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Portrait: Erica Langhi, Senior Solution Architect EMEA at Red Hat

“In technology, you become a lifelong learner — More women should embrace this career”

Gabriela Motroc
diversity
© Shutterstock /Lamina2014

Women are underrepresented in the tech sector —myth or reality? In addition to the Women in Tech survey, we also launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Erica Langhi, Senior Solution Architect EMEA at Red Hat.

Is tech a boys-only club? So it seems. But the light of smart and powerful women is finally shining bright. We root for excellence and justice and, above all, we want meritocracy to win. This is our way of giving women in tech a shout-out.

A research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that “gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings,” which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough?

Women in Tech — The Survey

We would like to get to the bottom of why gender diversity remains a challenge for the tech scene. Therefore, we invite you all to fill out our diversity survey. Share your experiences with us!

Your input will help us identify the diversity-related issues that prevent us from achieving gender equality in technology workplaces.

Without further ado, we would like to introduce Erica Langhi, Senior Solution Architect EMEA at Red Hat.

Erica Langhi, Senior Solution Architect EMEA at Red Hat

Erica Langhi is a solution architect at Red Hat with over 15 years’ experience in the technology sector. Having held a variety of consultancy, technical, and solution architecture roles throughout her career, Erica now works with customers across a number of verticals for open source specialist Red Hat. Her specialisms include data integration, data virtualization, data fabric, application development, integration middleware, and enterprise architectures.

Erica was always interested in STEM disciplines in her school years and she ended up studying Engineering at University. During those years, she became involved with a project related to predictive data mining in clinical medicine with models suggesting patients’ optimal care, learning from data routinely collected during the clinician’s day-to-day activities.

It was a great way to see how technology could have an influence on improving people’s lives and that pushed her in exploring further and pursuing a career in technology.

You can use technology to solve new or old problems in innovative ways

As I studied engineering, my career path was quite natural.

I always had an interest in data and the value it can bring to any aspect of our daily life. Initially, I worked in data management companies and then in companies possessing a broader set of technologies. I have always found the different ways you can use technologies to solve new or old problems in innovative ways to be interesting.

To be honest, I haven’t found any major obstacle so far, if you are passionate about what you are doing everything becomes easier. My father was an engineer and I was fascinated by his books and work, and he definitely instilled a love for math and science in me. So I guess he has been my role model and was always supportive of my studies and career.

A day in Erica’s life

I currently work as a Solution Architect at Red Hat and I am lucky enough to be part of a company that promotes diversity and gender equality. At Red Hat, there is a unique open culture and I have never found myself in a position where I was not given opportunities and challenges because I am a woman, I am treated as an equal by my colleagues. It is a great supportive environment.

I wouldn’t say I have a typical workday, I may spend time on customer sites or working remotely. Ultimately my goal is to help customers solve problems and build solutions, and see how Red Hat open source technologies can support them on their journey.

Women in Tech: Where is the discussion headed?

Unfortunately, I think the lack of [more] women in tech is a consequence of a closed traditional mindset where women, in general, don’t see themselves joining the technology industry or they think that they can’t combine a family life with a career in technology.

Science and math are sometimes wrongly perceived as masculine fields, I believe it is important to change this perception from an early age, so STEM initiatives in schools are really important to educate the new generations. It’s so important to have people and teachers who can encourage children to achieve their full potential.

At the beginning of your career, you are probably trying to prove yourself because you are a woman, but then you soon realize that every professional is treated with respect and equality. Luckily, technologies companies are really supportive. I think both men and women need to collaborate together to create the digital society of the future.

Tips & tricks

If a woman wants to become a technologist, it’s important to take the necessary math and science curriculum to get accepted into technical degree programs such as computer science or engineering. There are also careers in technology companies that are not strictly related to STEM disciplines, but still give women access to these kinds of organizations.

An interesting aspect of working in technology is that you become a lifelong learner, and throughout your career, you continuously learn how to do things in a better and innovative way, which is great in terms of never getting bored of your job.

Technology is a wonderful field to work in, it allows you to shape your future life and I believe it is a career that should be embraced by more women.

 

Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is an online editor for JAXenter.com. Before working at S&S Media she studied International Communication Management at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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