International Women’s Day: Celebrating female-led innovation

Last updated: 09 March 2021

Today we mark International Women’s Day – a global event which seeks to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The event also signifies a call to action for people worldwide to push for greater gender parity in all aspects of everyday life.

As part of this year’s theme, organizers have created the hashtag #ChooseToChallenge, calling upon people globally to challenge and call out gender inequality while celebrating women’s achievements, with the end goal being to create a more inclusive world where everyone is held as equals.

In line with this theme, we have chosen to highlight three female colleagues who have left their mark on Thales through their outstanding work in their respective fields.

Anne Wang – Biometrics Expert

Starting out at Cogent Systems, a small American start-up which specialised in biometrics, Anne joined Thales in 2017 when the company acquired Cogent. Since then, Anne has become one of the leading voices on biometrics, particularly on fingerprint biometrics. Her work has led Anne to participate in some impressive collaborations on biometric technology, including working with the U.S. institute of Standards and Technology, working on several biometric standards subcommittees, and collaborating with universities to explore new research projects.

With a stellar career in biometrics to date, Anne has set her sights on breaking down the barriers which have so far impeded the widespread adoption of biometric ID technology.

Anne’s commitment to the development of biometrics has led to achieving a critical acclaim. In 2018, Anne was presented with the prestigious Women in Biometric Award, acknowledging her dedication to the advancement of biometric identification technology. With many areas of technology remaining male dominated, Anne has proven that through hard work and dedication to one’s field, women are just as capable as their male counterparts.

Ella Segura – Solution Design and UX Champion

Ella’s 15-year long career at Thales includes a number of roles across engineering, innovation, product strategy and design. Today, Ella is an expert in product design and user experience (UX). Her mission at Thales is to drive product strategy through a deep understanding of user motivations, customer needs and business goals. Ella leads a team of seven designers, working to introduce UX best practices, lead user research, and create a common design language in her business line. She applies strategic design thinking across the entire product lifecycle, from incubation to design, build, and test activities, and has set many examples for others in Thales in this field. Ella also holds the role of UX champion, working closely with the Thales design office to promote user experience across the company.

With the various qualifications she has obtained during her time at Thales, Ella has sought to share her knowledge and expertise through coaching and training her colleagues on all things design and UX. Through offering workshops, Ella’s goal is to empower women in similar positions with the skills and training necessary to excel in their work.

Outside of traditional work, Ella co-founded and chaired the Austin chapter of a women’s networking group, now known as the Thales Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Network, in an effort to support other women within the company with their careers. As a mother of two girls, Ella looks to teach them that if they believe in something, they should not be constrained by boundaries to become the example that others aspire to follow.

Virginie Galindo – Cybersecurity Evangelist and Technology Strategist

Virginie is the Head of Technology and Innovation Strategy at Thales, first joining the company (then Gemalto) back in 2001 after working as a research engineer at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CES). With over 20 years of experience in security innovation, Virginie is currently dedicated to identifying the next wave of security usage, technology and solutions that would contribute to a trusted world. She is passionate about mixing latest technologies and detecting high value use cases.

A successful writer with 14 publications to date, Virginie obtained a PhD in Physical Material Science from the National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble. Since then, she has worked in multiple educational settings, currently offering her expertise as a lecturer at the Institut Galilée – Université Paris 1, where she teaches on a variety of security-related subjects.

While offering consistently outstanding work at Thales, Virginie has also lent her expertise outside the group, previously serving as a member of the W3C Advisory Board from 2014 to 2017, and as a Vice-chair of the UAF Technical Working Group at the FIDO Alliance that is looking to develop an end-to-end solution for strong online authentication.

A shining example of academic and corporate excellence, Virginie is an invaluable leader within Thales who has blazed a path for other women to follow in her footsteps in the world of digital identity and security.

Anne, Ella and Virginie are excellent examples of the innovative, smart, determined, and ambitious women that we are proud to have as part of our team here at Thales, and we want to make every effort that we celebrate them not just on International Women’s Day but every day of the year!

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