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Italy's Inspiring Fifty

rhymes profile image rhymes ・2 min read

Inspiring Fifty is a project that each year nominates 50 women in tech to increase visibility and celebrate lesser known role models. It's mostly a European initiative (it started in the Netherlands) and a few countries have their own national edition. Italy is one of them.

Everyone can nominate other people and a jury chooses the final 50.

This year's list highlights researchers, high school STEM teachers, software engineers, university professors, managers, founders, CTOs, tech leads, IT directors and others.

A sample of the winners (the links point to their Twitter or online presence):

  • Viviana Acquaviva: astrophysicist and data scientist. Professor at CUNY in NYC, researcher and machine learning expert

  • Valeria Cagnina: 17 year old robotics expert, entrepreneur and teacher. She learned coding at 11 in Milan's CoderDojo. She spoke at TedX, at Italy's Senate, she's been at MIT for a summer camp and she now teaches robotics workshops all over the country in schools and companies, to kids and adults alike

  • Lorella Carimali: she's super passionate about teaching STEM to her students and she was recognized one of the 10 best teachers of the country in 2017. She also wrote the book "The square root of life"

  • Simonetta Di Pippo: she's the UN director of outer space affairs. She's been working in space agencies for a lifetime. She's also an astrophysicist and has a freaking asteroid named after her :D

  • Daria Loi: principal engineer at Intel, UX researcher and AI expert

  • Mariarosaria Taddeo: philosopher, ethicist and researcher at Oxford University. Her field of expertise is ethics in tech and AI

  • Silvia Wang: former manager at Rocket Internet, she founded her company in 2015, ProntoPro, a service marketplace to help users find professionals. The company now has a million users and 100 employees (29 is the average age)

So many amazing examples :-)

You can find the whole list of 50 women here: https://italy.inspiringfifty.org/italy-2018

The only critique I could make to the list is the fact, if I'm not mistaken, that they are all white women except Silvia Wang (who was born in Italy from immigrant Chinese parents). In a way Italy is a country where minorities are not that visibile, except when we're talking about the rethoric of "bad immigrants" which unfortunately seems to be in fashion all over Europe and beyond right now. I could fill a book of examples of invisible minorities in Italy. I'm not trying to diminish anybody's worth (I wouldn't have posted the list if I tought ill of it), I just wanted to point that out.

Anyway, hopefully you'll be inspired by amazing women in STEM :)

Posted on Apr 28 by:

rhymes profile

rhymes

@rhymes

Software developer @ DEV

Discussion

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The only critique I could make to the list is the fact, if I'm not mistaken, that they are all white women except Silvia Wang

Italy is quite behind with integration, mostly because foreign immigrant don't want to stay, and the majority of population is white caucasian, there is nothing racist about it, is just that number-wise there are more chances because there are more white women.
Things will change for the best in the next 10-20 years hopefully.

 

It's interesting how you equated minorities with immigrants :)

Italy is quite behind with integration, mostly because foreign immigrant don't want to stay,

I would say Italy is behind on inclusion, for many reasons that I feel are totally off topic here. It is true that some immigrants don't want to stay but the data mostly refers to those seeking for asylum in the EU that, because of Dublin's accords, are obligated to be registered and processed (and sometimes are sent back to) in the first country they enter. If we want to talk about people in Italy that don't want to stay we could start talking about the exodus of "native Italians" but that's a story for another day

Talking numbers: 8% of the population (5+ millions) is made of foreigners, if you only include people born outside the EU the number is 4 million (6.7%). So, foreign immigrants are here and want to stay (13% of companies are created by immigrants for example, schools are increasingly populated by a different array of nationalities and cultures). I think it's a false assumption the idea they don't want to stay (or at least an outdated one). It's also a little dangerous if you think about it for a second. If I'm a politician and I convince myself that immigrants don't even want to stay, why should I create inclusive policies in the first place ? ;-)

is just that number-wise there are more chances because there are more white women

Sure, but again, mine was just a thought related to the fact that minorities are not that visible in many spaces. It's more a question of representation than of hard numbers.

I'm sure things will change in 20 years, the country is already different from 20 years ago.

 

I agree with you in full, speaking of

interesting how you equated minorities with immigrants

All minorities used to be immigrants, don't you think is a correct statement?

All minorities used to be immigrants, don't you think is a correct statement?

No, although in my post I was referring to racial minority, the word minority isn't just for racial minorities. It refers to gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability and other aspects. A few examples:

  • children born here from immigrant parents are not immigrants, they might just be part of a minority, but they didn't immigrate from anywhere. Statistics tend to pile them with immigrants but they aren't
  • some jewish italians didn't immigrate from anywhere also, but they are still a religious (and sometimes ethnic) minority
  • lgbtq people are a minority, but they can be as the same time part of the majority population, or have come here on a boat persecuted by some goverment, or any other intersection of life
  • italy has always had ethnic minorities (link in Italian), we just don't talk about them that much :-)
  • dark skinned immigrants from southern Italy to the Americas weren't considered white for a long time (so even the term white has changed I guess :D)

It's a truly complicated topic (it touches culture, religion, heritage, genetics, history and so on) and I'm not the most qualified person to talk about it but I would thread carefully because stereotypes and assumptions are what usually box in any type of minority

Thanks for asking, that's what I do when I'm in doubt :D

ps. in a sense the answer should be yes. If we go back far enough in time, since mankind started on the continent we now call Africa, then all minorities used to be immigrants at some point ;-)

 
 

Feels nice to be proud of home sometimes! Thanks for this discovery