Sigue: Amazing women of March
April 1, 2022 No Comments
THE National Women’s Month may be over but my head is still swirling in amazement of the women in my current network. I met and worked with some of the most awesome, inspiring, and trailblazing women in this country last month. Some of them I have already known for years, but their latest feats are worth mentioning today.This week, I was invited to serve as moderator of a conference in data science and analytics organized by the Development Academy of the Philippines in line with their project dubbed as Smarter Philippines through Data Analytics, Research and Development, Training, and Adoption (Sparta) which is dedicated to putting in place the necessary online education, research and development mechanisms, and infrastructure to enable the industry of Data Science and Analytics, and foster smart governance practices.I was totally engrossed in listening and conversing with my panel composed of Michelle Alarcon, president of the Analytics Association of the Philippines, and President and Managing Director of Z-Lift Solutions Inc.; Donna Pamella Pam Gonzales, the Deputy Project Manager for the MOOCs and SGP component of Sparta, and Dr. Ruth Angelie Cruz, Associate Professor at the Department of Decision Sciences and Innovation of De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines and Business Development Manager of the Andrew L. Tan Data Science Institute (ALTDSI). These women spoke about the importance of embracing data as a tool for designing solutions to current problems such as in education, poverty alleviation, healthcare, and even addressing day-to-day pain points for citizens. Sparta brought us all together as the project which started some years back is really an ambitious yet noble attempt to usher this country into a digital and data-driven transformation.Then there is this young woman who has accepted my invitation for her to be my associate researcher in my current research entitled, “A Study Towards Building A Comprehensive Data Analytics and Visualization Portal for National and Local Development in the Philippines (D4D). Frei Sangil is founder and chief executive officer of LAYERTech Software Labs. She is a data analyst, cybersecurity, computing and intelligence consultant for various companies, NGOs, and local governments and government agencies. Frei is passionate innovator, analyst and programmer, adept in C, C++, C#, R, VB, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, CSS and SQL, cybersecurity and research professional, experienced project manager, and advocate for data-driven governance, open data, and open education. Just reading her portfolio makes me wonder how in her twenties, she can be this passionate about helping our country. She has worked and is well acknowledged in her field even in other countries and will surely be one amazing woman whose career I would love to follow.For names of those I know for years now enter my mind whenever we speak of amazing women, I have Emmylou Versoza-Delfin of the Department of Information and Communications Technology and heads the ICT Industry Development Bureau, which takes the lead in the department’s Digital Cities Program. She was recently designated to also head the department’s strategic communications programs. I know Director Emmy since the founding days of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines and the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (Bnefit).I also have in mind Dr. Lizan Perante-Calina, who has been a good friend since my college days. She now heads the Graduate School of Public and Development Management of the Development Academy of the Philippines. Dean Lizan is very dedicated to helping professionals in government to upskill and embrace future thinking lenses. She has pioneered and driven many innovative programs under her department.Indeed, I am blessed to know many women who are doing their very best in taking this country several notches higher especially around innovation. Let me save the other names for another column.