Women in AI: Ainhoa Jimeno Balaguero
Ainhoa Jimeno Balaguero doesn’t understand why there aren’t more women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. For her, the path was always clear.
“At school, what I liked most was mathematics, so I knew since I was a child that I was going to have a science career,” she says. “That is why I do not understand the low participation of women in STEM careers, because I think it is something that should come naturally since childhood.”
As the Director of Digital Transformation at Telefónica, Ainhoa is responsible for implementing a digital workforce that promotes internal process automation. A 15-year veteran of the telecommunications company, she has always worked on projects related to technological transformations — from service development, to IT operations, to networking.
Ainhoa believes the lack of women in STEM fields is a direct result of a lack of encouragement for girls and young women. As a child, her skills were nourished and developed, and subsequently she has had a successful career at one of the most prestigious telecommunications companies in the world.
“I think it is very important that in the educational stage, in which [girls and young women] have to decide which subjects to choose, that they have more information about the type of jobs that they can access through STEM careers,” she says. “I think that having a technical background gives you skills that can help you to develop your working life in many areas. What I like most about my job is having the possibility of changing how we do things, by mixing technology, management and enthusiasm.”