“Engineers apply technical knowledge to have a real impact on society”

Inmaculada Sánchez Ramos has a long and brilliant professional career in which she has held various positions of responsibility both in public management and in private companies.

It has also had an outstanding role in the field of teaching and dissemination of ICTs. He has numerous publications. She is, without a doubt, a benchmark for any woman who aspires to lead in technology.

[MCPRO] One question we ask all the participants in our Meet Them guide is how many women were in your college class, what do you think was the reason? Is this situation changing?

[Inmaculada Sánchez Ramos] I studied Telecommunications at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, I think we did not reach 15 women in the whole school. We were very few women and although this situation is changing, it is not changing to the desired extent and for me this is because it is being faced from the wrong perspective.

Engineering applies technical knowledge to improve people’s lives, with a real impact on society. Technologies are not being shown for what they really are and that is why women are not being reached.

[MCPRO] Last year they gave you the Pioneras_IT award. What did it mean to you?

[Inmaculada Sánchez Ramos] It was a great satisfaction, because it is an award in which the colleagues have had a voice and in which a jury of the highest entity made up of organizations from all over the ‘digital ecosystem’ have valued my candidacy.

Especially when the other candidates were professionals with a lot of specific weight.

[MCPRO] You are currently the Director of Digital Skills and Competencies. What does this position consist of? What are your responsibilities?

[Inmaculada Sánchez Ramos] From my department we are dedicated to providing advanced training in digital technologies.

We work with ICT professionals and that is why very advanced technological subjects are taught.

[MCPRO] You have had a very remarkable professional career, you worked at Telefónica during the Millennium Program. What could you tell us about your work on this project?

[Inmaculada Sánchez Ramos] I was responsible for the Millennium Project Office, a process that aimed to address the “Effect 2000” that would occur after the entry of the new century.

The budget was 23,000 million pesetas, with a team of 200 personnel, 10,000 technological elements were tested, 95,000 shipments were made and 40,000,000 lines of code were reviewed.

It was a project that demanded a lot from us, since its potential impact was very risky and that is how we understood it; For this reason, we approach it from the perspective of risk management, drawing up a business continuity plan and the associated contingency plans.

[MCPRO] Could it be said that the Millennium Program is comparable to the establishment of teleworking that happened during the pandemic?

[Inmaculada Sánchez Ramos] No, because in this case nothing had been done, we had to prepare this situation from scratch and teleworking had not been started before for legal reasons.

Technological tools that enable remote working have been around for a long time.

[MCPRO] What advice would you give to a woman who aspires to lead in technology?

[Inmaculada Sánchez Ramos] Let them take their place. But I think this is advice for any technologist. For a long time we have been separated from business decision processes.

Much is being said about the need to promote STEM professions so that we are not left out of economic and social development and, surprisingly, professionals in these disciplines are not given a preferential place in decision-making processes. Doesn’t that seem contradictory?

If we were to do a study of the professions that occupy senior management positions in organizations, that is, what has been called the ‘C-suite’, the percentage of STEM professionals is very low compared to other areas of knowledge. This is a fact that has a great impact when it comes to promoting STEM talent, it seems that we are telling society that we have to promote this type of talent, but that it will have a short-term goal. It does not seem the most appropriate way to promote these professions.

What should be done? The answer is obvious: value these professions, and specifically ours, and place them in decision-making positions so that their actions have an impact on the model of society.

Check here the rest of the interviews that we include in «Get to know them: women who run technology in Spain»

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