International Women’s Day with Gelareh Taghizadeh

Gelareh Taghizadeh

Senior Data Scientist, CognitionX.

What do you do?

My name is Gelareh, and I am the senior data scientist at CognitionX, leading the data science team to apply and develop cutting-edge technologies in AI on our platform.

Data science is a team effort, and I am working with an amazing team of data scientists & engineers; and we work closely with the product and development team to shape our models and put them in production. I did my undergraduate studies in computer engineering and my postgraduate studies in AI, focusing on feature engineering algorithms for machine learning models.

What is something about yourself that many people are surprised to learn?
I was born and raised in Iran, where I did my undergraduate studies in computer engineering. I moved to Europe to pursue my PhD in AI, where I noticed a significant gender gap in engineering programs at my university in Vienna. I remember in almost all of my Ph.D. courses, I was one of the few female students amongst almost 40 students. People are surprised to learn that almost 70% of computer science graduates in Iran [link] are female. I am so proud of all Iranian women in science and technology who let their talents & passion define their expectations, not the stereotypes.

Describe yourself in three words
Goal-oriented, hardworking, and ambitious

Who is your greatest inspiration?
I’ve always tried to learn and get inspiration from different people regardless of gender, age, and race. But if I want to mention just one individual, that would be my mom, I learnt from her how to live my life to the fullest and to dream big.

What advice would you give to a young woman getting into tech?
First, you need to know yourself and your passion, then set your career goals and do not be afraid to pursue them. As you move forward, you can define your goals way more clearer. Community is important. Try to be involved in great communities of people with the same passion and vision, where you will learn, support, and build an amazing network. And finally, don’t forget to consider mentors, they will help you massively, and you can’t imagine how much you go faster by having their support.

What do you think we can all be doing to empower women in tech today and tomorrow?
Creating opportunity & support! If you are a manager, try to think of gender diversity in your team when you are hiring, a diverse team has a diverse insight on different problems too. If you are an employee, try to think of how you can support working moms at your company, and if you already are a successful woman in technology, you need to think of how you can support other women to lift them up.

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