ANA FREIRE, making the woman who “Wisibiliza”s women visible herself

Last 16th of May I attended the Ada Byron Awards 2019 to the female technologist in its 6th edition, which was also the opening of the 7th edition of ForoTech.

The Ada Byron Award to the Technologist Women, pioneer at a national level (and which has gone international with this year’s presentation of the Mexican edition), was instituted by the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Deusto. Its goals are: to reward and raise awareness of the excellent journey of technologist women of today; to enrich society with technology-diffusing events; to promote technological vocations (especially of women) approaching the technological work to young people; and to make the importance of technology socially visible.

The thing is that on that day I was able to meet the winners of the Ada Byron award: two exceptional women who are a role model in the technology world, Concepción Alicia Monje Micharet and Ana Freire (chosen Youth Ada Byron Award by unanimity). The jury had it more difficult than other years since there were around 112 candidates, active professionals in the academic and business world in the fields of engineering, informatics, chemical sciences, physics and mathematics. The candidates were between 36 y 67 years old, and between 24 and 36 for the Youth Award.

Today I want to talk to you more about Ana Freire, rewarded with the Youth Ada Byron Award, do you want to know why? You just have to keep reading.

Just with her presentation, she already transmitted good vibes:

Ana is aware of the fact that, even though there have been improvements making visible many scientific and technologist women’s work who didn’t get recognized for their effort, work and achieved results, there’s still a lot to do.

Yes, because even if many people think otherwise, we don’t have to go far in time to see that still today they don’t recognize women’s work how they should; at least, that’s what I think.

Going back to the 16th of May, after the awards ceremony, I went to congratulate Ana and to exchange views with her, mainly because even if I’m not a technologist myself, I could see myself in some parts of her. Oh, and also because some years ago I learnt that those people you consider role models and who appear to be “far from you” are still people and, by the way, closer than we usually think. Ana is one of them. I don’t say it just because of that day, but also because of everything I’ve read about her and the words (a few, but enough) we’ve been able to exchange ever since.

Ana, I assure you that it was a pleasure to meet you in the Ada Byron awards ceremony and that I also hope to keep in touch and to meet again soon.

I wouldn’t want to end this post without telling you that, even if she’s still young, Ana Freire has a great professional journey. I personally liked the international contest she founded in 2016: Wisibilízalas, maybe because making E.P. visible is what I do week after week on this blog. The thing is that, since the contest launched, I insist, in 2016, more than 1000 children from Spain, Mexico, Venezuela and Ecuador have participated and have had the opportunity to meet 400 women of the technology world. I admit that this information shocked me. Yes, because I also signed the INSPIRA manifest a few years ago; but this… this has to do with social impact, don’t you think? After all, Ana also places great importance to the applied research and social impact. How many times have I repeated that the important thing of being an E.P. is not only having ideas and good intentions but implementing them, taking the plunge? So, here you have another E.P.

Because Ana is, if I’m wrong, please, correct me, among other things: curious about how things happen (she’s always been like that); a fighter; a dreamer, but of those that make the dreams come true; someone who won’t be stopped by her “fears” and, also, inspires others to feel the same way; a great passionate about technology and science; a person full of illusion, who makes an effort each day to move forward and to ensure that people are happier and to make a worthier world for everyone.

Thank you, Ana, for your work, your implication in the world of technology and science and for contributing in a small way to make visible the women who have been invisible because of the stereotypes for many years. I think that nobody should doubt our powers, don’t you think?

Enjoy the week and the warm days, which seem they are already arriving.

Translated by María Ubierna Quintanilla and supervised by Arantza Arruti.


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