Equinix – Stephanie Malka, Director of NOC Service Engineering, EMEA

We interviewed Stephanie Malka, Director of NOC Service Engineering, EMEA at Equinix on her thoughts and experience on women in tech. 

1. What does your job role involve?

My role is to work cross functionally in a global environment understanding customer requirements to deliver new products and services, system and process enhancements for internal and external client base.

I am focused on maintaining the best experience for customers using our interconnection portfolio by leading team of engineers acting as one team in front of customers for any orders placed or incidents occurring.

We also have a responsibility to be proactive to maintain our network health and a lean approach to our processes.

2. What made you choose a career in engineering?

I was always good at school at subjects that was what I call “logical”… Meaning there was a set of rules to follow and apply and the results would work, so maths and grammar used to be my strengths. With that in mind, a few of my teacher interested in me in following a computer science course and I really got into the networking courses… A little less into programming.

My other passion was dancing so when it came to choosing a career logically I had more chances to be successful at networking than at dancing 🙂

3. Did you study an engineering or technology related subject at A-Level or University?

After my Baccalaureate (French equivalent of A-Level) I studied first a bachelor of computer science applied to businesses, then I went onto a private school to get a master degree in business and computer science.

4. Did you get any work experience in engineering or technology before this role?

AS part of my studies in France, we had an internship of minimum of 3 months every year. I work for a Hotspot installation company then a software company before moving to england the furst time. There was also a couple of years where I worked and studied on alternatives days. My master was only 3 days a week so I could work the other 2 days.

5. Do you think there is a lack of females in the engineering and tech sector?

Up to today I am pretty much the only female engineer in the room, that said it has changed over the past 10 years and I meet more and more female engineers every day. Not enough still.

6. Do you find there is a stereotype that a career in engineering or technology is just for men?

Yes, indeed.

7. What would entice women to study technology/engineering related courses?

Women bring diversity not only because of gender but they make a difference in their way of thinking and leading their ideas. I find they are more structured and disciplined. Many of them grow faster in their roles then any man if they want to.

8. Are there barriers when it comes to women getting into tech/ engineering?

I don’t believe there is any barriers unless you bring them up yourselves.

9. How could we encourage more women to start a career in tech/ engineering?

We need to break the stereotype and the unconscious bias around what an engineer looks like. Show that there is now more woman in the industry and what type of role they play. And overall plant the idea from primary/secondary school if possible, before they form their judgements on others.

10. What advice would you give young women today at the start of their career?

The so called “man’s world” is nothing to stop today to achieve what you want tomorrow. You have more power than you think. Keep true to yourself and others.