March 2024 - Gaia-X | Diversity | Women in Tech

Diversity Drives Innovation: A Woman in Tech on the Importance of Role Models

Lauresha Memeti, GXFS Technical Project Manager, eco Association, on navigating the tech industry as a woman and the importance of strong female role models.

Diversity Drives Innovation: A Woman in Tech on the Importance of Role Models -web

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An interview with Lauresha Memeti, Technical Project Manager for the “Gaia-X Federation Services” project in Germany on her tech journey, role models, and the importance of diversity in driving innovation. This interview was first published on here and is republished here with the kind permission of Gaia-X AISBL.

Can you introduce yourself, your role in the Gaia-X community, and your current position in the tech sector?

I am Lauresha Memeti, with a background in Computer Science and Industrial Engineering and over 5 years of experience in the digital industry, I currently hold the position of Technical Project Manager for the “Gaia-X Federation Services” project in Germany, overseen by eco – Association of the Internet Industry. Additionally, I serve as the Technical Project Lead for the Eclipse XFSC, taking charge of project coordination, management, and monitoring.

Beyond my project management responsibilities, I assume a pivotal role in the strategic development of “Digital Business Models” and “Gaia-X” themes, influencing various Internet-related areas within the eco – Association of the Internet Industry. Moreover, I serve as an ambassador for the Gaia-X Federation Services, contributing significantly to its representation and success in the digital landscape.

Can you briefly walk us through your career journey in technology/science, highlighting key milestones and experiences? Were there specific moments that significantly influenced your career path?

Raised in a family of IT engineers and within the framework of a family-owned IT company, I was immersed in the pervasive influence of information technology and its transformative effects from an early age. Observing how technology not only addresses challenges but also enhances various aspects of life and processes across diverse sectors, I naturally gravitated towards pursuing my studies in this dynamic field. Recognizing IT as a cornerstone of the future, I eagerly delved deeper into its intricacies.

Throughout my academic journey, I actively engaged in diverse projects, honing my skills in real-world applications. Post-graduation, armed with a background in computer science and engineering, I made a purposeful shift to join a sustainable tech company. Here, I applied my expertise to projects aligned with my values, contributing meaningfully to the intersection of technology and sustainability. Presently, I am deeply involved in spearheading digitalization initiatives within the European Union.

This intentional and strategic progression in my career underscores my commitment to innovation and the pursuit of meaningful contributions to society.

What challenges have you encountered as a woman in the tech industry, and how did you overcome them?

Navigating the tech industry as a woman has presented challenges that have transformed into opportunities for personal and professional growth. Overcoming persistent gender biases and stereotypes, I emphasize showcasing my skills and letting my work speak for itself.

In male-dominated environments, I actively promote inclusivity and collaboration through initiatives like cross-team projects. Building a robust professional network is crucial, achieved through attendance at industry events, forum participation, and engagement in mentorship programs with diverse individuals.

Visibility and recognition challenges have been addressed by contributing to open-source projects, speaking at conferences, and advocating for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Each challenge reinforces my commitment to breaking barriers and contributing to a more equitable tech industry.

Who are some of your role models or sources of inspiration in the tech/science field? How important do you think it is for women to have strong female role models in the industry?

In the tech and science field, I draw inspiration from a diverse range of role models who have significantly contributed to the industry. One prominent figure is Ada Lovelace, often regarded as the world’s first computer programmer. The inventors of groundbreaking technologies, such as Hedy Lamarr, who played a crucial role in the development of WiFi, are also sources of inspiration for me.

Having strong female role models in the tech industry is immensely important. These figures not only showcase the capabilities of women in technology but also serve as a testament to the fact that gender should not be a limiting factor. While the stereotype persists, that tech is a male-dominated domain, historical achievements by women, like Lovelace and Lamarr, challenge this narrative. Recognizing and celebrating these accomplishments is crucial in encouraging more women to pursue careers in tech.

Despite the prevailing stereotype, history reveals the significant contributions of women in shaping the tech and science landscape. The narrative that women are few in numbers in the tech sector is countered by the fact that they have been pioneers, inventors, and catalysts for change. In the grand scheme, it is the brilliance of minds that shapes history, not gender. Therefore, stereotypes should not dictate the opportunities available to individuals, and differentiation based on gender should have no place in the tech industry or any other field.

In the context of the 2024 theme, “Inspire Inclusion,” why do you think diversity and inclusion are crucial in the tech and science sectors?

In the context of the 2024 theme, “Inspire Inclusion,” diversity and inclusion are vital in the tech and science sectors for driving innovation through varied perspectives and experiences. A diverse workforce fosters creativity, attracts top talent, and ensures that technological advancements address the diverse needs of our global society. Ultimately, promoting inclusion in these sectors creates an environment of equal opportunity and continuous innovation.

What advice would you give to young women and girls aspiring to enter the STEM fields? How can women support and uplift each other in the male-dominated tech/science industry?

For aspiring women in STEM, I encourage embracing your passion, seeking inspiration from accomplished role models, building supportive networks, taking initiative, and challenging limiting stereotypes. In the male-dominated tech/science industry, mutual support among women involves engaging in mentorship, fostering collaboration, advocating for inclusivity, celebrating achievements, and sharing knowledge. By collectively promoting diversity and inclusiveness, we contribute to breaking down barriers and creating a more empowering and equitable environment for all women in STEM.

On a lighter note, if you could choose a superpower to make your work in tech even more incredible, what would it be, and how would it help you tackle the challenges of the digital world?

Well, if I could pick a superpower for my tech endeavours, I’d go for the mighty ability to Ctrl+Z in real life! Imagine the power to undo any coding error, delete that awkward email you accidentally sent to the entire company, or simply revert to a time when your computer was cooperating. It’s the ultimate “oops” insurance policy! No more accidental deletes, no more code catastrophes—just a seamless, error-free journey through the digital realm. Now that’s a superpower that would make every tech wizard’s life a whole lot easier!

 

Lauresha Memeti is the Technical Project Manager for the Gaia-X Federation Services (GXFS) project in Germany, overseen by the eco – Association of the Internet Industry. With a background in Computer Science and Engineering, she actively contributes to project management and strategic development in areas such as Digital Business Models and Gaia-X, among others, within the eco Association.