Here at greenlight for girls, we’re thrilled to be a part of something big… something exciting… something that will surely make some noise! A strong partnership with greenlight for girls and Cisco has led us to this day when we could not be more proud to announce the first ever g4g Day event in Spain in the charming city of Barcelona this Spring!
With this in mind, we decided to do something different and create a chat Q&A session with our newly formed g4g Barcelona Project Team, where we get to hear from them directly about the idea of launching g4g Day in Barcelona, what’s in store, and what it means to them.
g4g: First of all, welcome, ladies, to the greenlight for girls Project Team, we’re excited to have you onboard! We’re looking forward to talking with you today with and getting to know each of you a bit more. Let’s start off with by telling us how you came up with the idea to have a g4g day in Barcelona?
Aurelia: As you know, I’ve led several projects with G4G and Cisco these past couple of years, launching new cities and events in Jordan, Krakow and Brussels with the g4g@work concept. Barcelona came to my mind a little over a year ago for multiple reasons: firstly personal, as it is one of my favorite cities in the world to travel to & experience and, secondly, Barcelona being a great example and partner with Cisco and our focus on the Internet of Everything and Smart Cities when we announced that we’ll be opening a Cisco Global IoE Innovation Center, slated to open in the summer of 2016. I knew as well that I’d be able to find some amazing female Engineer role model colleagues & friends at Cisco from Barcelona who would be thrilled to take part in the project and help inspire the next generation of female STEM leaders from their own hometown!
Mayte: When Aurelia shared with me the idea of organizing g4g in Barcelona, the first thing that came to my mind was to host it in La Salle Campus Barcelona, my university (and Esther and Maite’s as we studied and graduated together in Engineering). It was the perfect match: an amazing event like g4 and a wonderful location like La Salle University that is growing great talent and being a pioneer in STEM fields since 1903. Could not think of a better place to inspire the next generation of female STEM leaders in our first ever g4g event in Spain!
g4g: This is all wonderful! We love the mix of both the professional and personal reasons that has inspired all of you to come together and indeed inspire the next generation of women in science! Tell us, what does being part of the core Project Team for our first-ever launch in Spain mean to you?
Esther: Personally when I was young I never had a role model or the opportunity to see what is possible to do with technology. Most of the time the media does not represent our job properly and it creates a lot of stereotypes. For me, being a part of this Project means the opportunity to break those stereotypes and show the girls all the benefits and opportunities in STEM studies and careers. I am very excited to be in the core team and I am looking forward to making the best g4g event yet!
Maite: When Aurelia proposed the idea to me, I’ve just said immediately YES, with no doubt. Personally, I loved the idea to go back home, to my university and share all my experience with the young girls. I still remember my time back to school wondering what I would be and this can be a good opportunity to show all the cool things you can do with Science and Technology. Adding to what Esther said, in my case my role model was my brother and I decided to be an engineer when he showed me some work he did for the university to simulate a washing machine program with some electronic components: at that moment I thought “This is cool, I want to do the same”.
I am sure not only will the young girls learn and benefit from this experience, but we are also going to learn so much, from the volunteers and from the young girls… I am really looking forward to it!
g4g: Well states ladies – indeed, we have found that we always learn from these bright greenlight girls as they inspire us so much every time! What do you hope to get out of the event and what outcomes would you like to see?
Mayte: I have had the pleasure to participate in the g4g events in Brussels, and my memories are full of laughs, smiles and wide-open eyes of amazement and interest from the girls. I am hoping to collect more memories in Barcelona with the same reactions from the young girls, and help demystify all those wrong stereotypes around studying STEM careers (who hasn’t watched those movies where engineers are featured wearing thick glasses and being the unpopular ones). I truly hope we will inspire all the girls to start a great journey that will allow them to discover how cool STEM is and the endless opportunities that it opens for them.
Esther: For me the most important outcome is to show the girls that they can be anything they want, and to give them the tools to start investigating what is possible in their future.
Maite: I would like to see the young girls have fun with Science and Technology and give them the chance to see and experience La Salle University during the event and see what a future in this looks like. I think this is a great opportunity, so later the girls can decide if this is something cool for them, as I did. And at the end of the day, they are our future!
Aurelia: I would love to know that we’ve been able to make a difference in some of these young girls’ lives after the event. That maybe, just maybe, we’ve broken down their stereotypes about STEM studies and careers and that we’ve opened and positively influenced them to consider a STEM path in their future. I hope that they’ll be inspired by all the amazing STEM role models they’ll be meeting throughout the day and feel supported by these role models, by their city, their schools, their parents, and all the companies and organizations who will be taking part in our g4g day event and to know that STEM is a girls’ thing as well! And of course I hope for all the great volunteers, sponsors and partners that will be a part of the event to feel fulfilled knowing that they’ve given back to their community!
g4g: Wonderful! Well it’s been great hearing about all of your passion and drive to make our g4g Barcelona day a huge success; we can’t wait for Saturday, May 7th to come any faster! Any final comments?
Aurelia: I’d just like to thank already Mayte, Esther & Maite as I look forward to working with them these next few months to get our g4g Barcelona day planned and organized! Also, to any current or future potential sponsors or partners in Barcelona who might like to take part in our event, I can assure you it will be one of the best decisions you could make to do so, as nothing beats seeing a young girl inspired to know that she can be anything she likes when she grows up, and that you had a part in that!
g4g: Absolutely Aurelia – we couldn’t agree more! Thanks again to all of you for this great chat today and wishing you a very successful g4g Barcelona Day event in May! :-)