Fri. Dec 8th, 2023

Name: Ana Salazar Diaz
Position: Cybersecurity Manager of Hijos de Rivera
Date of Birth: 4-10-1973 Sons: one
Hobbies: boxing, martial arts and CFT
Studies: Bachelor of Physical Sciences

Interview with Ana Salazar Díaz, Cybersecurity Manager of Hijos de Rivera

How did you get into the ICT world? Since I was little I liked to break video game programs on radio cassette tapes to see the code, but where I really started was in Bazán, where they taught me the practical part of computer networks. After that scholarship, I spent two years giving office automation training, maintaining the company’s networks and I managed to get that position to open the doors to my first job as a Systems Administrator in a bank. And that’s where I started my career within IT. I specialized in Windows systems, with the MCSE certification and kept looking for new goals until I joined Estrella Galicia, where I have been for 19 years.

What do you value most about your job?
Having been in the same company for so many years, we can see how we have been growing as a company, since the growth of the company has gone hand in hand with the growth of IT. This allows me to work in different areas and learn from each one of them, Systems Administration, Infrastructures and Communications, DWP… I am a restless person because of what motivates me to change. Now I manage the Cybersecurity area, where we have to achieve a balance between functionality and security, so that the company grows safely. And we also have to be alert, with that feeling of combat in the face of possible threats. And now thinking more about the part of our product, given that I work in a brewery company, knowing that I participate in the happiness that comes from drinking that straw after work.
In your opinion, what is wrong so that women do not bet more on the study of STEM careers?
Perhaps that they lack the first inspiration, in our time it was unusual to see women in technical careers, especially in the final courses, but since technology is now part of everyday life, that first inspiration can come from oneself when wanting to know how a mobile works inside, or how the data reaches smart TVs. And given that we are opening that path more and more, making ourselves more visible, both in specialized magazines and in other types of communication. We even have the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, but many times we don’t have time to participate in this type of initiative.
Do you think there is a “glass ceiling” in ICT companies? What should be the solution?
The glass ceiling exists in general in society, we continue with the stereotype that we cannot get involved as much as men because of the family responsibilities we have. The solution would have to come from a change of mentality, work by objectives, less face-to-face. It’s sad, but a pandemic has had to arrive for teleworking to spread as another way of working and I think this type of option will help a lot to make that glass ceiling disappear.

Can a quota policy solve the problem?
We cannot make it mandatory, it has to be something natural, we should all have the same opportunities. As he mentioned before, working by objectives and telecommuting are two good allies.
What difficulties did you encounter to get to the position you currently have?
Somehow having to prove my worth more, that’s why it always seems fundamental to me both to train myself and to participate in colloquiums and events.
What do you value most about your company regarding the integration of women?
Hijos de Rivera (Estrella Galicia) has grown a lot and has modernized, perhaps when there was a greater difference between the hiring of both sexes, but today it is balanced.

“Young people are getting used to the fact that everything is easy to get: I want a mobile, I have it”

35% of students do not manage to finish high school or the equivalent vocational training. Is education the problem of the lack of specialized profiles?
The problem is in education, but not only in school. I think that young people are getting used to the fact that everything is easy to get: I want a mobile, I have it. No importance is given to the effort it takes to buy all the material that is given to them. If they do not make an effort in their personal day-to-day, it will be difficult for them to do so at school and later at work. There should be specialized profiles, since they are requested to do the oppositions for both high school and FP.
Have the studies you did helped you to carry out your current work?
Yes, although to continue specializing I have had to continue studying, taking courses, etc.
Solve the problem of education in Spain…
hahaha, when I get into politics
If you had to advise a young person what to study in order to obtain a stable job future, where would you guide them?
In STEM careers, but since he was a child I would try to get him hooked on that world, programming, robotics…
Where do you think the ICT sector is going? In your opinion, what are the trends that are really going to transform society?
Cybersecurity, AI, automation, robotics,… Obviously, the future passes through people, because someone will have to make the algorithms, design the circuits of the robots or autonomous systems. There will simply be an evolution of the kind of skills that our young people will need to have.

By Alvaro Rivers

Award-winning student. Incurable social media fanatic. Music scholar. Beer maven. Writer.