Recently I was giving the option of choosing between an Apple TV and a drone – and I happily chose a drone. But, I got asked more than a couple of times if it was a gift for my husband, even by people that know I am an engineer!

That is why I am here, writing my first blog inspired by Girls in ICT Day, to say YES, women/girls might love technology, drones and geek things as much as men/boys do!

I am an electronic engineer, and trying to remember the spark that got me into this path. I look back, and being a child of a biology & chemical professor (my mom) and an electronic engineer (my dad) definitely had a lot to do with it.

I remember always having Legos to build houses for my dolls, to have cars to take them for rides (not always pink ones), and that a microscope and an electronic board to experiment were also toys. I grew up encouraged to explore and discover, my mom would take advantage of every trip and contact with the nature we had to show me the wonders of nature, adding “field explorations” to our beach trips to discover different types of seaweeds and shells, or in our forest/garden hiking to look for the different types of insects, flowers, plants, fungus. With my dad, always a technology lover, I got exposure to the “latest” gear available: from our Commodore 64 to my (his) first laptop, BetaMax to DVD, fixed phone to cellphone, and he always got me involved in the setup as soon as his “toys” arrived and is funny now is the other way around. In case you already started to count years back, Yes! I was part of that lucky generation that got to see the fascinating change of our world from analog to digital right in front of our eyes, (lucky me! ;-)).

Both of my parents were great inspiration and from their amazing stories of life (that I would leave to another blog), I got the empowerment and sense that I could definitely do whatever I wanted to, but that I needed to work hard, enjoy it and try to do it right and better (my Dad’s mantra).

And here I am, with 15 years being an engineer, living abroad my born country thanks to my career, with one daughter and another one just born, still loving what I do, fascinated about technology, dance and my family (yes not all is tech 😉 ), sharing my story to encourage and help girls to explore this path.

The last couple of years I participated in Cisco’s Girls Power Tech initiative, and every year it was a great experience. At each event you could sense the grade of fascination and potential of the girls in the room when you share how is like to be a systems engineer and how we are helping digitize the world. This year I couldn’t be there (did I already mention I have a new baby?) but I was still there in spirit.

I am here to invite you to talk to your daughters, nieces, friends and share something about your experience in STEM, to encourage you to invite them to develop other skills and explore tech camps and activities like: Cisco IoE for Kids, FIRST RoboticsGirls Learning Code camps, and a bunch of other activities available for them to enjoy and explore the fun of STEM.

Be their role model! Be their inspiration! Spark their natural curiosity! And please never be surprised if they prefer a robot over a doll, even more ask them! Don’t assume a pink toy is always the right answer ;-).


Want to bring your awesome girl power (or guy power) to Cisco? Check out our openings here.



Francis Gotopo Roque

Systems Engineer

Cisco Canada