not get it, the important thing is to know that you have been able to try it”.

 

Now that we know you a little more … do you consider yourself a feminist? What is feminism for you?

Feminism, fighting for something that had to have been like that for a long time, equality between men and women. Not because you are a woman you can not do or you can do or you must do it because you are a man. In this fight we need men. Equality is only achieved when the two parties participate in it. For this reason, I try to educate my son in this way and he is a feminist, recognized by him 😀

Yes I am very feminist, what is more I have a tattoo that represents what I am, feminism and technology together. I think I said everything with this. Well and the fact that I went to strike on 8th of March, not stop, but strike, with my corresponding salary discount. Although I still think it would have been better to ask for one day of my vacations and with the money that is deducted, to invest it in crowdfunding to protect abused women since the State is not taking responsibility of this problem. I know what I am saying and I am sure that  I will strike a chord with more than one.

There are times when I think things that scare me, radical feminism? Maybe, but it is this society that forces me to think in this way. I reconsider my thoughts, sometimes yes, sometimes not.

 

Do you think that technology can improve the world?

I do not think so, I’m convinced, technology has always changed the world, another thing is how you use it.

 

What do you think about the presence of women in activities related to technology? Are they hidden? Do you think this situation is changing?

We are in the process of change. Spanish people have a new thinking with this subject. I think that the political situation lived for many years marked a conservative thought towards women, fortunately this is changing but there is still a lot of work.
It is true that more and more women are interested in technology. This branch was reserved for men in the past , but every time we see more women covering fields that were previously only represented by them. As I said before, I have been working in the University for many years and I have seen how little by little the number of women in engineering careers has increased. Are they few? I do not know. I just want them to do what they really want to do, not be influenced by anything.

 

A tip for girls today.

Be what you want! What you want, do not regret being a woman, do not hide, be independent and fight, do not shut up.

 

And another one for boys?

The same, well I would change “do not regret being a woman” for “do not regret being a man”.  😉

 

And finally … please, share something that you think is important for us to consider in the future. Think you can help, making many people think with your words …

A very important task that parents have is the education of our children. In my case I am trying to make a small human being. From the beginning I have tried to make my son empathetic, respectful and independent. Empathy helps us to understand the situation of each person, respecting the individual.

Another thing that I consider very important is that equality can only be achieved if the individual is treated fairly. I am not a supporter of discrimination, neither positive nor negative, both do not stop being discriminations. There are laws that penalize companies / entities that discriminate, so that the law is obeyed.

Now I want to leave a reflection. I think that this March 8 has marked a milestone in the history of women. Millions of women have concentrated and have shouted a THAT´S ENOUGH!. If public and private institutions ignore this widespread complaint, we can reach a radicalized situation in the face of this problem.
It is very important that public institutions educate on equality and private institutions must be aware that a woman who, for example, becomes pregnant, is not a problem but a long-term investment.
Well I guess it will still be many years, I think I will not see it  🙁

 

Thank you Nuria…

Thanks to you, I will always remember how we met. Big kiss 😀

 

  1. J body:  commonly used Spanish expression to show that the organism is in poor general condition due to causes beyond its normal functioning.
  2. Obijuan: common Spanish slang to refer to Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars).

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