Women in Tech: “It is essential that more women get a foothold in the tech industry”
Women are underrepresented in the tech sector —myth or reality? Three 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 Daniela Valero, Senior Engineer Experience Technology at Publicis Sapient.
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?
Three 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 Daniela Valero, Senior Engineer Experience Technology at Publicis Sapient.
Today’s Woman in Tech: Daniela Valero, Senior Engineer Experience Technology at Publicis Sapient
Daniela Valero is Senior Engineer Experience Technology at Publicis Sapient, the digital business transformation consultancy within the Publicis Groupe. The Venezuelan-born front-end specialist has previously worked for various companies such as start-ups and media. She is actively involved in the tech community, acts as a speaker, and drives diversity initiatives.
When did you become interested in technology?
When I was about 15 or 16 years old, we had the subject programming in school and learned to write basic algorithms in Turbo Pascal. From the beginning, I was totally enthusiastic about it and loved the subject so much that I wanted to do my friends’ homework as well so I could spend more time at the computer, since we didn’t have one at home.
Later, when I finally decided to study, I was torn between phycology, the study of algae, and computer science. However, I soon realized that I didn’t want to live without programming – so in the end, the choice was easier than I thought. At university, I was involved in a GNU/Linux user group and came into contact with the command line and other “nerdy” applications.
How did you end up in your career path?
My career began as a Java developer in a very conservative and traditional software company. The company had rules that made no sense to me. For example, all employees were required to wear suits every day – even the developers, although they were all crammed into a large, windowless room and had no customer contact.
Afterward, I worked as a PHP developer for the Venezuelan government. The work culture there was strongly influenced by politics: Who was the bigger Chavez fan? Who has more “friends” in positions of power? Since I am a staunch opponent of the regime, I changed sides.
My next stage in my career was as webmaster for the largest oppositional online newspaper in Venezuela – La Patilla. The website was based on WordPress and I was responsible for all aspects of the technology and the platform – from the helpdesk to the implementation and maintenance of functions to the coordination of the server strategy and scaling. We often had to fend off government DoS attacks because the country was in the middle of a media war.