Telling our stories – Amalia Cid Blasco
Each year we meet incredible women at womENcourage™ celebrations. We ask womENcourage participants to tell their stories in blog posts. We continue 2023 with Amalia Cid BLasco, who studied Computer Science at University Carlos III of Madrid and is now an Artificial Intelligence and Data Consultant at HPE.
My name is Amalia Cid Blasco. I have just finished a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering at Carlos III University of Madrid. I ended up in tech slightly by chance and due to some weird assumptions. I believe my story can serve to understand why there are not enough women going into STEM careers.
It all started with my oldest sister, someone I deeply admire for her intelligence and generosity. She had always been the best at STEM subjects. But she was also very good in other subjects. Even though she started studying Architecture, she changed to Law two years later. She specialized in Data Privacy because it was the area of law most connected to technology, which is the path she felt she should have followed years later. However, at the moment of choosing she did not have the proper role models or people to guide her. Thus, she did not consider engineering after finding Architecture too artistic for her.
After her experience, my sister made sure I thought about pursuing computer science and she sent me a Ted Talk called “Teach Girls Bravery, not Perfection” by “Girls who code” ‘s founder (Rupi Kaur). I saw myself very much reflected in the message because I had always been a perfectionist. I only liked what I was good at and preferred the subjects where I did not fail as much.
In the end, the most important aspect of the video was that someone planted the seed in my head and made computer science an option. I had not thought about it until that testimony. Therefore, this example shows women in STEM have to go out there and simply tell girls the option of pursuing a technological career exists.
Once the day of choosing a major came, I had three ideas in mind: The first was that I believed that programming could maybe be a combination of languages and mathematics (I loved both). The second was that computer science could be the most creative engineering and the third one was that it was the tool of the future, the one that could be used for social impact. I had many doubts, but I was brave and decided to enrol for the computer science and engineering degree.
My first and second year of the degree were difficult. I was not used to failing and programming was frustrating. I generally blocked with errors and would spend hours trying to find the mistakes. However, solving problems and making programs work (after so much debugging) gave me a lot of satisfaction.
Now, I have finished my four-year degree and I am simply fascinated by the infinite possibilities of technology and the constant innovation happening all over the world. But I guess that what excites me more is the fact that when building a digital solution, you have to understand the future user’s needs, problems and motivations, getting to know different perspectives and feeling connected to the world.
With my story I want to tell girls that choosing a STEM career can be creative and can be a path to have a social impact on the world. Let us think out of the box together and find solutions to world problems with the help of technology.