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Profile: Magali David-Cruz, senior solution architect, Red Hat Switzerland

Women in Tech: “I’m proud to be a woman in the tech industry”

Dominik Mohilo

Four years ago, we 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 Magali David-Cruz, senior solution architect, Red Hat Switzerland.

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?

Four years ago, we 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 Magali David-Cruz, senior solution architect, Red Hat Switzerland.

Today’s Woman in Tech: Magali David-Cruz, senior solution architect, Red Hat Switzerland

Magali has been a Solution Architect at Red Hat Switzerland since 2018 and has held a senior position in this area since 2020. She started her career path as a Systems Engineer in IT at a logistics service provider for the media industry. There, she moved up and eventually took on the role of Infrastructure Architect.

When did you become interested in technology?

I have always been interested in technology. I remember playing with “BASIC” code on my computer as a child. There was something magical about writing some instructions and getting a result – that fascinated me. At the time, however, it really was just a game for me. I never thought I would have a career in IT.

How did you end up in your career path?

I ultimately arrived where I am today as a result of professional opportunities that opened up for me. I never really thought about my career path. I studied “Network and Telecommunications” because I was really interested in telecommunications technologies, but when I finished my education I got a job in IT as a support engineer. I learned a lot from this experience because I had to deal with problems in different areas: be it servers, databases or middleware.

I’m a curious person. That’s why I have always been interested in what’s running on the infrastructure I was responsible for. For this reason, a few years later, I had the opportunity to continue my career as an architect – first on the infrastructure side and then to a greater extent in applications development.

Did someone ever try to stop you from learning and advancing in your professional life?

I’ve met some people along the way who didn’t have confidence in my abilities and challenged me because of it. In the end, it helped me to continue to learn and move forward far more than it held me back.

I remember playing with “BASIC” code on my computer as a child. There was something magical about writing some instructions and getting a result – that fascinated me.

A day in Magali’s life

I’m currently a senior solution architect at Red Hat in Switzerland. In this position, I act as a technology consultant for Red Hat customers. In doing so, I help them address their current challenges around application modernization, automation and the journey to the cloud.

My typical workday involves a lot of interaction with my customers to understand their needs and concerns – as well as with my colleagues to stay on top of the latest IT technologies.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I’m really proud of the fact that I made my own decisions, based on the opportunities that came my way and my own interests. Even if that forced me to take risks and get out of my comfort zone. I’m proud to be a woman in the tech industry.

Why aren’t there more women in tech?

One reason is probably that women and girls are often not aware of the diverse career opportunities in the tech industry. I think the industry is suffering from the geek stereotype. But that stereotype doesn’t match reality.

There are so many different kinds of jobs in IT: very technical ones like developer or systems engineer, but also less technical like product manager or architect.

Could you name a few challenges (or obstacles) women in tech face?

I would say that leadership positions in tech are still too rarely open to women. I admire women who run tech companies or tech departments – they have to have a strong sense of self-confidence in order to be successful. Often women underestimate their abilities and don’t bring their voice to the table enough.

The tech industry is very fast-paced, you are constantly learning and can try out many different areas.

Would our world be different if more women worked in STEM?

It’s not just about more women, it’s also about greater diversity. We need different ways of thinking in order to move forward and innovate. In this sense, I really like the open source model, where the code is open. Everyone can contribute and make their own suggestions. We cannot progress if there is no transparency and collaboration.

Women can bring a lot to this – the way we think, feel and act differs from our male colleagues. That’s why it always adds value to have mixed teams, no matter what the field.

The discussion about diversity is gaining momentum. How long will it take to see results from the current debate?

I think it will be some time before we see tangible results, but at least we’re talking about it now and companies are looking at diversity as an important issue.

What advice (and tips) would you give to women who want a tech career?

My advice would be don’t be afraid to get involved in a tech career. The tech industry is very fast-paced, you are constantly learning and can try out many different areas. Also, it’s now an industry that is more open than it used to be. We all use technology every day in our lives. You are no longer considered a geek if you work in the tech industry, but as a person who is on the cutting edge of technology.

More Women in Tech:

For even more Women in Tech, click here

Author
Dominik Mohilo
Dominik Mohilo studied German and sociology at the Frankfurt University, and works at S&S Media since 2015.

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