Mónica is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Orange Spain, forming part of the company's Executive Committee. In 2010, Mónica received the “Engineer of the Year” award, given by the Catalan Association of Telecommunication Engineers. She tells us about her job and why she chose this industry.
Discover the portrait of Mónica, CTO at Orange Spain
Why did you choose an industry in which women do not traditionally have much presence?
I’ve joined Orange Spain in 2013, but I've always been very curious about the technology around me, trying to understand it. And what better way than studying telecom engineering in order to find out how telephones, television or rockets work? I have to say that the presence of so few women during my studies [editor’s note: Monica studied Telecommunications Engineering and also has a Master in Business Administration] was not something that worried me. Since I was little, my mother taught me that, with work and effort, anything is possible, no matter whether you are a man or a woman.
What do you feel proudest of?
I have always been proud of my work. But it is true that Covid19 has increased this pride, because during the most difficult moments of the pandemic, the telecom operators were a lifeline for people confined to their homes and for many companies. Connectivity has never been as important, because it ensured that families could stay connected, that businesses kept working, and that the information we needed could be accessed.
Without a doubt, I am proud that the telecom sector, and in particular Orange, have been a fundamental element for the country to continue operating despite experiencing a global pandemic.
How do you believe women contribute to the management of technical environments?
There are many studies that indicate a correlation between companies with a significant number of women in senior management teams and better economic results than in other scenarios where gender ratios are more unbalanced.
But apart from these studies, what I believe is, that it should be a woman’s right to have the same opportunities as men, to work in technological fields or occupy managerial positions. And since unfortunately the percentages have not yet reached 50 %, it means that both, governments and companies, have to continue working on it, regardless of whether or not women contribute differently to men. I firmly believe that gender parity in management positions is an obligation”.
How do you find your job attractive and how does it contribute to creating a more equal and responsible digital world?
I am passionate about my work. It’s a challenge but also a privilege to be at the head of technology and drive its development to offer people the best connectivity. In a growing digital world, high quality connectivity helps to reduce the digital gap between people living in small towns and big cities, offering the same development possibilities to everyone regardless of where they live.
Through your actions, how do you feel you are participating in Orange's commitment to a more human, green and connected society? Do you have any concrete examples?
In terms of a green society, at Orange Spain we are very concerned about the sustainability of our network, and we contribute heavily to Orange’s commitment of reaching carbon neutrality by 2040, despite the explosion of data usage on the networks. With this objective in mind, we have launched three main lines of action: reducing the energy consumption in the network, increasing the use of renewable energy, and relying more on the circular economy.
In terms of a more human and connected society, we are carrying out many other initiatives beyond the network deployment itself to extend connectivity and to help eliminate the digital gap. A concrete example is the ´Social Tariff´ that we launched last year, designed for families benefiting from the Spanish Minimum Vital Income. I am also proud to work at Orange because of initiatives like these, pioneered in Spain, which have been taken up by other operators.