Women in Technology

Professionals Promoted by IT Women to Present at LACNIC 35

30/03/2021

Six professionals selected by LACNIC’s IT Women Mentoring Program will present their work on 12 May during the LACNIC 35 event.

These women are part of the regional Internet community, professionals who are working in ICT and who have received the support of a mentor for a period of six months in order to promote their involvement in LACNIC’s various participation spaces.

After this first call for applications, the program selected Vanessa De Oliveira Mello (Brazil), Sanie Benítez (Paraguay), María Jesús Cresci (Uruguay), Yisel Tamayo (Cuba), Jacqueline P. da Silva (Brazil), and Dalia Kelly Terán (Colombia) to produce technical papers on topics relating to Internet stability and security and then share them with the community during the LACNIC Technical Forum (LTF).

Three of the selected women — Sanie, Vanessa and Jacqueline — spoke to LACNIC News about their experience with the initiative, the support received from IT Women, and their expectations for the LTF.

Sanie Benítez, who works in telecommunications and networks, commented that she had always considered presenting at a LACNIC event.

She expressed her satisfaction with the Mentoring Program, as it encouraged her to participate in the community by offering the support of a mentor and also by providing technical training and helping her develop her soft skills.

With the help of her mentor Max Larson Henry, Sanie is working on enabling a new ASN and provider IPv4 and IPv6 prefixes, on the distribution of the service on a Local Area Network for clients with a GPON network and Internet access, and on the possibility of enabling IPTV.

Sanie also noted that her tutor constantly monitors the progress of her project and has provided technical contacts which have been very helpful.

She hopes that this will encourage other women in technology and that this experience will continue for upcoming LACNIC events.

An opportunity to grow. Vanessa de Oliveira Mello is a network engineer who applied to the IT Women Mentoring Program because she identified “the opportunity to learn from leading telecommunications experts, people with decades of experience” and who could greatly enrich her knowledge in the field. Based on her paper titled “Network Automation: Idempotency in the Configuration of an AS,” Vanessa’s goal is to understand available automation tools and create configuration templates in Ansible following best practices.

Vanessa praised her tutor Carlos Martínez, who supported her from the beginning by asking the right questions and always urging her to delve deeper into her research.

She also expressed her appreciation for the workshops led by renowned experts in which she participated and learned about efficient time managements and how to offer quality presentations.

“We were also provided with the opportunity to complete all the courses available on the LACNIC Campus free of charge,” she added.

In short, Vanessa feels that the program has already exceeded her expectations, as it has helped her to improve her technical skills and learn how to better manage her time. “It will also allow me to obtain training on topics that are very important to me, such as network security and RPKI,” she concluded.

Breaking down barriers. Jaqueline P. Silva has a master’s degree in Engineering and is a senior network analyst at the Brazilian National Education and Research Network. She decided to apply to the program with the goal of breaking down barriers. In the words of Jaqueline, “the first barrier I had to face as a woman was entering a male-dominated work environment and proving that I was capable of performing my job.”

She added that this program designed by LACNIC promotes the inclusion of women “precisely to reduce existing barriers between men and women in ICT.”

Her work will focus on the implementation of BGP RPKI on a Juniper ASN to assess the efficiency of threat mitigation.

She highlighted the support of her mentor Wanda Pérez and her hope that the doors will be opened to more women so that they can enter the technical Internet market.

Registration to LACNIC 35 and to attend the sessions by the women selecting through the Mentoring Program will open shortly. To keep up with the latest news about the event, you can subscribe to LACNIC’s Announcements list.