Inspiring Women February 2021

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<strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong>, Volume 5, Issue 1


profiles<br />

7<br />


Encouraging <strong>Women</strong> Worldwide:<br />

Bev Bachmayer tells us about lifting<br />

women up via tech.<br />

29<br />

Creating Websites: Debbie Hastings tells<br />

us about how she came to learn how to<br />

create webites.<br />

11<br />

Creating<br />

Impactful<br />

Social Media<br />

Posts: Adelina<br />

Matinca talks<br />

about finding a<br />

new career with<br />

social media.<br />

40<br />

Overcoming<br />

Obstacles One<br />

at a Time:<br />

Maria Barros<br />

Weiss talks<br />

about the many<br />

obstacles she’s<br />

had to<br />

overcome.<br />

18<br />

24<br />

Developing “Curious Mind TV”:<br />

Irem Sunar tells us about the new resource<br />

she has created for children.<br />

Keeping FAWCO<br />

Tech Savvy: Cat<br />

Conner talks about<br />

her life as a<br />

technology<br />

consultant.<br />

50<br />

Specializing in<br />

Web Security:<br />

Susan Spälti<br />

discusses her time<br />

dealing with web<br />

security.<br />

We appreciate the support of our advertisers!<br />

Advertisers Index<br />

The Short List p.2 The Short List assists students with the college admissions and application process.<br />

Ask your club to schedule a webinar to acquaint members on how to get started.<br />

London Realty Intl. p.4 London Realty Intl. is owned by AWC London member Lonnée Hamilton, a<br />

worldwide property consultant. Her firm works with the best agents across the globe to fulfill your<br />

property needs.<br />

London & Capital p.10 Whether you are a US Citizen living abroad, or a foreign entity with US<br />

reporting, their dedicated teams take care of your wealth, giving you time to concentrate on the things<br />

that matter to you. London & Capital has been supporting FAWCO since 2016.<br />

Lauren Mescon, Rodan + Fields p.17 Lauren, member of AWC Amsterdam, has been an independent<br />

skincare consultant for the past decade. Rodan+ Fields is world-renowned for their products.<br />

Ponte Travels p.23 Ponte Travel Operating Director and FAWCO member Mary Stange offer<br />

customized service and exclusive access to the world’s most fascinating places while working<br />

responsibly to give back to local economies.<br />

Janet Darrow Real Estate p.31 Around the corner or a world away, contact Janet Darrow, FAUSA<br />

member, to find the best properties.<br />

The Pajama Company p.46 The Pajama Company, founded by Ellie Badanes, member of FAUSA and<br />

AW Surrey, sells pajamas that are cozy, cheerful and online!<br />


features<br />

14<br />

<strong>Women</strong> in<br />

Technology: A<br />

historical<br />

perspective on<br />

influential<br />

women in<br />

technology.<br />

36<br />

Get Work<br />

Done and<br />

Have Fun<br />

Virtually: A<br />

step-by-step<br />

guide to how to<br />

collaborate<br />

virtually.<br />

21<br />

27<br />

What is Data Privacy?: What does it<br />

mean when people talk about this<br />

knotty topic?<br />

FAWCO and Tech in Times of<br />

COVID-19: What changes have<br />

happened for FAWCO in the last 12<br />

months?<br />

44<br />

47<br />

ThePajamaCompany.com and Me:<br />

Setting up an online business –<br />

challenges and rewards.<br />

Googling My<br />

Way From<br />

Journalism to<br />

Engineering<br />

and Back:<br />

using Google as<br />

a way of finding<br />

answers and<br />

help.<br />

32<br />

in every issue<br />

Introducing<br />

AWC Perth,<br />

Australia: Club<br />

President and<br />

FAWCO Rep<br />

tells us more<br />

about their<br />

club.<br />

53<br />

Why I Design for the AIWCD: Does<br />

giving your time, for free, to your club<br />

have any benefits for you personally?<br />

5<br />

6<br />

Letter from the Editor<br />

Rewiring the<br />

Power: Magazine<br />

founder Elsie<br />

Bose looks at how<br />

to find the gold<br />

ring.<br />

56<br />

57<br />

57<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> You<br />

The <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Team<br />

Acknowledgements<br />

58 The Next Issue<br />

59 “That’s <strong>Inspiring</strong>!”<br />

60 Featured Photos<br />


Letter From The Editor<br />

From a technological point of view, I am very much on the user rather than<br />

creator side of the fence. Mathematically capable, certainly not gifted, I<br />

definitely did not take after my Mum in this field. She was a mathematical<br />

wizard who absolutely loved solving those complex mathematical equations<br />

that gave so many of us heartache at school! She did things like solving<br />

calculus problems for fun!<br />

Mum was a Mathematics professor at the local university throughout my childhood, so whilst I did not<br />

have her fascination for the field, I do think the fact that a woman could excel in this area was very<br />

obvious to me. It’s not the case for all girls, sadly.<br />

I also got first hand experience of her ability to teach this sometimes baffling subject to those less<br />

personally gifted at maths. I remember vividly her setting me maths puzzles over breakfast for many<br />

months in the lead up to an exam I was due to sit. Her relentless drilling got the desired result when,<br />

against the odds, I got the top grade in “O” level Mathematics.<br />

At the memorial service held to celebrate Mum’s achievements in an all too shortened life, we all loved<br />

the image a former student, who spoke at the service, painted of her up in heaven teaching the angels<br />

maths. Ever the teacher.<br />

Today I am fortunate not to need to do more complicated mathematical puzzles than those involved in<br />

household finances, grocery shopping and so on. But I am a big user of technology, although I<br />

understand the mechanics of it very poorly indeed. How on earth does a mobile phone work? How does<br />

Google tell me the answer to my latest query? How does Netflix get the latest episode of The Crown or<br />

Bridgerton straight to me?<br />

The women in this issue are so much more tech savvy than most of us. They have embraced tech and<br />

used it in so many different ways both academically and practically, all of which you can read about in<br />

the stories in this issue. As long as women like these understand tech for us, like the bumble bee,<br />

maybe we can continue to fly anyway.<br />

In the middle of a global pandemic, we have needed our tech, even more than we’d probably thought<br />

possible, to maintain contact with our families and loved ones. Sometimes endless meetings on Zoom<br />

can be exhausting, but I can not imagine how much harder this challenging time would be without tech<br />

savvy people having come up with ways for us to stay in touch. So I give thanks that, like my Mum, these<br />

tech savvy women have been using their skills and talents on our behalf. Thank you, ladies, and keep up<br />

the good work!<br />

I hope you enjoy this tech savvy issue. A request from me if I may: there is a short, five question survey<br />

about the magazine here (p. 56.) We really would appreciate it if you could find a few minutes to<br />

respond so we can keep improving the magazine for you, our readers.<br />

Please stay healthy, happy and safe.<br />

Best, Liz xx inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

“A<br />

erodynamically, the<br />

bumble bee shouldn't be<br />

able to fly, but the<br />

bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on<br />

flying anyway.” Mary Kay Ash<br />


Rewiring<br />

the Power<br />

Technology careers aren’t for everyone, but they<br />

are an option for all women. <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong><br />

Magazine founder Elsie Bose, FAUSA, has been<br />

thinking about power and women.<br />

I have been thinking a lot about power these days. Not just the power that<br />

the new technology requires – electrical power, bandwidth, speed etc. – but<br />

the power it exerts as it enters and pervades every corner of our lives.<br />

Capturing and controlling that power is the gold ring to the future.<br />

I think, like most, the introduction of tech into our lives was a combination<br />

of curiosity, amusement, frustration and eventually, acceptance. And while<br />

most of us were working out what was happening, the industries that are<br />

“technology” marched forward.<br />

Unfortunately, for the most part, women were not part of the parade.<br />

The women profiled in this issue are attempting to change that. A brief glance at their backgrounds and<br />

experience truly blows the mind. They are software engineers, web security experts, logistic specialists,<br />

web designers, graphic designers, social media mavens and more. What they “do” is incredibly<br />

interesting and, at times, unbelievably mind-boggling! But the significant and important piece in all of<br />

their stories is how they use technology and their skills to bring others along.<br />

Their desire to share, teach and to encourage other women or youth will help to demystify the aura that<br />

surrounds those who hold the power in the technology world. It will level the playing field. And like so<br />

many other fields before this one, women will march forward on it and make their grab for that gold<br />

ring for themselves.<br />

Elsie advertising@fawco.org<br />



Encouraging<br />

<strong>Women</strong><br />

Worldwide<br />

Bev Bachmayer, member and<br />

current FAWCO Rep for AWA<br />

Vienna, tells us about her efforts<br />

to lift women up to a better life<br />

with tech.<br />

I was born in San Mateo, California, but moved to<br />

the Central Valley of California when I was four; I<br />

grew up in the rural community of Waterford. In<br />

order for me to start kindergarten early, my<br />

mother changed the birth date on my birth<br />

certificate, as I was reading and writing early in<br />

my fourth year. My parents built a house next to<br />

my paternal grandmother’s, so I always could<br />

walk next door and spend hours with her. As my<br />

mother worked most of the day, my grandmother<br />

was my sounding board for everything. Most of<br />

my days were spent either swimming in the<br />

canals in summer or sitting with my grandmother<br />

and learning to sew.<br />

Our family in 2005<br />

Bev Bachmayer<br />

My father believed I was his first son, my brother<br />

being younger than me. I was encouraged to help<br />

him in the heating and air conditioning business,<br />

troubleshooting air conditioning units that were<br />

not working. I remember crawling under houses<br />

to help with units and testing them in the shop. I<br />

was fascinated with finding out how to test<br />

something to make it work.<br />

High school and beyond<br />

At 16, I entered my senior year of high school. As I<br />

had completed all of the math and science classes<br />

offered at my high school, I began taking<br />

“computer classes” at the local community<br />

college. Mind you, this was in the late 60s, and the<br />

“computer” was a huge mainframe; plugging in<br />

the wires for the “program” board made perfect<br />

sense to me after working on AC units. I excelled<br />

in this class and at the typing of the data on the<br />

punched cards – as I had learned to type, like<br />

most women were encouraged to do.<br />

I am fascinated by technology and always have<br />

been; troubleshooting is my forte, which is a<br />

requirement for identifying issues. Whether it is<br />

learning how to sew a complicated sleeve or<br />

debugging a program, I easily identify the steps to<br />

get the ideal result.<br />

At 18, I married, quit college, and two years later,<br />

had my first daughter. The second followed two<br />

years after that. I moved to Oregon with my<br />

husband, but four years later, found myself a<br />

single mother with no real skills.<br />

With my older sister Karen when I was about four<br />

College was the first thought in my mind, so I<br />

signed up at the local community college and<br />

restarted my computer science degree,<br />

graduating in 1983 with my bachelor’s degree. (In<br />


Being in Europe gave me huge opportunities to<br />

really begin working on standards and<br />

optimization documents and algorithms.<br />

Additionally, I started doing optimization trainings<br />

for universities and discovered I really like<br />

teaching people. I loved to see eyes widen when<br />

someone understood the concepts.<br />

Appearing as part of an Intel campaign on diversity<br />

time, I went on to study for an MBA with a minor<br />

in modelling and simulation.)<br />

In those days studying computer science, I had to<br />

cope with fellow students not understanding that I<br />

knew what I was talking about. As the only woman<br />

in the class, I obviously was there to find a husband<br />

and couldn’t have a clue about computers.<br />

Within nine months of graduating, I lost both my<br />

beloved grandmothers... and achieved their dream<br />

for me. I was hired by Intel and started working on<br />

my career – with two young girls in tow.<br />

From Intel to Austria<br />

I worked for Intel for 34 years; about 12 years in,<br />

while on a business trip, I met the man who is now<br />

my husband. As both my daughters were adults, I<br />

picked up and moved to Austria and started a new<br />

project at Intel. These days I live just outside<br />

Vienna, Austria.<br />

At Intel, I worked deep in the processor, defining<br />

the functionality of performance and debugger<br />

counters in the processor. My patent, now<br />

expired, defined use of parts of the processor,<br />

proving the usability of performance counters for<br />

debugging. Most of my career was spent on<br />

performance analysis of programs, improving the<br />

speed of instructions through the processor, as<br />

well as teaching both professors and post docs<br />

how to make their programs that analyze data<br />

execute faster.<br />

More recent involvement in the field<br />

Since 2005, I have worked both through Intel and<br />

with the Association of Computing Machinery<br />

(ACM) to increase the number of women in<br />

computer science. After the Grace Hopper<br />

Conference in 2006, my goals changed, and I<br />

started working with ACM to improve<br />

opportunities for women studying computer<br />

science in Europe. In 2013, when I became vice<br />

chair of the ACM-W Europe committee, we<br />

founded womENcourage, an event providing a<br />

venue for women in computer science to network<br />

and meet like-minded women.<br />

AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning<br />

have huge potential, and I believe the entry of<br />

women into these fields will change the world. I<br />

spend my time encouraging up and coming<br />

women to strive to be the best they can be<br />

through membership in ACM and IEEE (Institute of<br />

Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and<br />

volunteering. I know that a greater number of<br />

With delegates at the womENcourage conference in 2015<br />


One of the biggest recent rewards came from a<br />

young woman who contacted me to know if I was<br />

the “Bev Bachmayer” who had mentored her as an<br />

undergraduate in CS 20 years ago. She is now an<br />

engineering manager and says that my<br />

encouragement and mentoring is why she is<br />

successful today.<br />

Just as Fran Allen encouraged me, I hope to have<br />

the same impact on young women I know.<br />

Educating children in electronics in Rwanda in 2015, we<br />

taught 120 girls from nine countries about electronics over 3<br />

-4 weeks at the Rwanda Steam Camp.<br />

smart young women studying computer science<br />

will have a greater impact on new technology as a<br />

tool for positive change.<br />

Working in a worldwide position means working in<br />

different cultures; I am amazed how, in some<br />

countries, women are encouraged to enter highly<br />

technical fields and how their proportion in these<br />

fields might drop from 30 to 40% in one country<br />

to 5-10% in another just a few borders away. As a<br />

data scientist, I love to understand the numbers<br />

and how different cultures work. In our group,<br />

having 50% of the members born outside of the<br />

country of work put another twist on the group<br />

culture, as you might imagine.<br />

Meeting a role model<br />

Fran Allen is not really a mentor, just a woman I<br />

look up to. A developer of computer language, in<br />

1993 she was developing compilers at IBM, and<br />

she was one of the few women in the industry<br />

that you could strive to be like. I met her in person<br />

at the Grace Hopper Conference in the fall of<br />

2006, after she won the Turing award. She sat and<br />

talked to me for almost an hour. She told me, “I<br />

had no idea that I would be so encouraging and<br />

that so many women would be inspired because I<br />

did my job.”<br />

Quick-fire questions for Bev<br />

1. If you could change one thing about your past,<br />

what would it be? I would have stayed in college<br />

after getting married, even against my exhusband’s<br />

wishes. I needed to be more persistent,<br />

but that was not how I was raised.<br />

2. What things about your career in technology do<br />

you apply to your daily life? Troubleshooting is used<br />

constantly in daily life. Just look at any goal and<br />

how do you get there: that is troubleshooting.<br />

3. If you could work with one famous person, past or<br />

present, who would it be and why? This is a funny<br />

question, because working with ACM, I am among<br />

the women who are making the most difference in<br />

this world. I cheered when ACM elected an allfemale<br />

board; I personally know all of them<br />

through my work encouraging women. It’s hard<br />

work, but all of us together have achieved one<br />

goal. Now we are working toward the goal of an<br />

equal number of women and men in our field.<br />

4. To whom would you dedicate your memoirs and<br />

why? All the young women now entering the<br />

industry – they are our future, and it is for them<br />

that we work so hard to give them<br />

encouragement and hope.<br />

5. If your life or career had not been in technology,<br />

what would you have pursued? I think it would have<br />

been teaching, perhaps math or science. I love<br />

helping people succeed.<br />

My successes over the years<br />

My most significant award is the Intel<br />

Achievement award I received for my work<br />

optimizing the code for a customer in 2001. In<br />

fact, I have at least 30 Intel award plaques.<br />

My job is fun, and even to this day, I continue to<br />

work on technical topics. Learning new things is<br />

what keeps me going in these COVID times. I am<br />

building a robot, learning to sew complicated<br />

quilts and volunteering – for ACM and as the<br />

FAWCO Rep for AWA Vienna. My goal is to<br />

promote women worldwide, lifting them all up to<br />

a better life.<br />

Teaching kids about electronics in 2016<br />




Creating<br />

Impactful Social<br />

Media Posts<br />

Adelina Matinca, member of the<br />

AIWC of Cologne, Germany,<br />

describes learning her way<br />

around social media as a career.<br />

I was born in Constanta, a small town by the Black<br />

Sea in Romania. I had an extremely memorable<br />

childhood, and I count myself lucky in many ways.<br />

Due to my grandmother’s career, she took me<br />

along when I was still a small child to quite a few<br />

official functions with people from all over the<br />

world. After the Revolution, a time of turmoil, I<br />

spent most of my summers in the south of<br />

Germany, where my family had been running a<br />

business. We later emigrated to Canada.<br />

As I look back, this is where I began to build<br />

resilience and where I started to understand how<br />

quickly things can change. The full impact these<br />

events had on me is probably lost, because I was<br />

simply too young to process and analyze my<br />

surroundings. But what they did leave me with is<br />

compassion, flexibility and never taking anything<br />

for granted.<br />

Our family in 2005<br />

Adelina Matinca<br />

After leaving home<br />

I grew up in Toronto, where I lived all the way<br />

through finishing my BA at University of Toronto. I<br />

loved the multicultural aspect and had friends<br />

from all corners of the world. If you look at a city<br />

map of Toronto, you can literally sketch out Greek<br />

town, Chinatown, Little Italy – there is even a<br />

“Little Mogadishu.” Aside from this wonderful<br />

aspect, I always thought the city was too big with<br />

way too much concrete. So I did something<br />

about it…<br />

As soon as I finished my BA degree and with a job<br />

locked in, I decided to drive across Canada to<br />

Vancouver. For me, this was a ritual experience. I<br />

felt like I was shedding youthful layers and settling<br />

into an adult job. Working in a law firm in the<br />

trademarks department gave me a lot of<br />

independence. Every weekend I would be<br />

outdoors in nature, hiking, swimming, skiing,<br />

biking, surfing, sailing – taking in all the beauty of<br />

the Pacific Northwest. It was also at this job that I<br />

met a lot of fantastic people and had a great<br />

number of mentors. They all became my work<br />

family and it was the best working environment I<br />

could possibly have as a young adult.<br />

I fell in love with Vancouver, created a tribe and<br />

remained there for seven years.<br />

As a young girl with my grandmother<br />

From Vancouver to Cologne<br />

While living in Vancouver I met my now husband.<br />

He was doing an internship at the same law firm.<br />

Chances would have it that we met during his last<br />

week on the job. We continued to date long<br />

distance, which, take it from me, is not easy. After<br />

about a year, we decided that it might make more<br />

sense for us to be under one roof and see what<br />


was learning about content creation, content<br />

moderation, the power of algorithms, ads, and<br />

managing analytics, metrics and growing traffic. I<br />

was able to successfully use a lot of my learning in<br />

my own business.<br />

The arrival of COVID-19!<br />

When COVID-19 hit, I was forced to close down my<br />

catering business – there simply were no more<br />

events. This is when I knew I had to take it to the<br />

next level. I took a step back and I pivoted towards<br />

the tech skills I had spent so long developing in my<br />

previous roles.<br />

Kayaking in Haida Gwaii, B.C., Canada<br />

happens. After living together in Canada, we knew<br />

this was more than a one-time fling, so we were<br />

faced with the decision of whether to stay or go<br />

to Germany.<br />

We decided to give Germany a try and, fast<br />

forward to almost eight years later, here we are,<br />

living in Cologne, a city that’s grown to be my third<br />

home. At the beginning, Cologne made me use a<br />

lot of my resilient powers I developed early on in<br />

my childhood. I was in a new environment, with<br />

(very) limited language skills and nobody I knew.<br />

But my experience of moving around helped a lot<br />

– I knew things would improve, and I had the tools<br />

to shape that development. I took German classes<br />

and joined associations, and soon the language<br />

was no longer a barrier. I even went back to school<br />

at the University of Cologne and got an MA<br />

degree! New acquaintances started to transform<br />

into strong connections and partnerships.<br />

Blogging and cookery<br />

When I moved to Germany, I started a blog, so I<br />

could talk about traveling around Europe, my<br />

experience as an expat and the food culture here<br />

in Germany. I self-taught myself the ins and outs<br />

of creating a website from scratch, making sure<br />

my posts were search engine optimized, and all<br />

about Google Analytics. I loved the technical side<br />

of creating posts as well as the aesthetic side.<br />

The desire to create content and graphics, design<br />

PR kits, and manage social media platforms<br />

blossomed naturally from there. Now, I work with<br />

companies and brands all over the world to help<br />

them with branding and managing their social<br />

media accounts, while providing effective and<br />

unique marketing strategies. I love my work!<br />

Common misconceptions I face<br />

I meet a lot of people who believe that social<br />

media is just uploading selfies as you go along. In<br />

a business context this couldn’t be further from<br />

the truth. I often explain all the work that goes into<br />

creating a post with an impact and a message. The<br />

process can be described as more like an art form.<br />

There are two components: word art and the<br />

image art. There is also the technical component<br />

such as key words, hashtags, tags etc. You want<br />

the post to be discoverable and discovered by as<br />

many people in your target audience as you can,<br />

so you have to think about what words will<br />

resonate with them. I think it’s important to<br />

distinguish between a personal account, which can<br />

of course showcase a selfie with you and your dog,<br />

and a professional account, which purposefully<br />

I have always had a passion for cooking, so I<br />

started up a catering and events business in<br />

Cologne. Again extremely hands on, I learned<br />

about marketing and creating presences on<br />

different social media platforms. At the same time,<br />

I was also freelancing for a major social media<br />

platform doing content review, and for a<br />

marketing company as a social media manager.<br />

These two positions taught me the ins and outs of<br />

social media. From one side, I was working with<br />

brands and companies, which gave me an insider<br />

perspective on different strategies and marketing<br />

niches. I basically started to understand what<br />

companies are looking for. From the other side, I<br />

Relaxing on the balcony<br />


The main purpose of much of the content that is<br />

posted on her blog is to reveal something new<br />

that you might not yet know. I like the<br />

controversial aspects as well – she doesn’t shy<br />

away from big taboo topics, she approaches them<br />

head on. For me, this is where the sweet spot lies -<br />

creating current content, trendsetting and<br />

challenging concepts. Bonus would be if she gives<br />

her employees free products :)<br />

2. To whom would you dedicate your memoirs and<br />

why? I would dedicate them to my grandmother.<br />

She embodies many of the qualities I look up to.<br />

She is incredibly up to date with the latest<br />

technology, sending me text messages and writing<br />

emails at age 84. She has been the driving force<br />

behind a lot of my endeavors.<br />

My daily work setup<br />

chooses to connect with its audience on a much<br />

deeper level.<br />

The future for social media<br />

I reckon social media will continue to grow. We<br />

saw the importance of social media once the<br />

pandemic hit. Now, a lot more companies are<br />

understanding the significance of it. When it<br />

comes to social media, things are constantly<br />

changing. In terms of marketing strategies that<br />

companies will be using, you can expect to see<br />

more inclusive strategies, with a strong focus on<br />

giving back to their communities. Right now,<br />

brands are focused on coming up with<br />

environmentally friendly solutions to elevate their<br />

products and make them stand out from others.<br />

Teams are changing and have a worldwide reach,<br />

now more than ever before. Now that a lot of<br />

people work from home anyway, teams and<br />

business relationships are becoming even more<br />

global. For example, one of my clients is a Dutch<br />

journalist based in Africa, and on that project I<br />

work with another content creator based in<br />

North Macedonia.<br />

When I look back at my life, she has constantly<br />

been rooting for me, encouraging my creative<br />

initiatives and pushing me to reach my full<br />

potential. She is also the one that taught me<br />

creative writing – we often wrote poems together<br />

side-by-side. Moments I will never forget…<br />

3. If your life or career had not been in technology,<br />

what would you have pursued? I love this question. I<br />

don’t believe that everyone is destined to have<br />

one career their whole life. I believe that you can<br />

have more than one. When I am not sitting in<br />

front of my computer, you can find me in the<br />

Namibian bush being involved in wildlife<br />

conservation projects – I spent a few months<br />

there researching for my master thesis.<br />

I love the excitement and challenge of working<br />

with clients from all over the world. I equally love<br />

being in the field with temperatures roaring in the<br />

high 40s talking to locals about human-wildlife<br />

conflict in their area. I mean, how can I choose<br />

between these two passions? Good thing I don’t<br />

have to.<br />

My work is 100% remote and I correspond with<br />

people from all over the world on a wide range of<br />

projects. Basically, without this mix of cultures I<br />

would be out of a job right now. It’s a necessary<br />

piece of many businesses.<br />

Quick-fire questions for Adelina<br />

1. If you could work with one famous person, past or<br />

present, who would it be and why? I would love to<br />

work with Gwyneth Paltrow at Goop. I love her<br />

approach and what her brand stands for. The<br />

experimental component of her brand has<br />

revolutionized a lot of different marketing<br />

approaches and content creation.<br />

Preparing for a Zoom call!<br />



<strong>Women</strong> in Technology<br />

FAUSA Member Denise Woods looks at some of the women who<br />

made significant contributions in the field of computer technology.<br />

I worked in the field of computer technology for<br />

30 years as a head of software development in<br />

industry and then as a professor. When I first<br />

started studying computer programming in the<br />

1970s, I was one of the few females in any of my<br />

classes. As I researched the history of computers<br />

in my early courses, I realized how many women<br />

there were. Here are the female pioneers who<br />

helped make computers as ubiquitous as they<br />

are today.<br />

ENIAC Programmers<br />

The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and<br />

Calculator) was the first electronic computer used<br />

for general purposes, such as solving numerical<br />

problems. It was developed in 1946 by two men in<br />

research sponsored by the US military. The<br />

programmers of the ENIAC were six female<br />

mathematicians. The technology that resulted<br />

from the work of these six women included the<br />

development of computer memory and storage.<br />

Ada Lovelace<br />

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was considered to be<br />

the first computer programmer. In fact, one of the<br />

earliest programming languages, Ada, was named<br />

after her. She was one of the few people who<br />

recognized the possible uses for computers early<br />

on. The second Tuesday in October is Ada<br />

Lovelace Day, during which the contributions of<br />

women to science, technology, engineering and<br />

mathematics are honored.<br />

Adele Goldberg<br />

Had it not been for pioneer Adele Goldberg (born<br />

1945), the Apple desktop would not look like it<br />

does. She was the only woman, together with a<br />

group of men, who developed the infrastructure<br />

and design of GUI (Graphical User Interface) that<br />

we use on computers today. She was told to show<br />

this new technology to Steve Jobs, who said after<br />

he viewed it he believed that GUI represented the<br />

future of computing.<br />

Karen Spärck Jones<br />

The search engines that we utilize daily today<br />

would not have become a reality without the<br />

discovery of the concept of inverse document<br />

frequency by Karen Spärck Jones (1935-2007). She<br />

introduced the use of wordlists into language<br />

processing, allowing a computer to recognize<br />

similar words. This technology is used to assess<br />

the importance of words contained in documents<br />

when searching for information.<br />


computer science and had always advocated for<br />

women in the computer field.<br />

Mary Allen Wilkes<br />

Mary Wilkes (born 1937) was a computer<br />

programmer who worked in the Massachusetts<br />

Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory. She<br />

is most well known for working on the LINC<br />

computer, which is now recognized as the world’s<br />

first personal computer. She was considered to be<br />

the first person who had used a personal<br />

computer in a home.<br />

Grace Hopper<br />

Grace Hopper (1906-1992), a rear admiral in the<br />

US Navy, was known as “the mother of<br />

computing.” She helped develop a program that<br />

converted instructions into a machine code (i.e.,<br />

low-level code) that could be read and executed<br />

by a computer. This led to a computer language<br />

known as COBOL (Common Business Oriented<br />

Language) that still runs many of the world's<br />

largest data systems today, 60 years later.<br />

Sister Mary Keller<br />

Sister Mary Keller (1913-1985) was a Roman<br />

Catholic nun who helped develop the BASIC<br />

(Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code)<br />

programming language. She believed strongly<br />

that computers had the potential to increase<br />

access to information and to promote education.<br />

She was the first woman to receive a PhD in<br />

Pioneers of Today<br />

The women highlighted above are pioneers in the<br />

field of computer technology who helped to make<br />

all of the technologies that we rely on today<br />

possible. Think what the world would be like<br />

without computer programming languages,<br />

search engines, graphical user interfaces (GUIs)<br />

and personal computers. In addition to the<br />

pioneers, I want to feature one of my former<br />

colleagues at Purdue University who continues to<br />

influence young women in the computer field, as<br />

a pioneer of today.<br />

Alka Harriger<br />

I had the pleasure of working with Professor Alka<br />

Harriger when I was a professor at Purdue, and<br />

she was always inspiring to me. Professor<br />

Harriger has been teaching software development<br />

courses in the Purdue University Department of<br />

Computer and Information Technology (CIT) since<br />

1982. Early in her career, when she saw only one<br />

woman in the freshman orientation for CIT, she<br />

applied for and received a $1.2M grant for the<br />

SPIRIT (Surprising Possibilities Imagined and<br />


allows women to build solutions to enhance lives<br />

in areas that they are the most passionate about.<br />

Their perspectives on teams will allow companies<br />

to produce better solutions for a larger segment<br />

of the population. When/if their passions change,<br />

computing skills will allow them to move to a<br />

different career path/domain area.”<br />

Denise Woods is an active member of FAUSA who grew<br />

up in Hobart, Indiana. During her career in industry,<br />

she traveled to Europe extensively overseeing the<br />

installation of computer systems. Denise then moved<br />

on to academia where she became a tenured<br />

professor at Purdue University. She has written<br />

hundreds of research papers and dozens of books on<br />

computer technology and has spoken at conferences<br />

around the world. Although Denise now enjoys<br />

retirement, she is currently enrolled as an online<br />

student at Purdue studying health and wellness.<br />

Realized through Information Technology) project,<br />

which allowed the faculty to administer summer<br />

workshops for high school teachers, counselors<br />

and students. The goal was to change<br />

misperceptions about who does computing and<br />

show them that computing can be fun, important<br />

and rewarding. The teachers were expected to<br />

incorporate lessons using Alice, a computing tool<br />

that can be used to create interactive stories and<br />

games. The counselors had more accurate<br />

information to better advise their students. The<br />

students saw first hand that computing could<br />

offer them an excellent career option. Alka’s latest<br />

project TECHFIT (Teaching Engineering Concepts<br />

to Harness Future Innovators) is the recipient of a<br />

$1.2M NSF (National Science Foundation) grant.<br />

It targets middle schoolers instead of high<br />

schoolers because one of the things she learned<br />

during the SPIRIT project was that changing<br />

misperceptions needs to start earlier. The goal is<br />

to address obesity and physical inactivity by<br />

combining technology and exercise, allowing<br />

student teams to create their own exergames (i.e.,<br />

technology-supported fitness games.) A second<br />

grant that built on TECHFIT was funded at $2.5M<br />

and allowed them to transform TECHFIT from an<br />

afterschool program to include an in-school class<br />

instead. I asked Alka what she would say to young<br />

women considering careers in computer<br />

technology. She said, “Computing or information<br />

technology is a great career option for women<br />

because it applies to all aspects of life, and that<br />


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will send you a Rodan+ Fields skincare recommendation. With Rodan + Fields<br />

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If you live in the USA, click here to find your recommendation: The R+F Solution Tool<br />

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For each skincare rec,<br />

Lauren will donate $5 to<br />

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If not, send the empty<br />

containers back to R + F<br />

and receive a full refund!<br />



Developing<br />

“Curious Mind<br />

TV”<br />

Irem Sunar, member of the AWO<br />

Moscow, gives us the details<br />

about her latest project to keep<br />

kids engaged in learning during<br />

the pandemic.<br />

I grew up by the seaside in Izmir, a historic<br />

Aegean city in Turkey. Spending most of my<br />

childhood crossing the oceans on ships where my<br />

dad worked helped me connect with different<br />

cultures and see the world from a different<br />

perspective. Even at a younger age, I was<br />

concerned about environmental issues and social<br />

inequalities. So when I grew up, I decided to work<br />

for social change, and that’s what I did at the UN<br />

and other international organizations for more<br />

than 15 years.<br />

I moved to Moscow, Russia when my husband got<br />

a job offer five years ago and have been living<br />

Irem Sunar-Ozat<br />

here since then. Moving to Moscow was more<br />

than a change of address for us; as many fellow<br />

expat women would agree, it always is. I knew<br />

that was the end of my hard-earned career, and I<br />

quickly realized that I had to gain a different skill<br />

set if I wanted to keep on working and making use<br />

of the “free time” I had, which was also quite a<br />

new concept for me.<br />

Redesigning my life<br />

After whining and complaining for a few months, I<br />

decided to embrace this change and opened my<br />

mind to different possibilities. I had degrees in<br />

Psychology and Political Science. I had no<br />

education in any tech-related subject. On the<br />

other hand, digital media was becoming a bigger<br />

part of my work life each year, and I was drawn<br />

into the idea of learning everything online.<br />

My first inspiration came from the hobby that I<br />

learned a decade ago. Actually, it was not about<br />

the hobby itself, but about how I learned that new<br />

hobby. I was on my maternity leave; I decided to<br />

learn sewing, but I couldn’t leave my baby alone.<br />

Our family in 2005<br />

So I started following sewing and craft blogs<br />

online. It was quite a new thing back in the day,<br />

unlike the COVID-19 period today, where you can<br />

find an online course or a webinar about<br />

anything! This experience had not only given me<br />

some awesome sewing skills (yay!) but also<br />

opened my mind to the possibility of gaining<br />

completely different skills online. Then everything<br />

else became easier. When I needed to learn<br />

something new, I just looked for the right online<br />

resource and learned it by doing.<br />

With my family in Riga, Latvia<br />

In addition to my new hobby, I was becoming<br />

more interested in the design part of digital<br />


How you present things is almost as<br />

important as the content<br />

When I open a new website, the first thing I notice<br />

is how the information is presented, instead of the<br />

information itself. Shallow, yes. But the way you<br />

present something is also an important part of the<br />

message you want to give. My academic<br />

background in psychology helped me understand<br />

how people perceive and learn new things, so I<br />

tried improving my professional skills in<br />

presenting information in the best way possible.<br />

So now, I not only create unique content but also<br />

present it with engaging designs. Hence, the<br />

opening line of my personal website is “Let’s make<br />

your information look pretty!” (iremsunar.com)<br />

With my son Derin, planting trees as part of a campaign<br />

media, as I had been working on the content part<br />

for many years. Awareness-raising activities were<br />

an important aspect of my projects, and I was<br />

always looking for ways to improve methods of<br />

presenting the information to our target audience.<br />

It started with the need to design websites in a<br />

more user-friendly way. Social media was also<br />

raising the bar for better information presentation<br />

every day. That’s when I started practicing basic<br />

graphic design skills and website development.<br />

When we moved to Moscow, I had at least some<br />

idea about what I could do next if I wanted to keep<br />

my professional life active. I became a member of<br />

the American <strong>Women</strong>’s Organization soon after we<br />

moved here and began working as the<br />

publications editor. It was a great experience to<br />

prepare all those newsletters, printed materials,<br />

and the new logo for the Club. If you’re interested<br />

in seeing what we’ve been up to, take a peek at<br />

our magazine stand here:<br />

https://issuu.com/awomoscow.<br />

Back to working for social change: Curious<br />

Mind TV<br />

In mid-2020, when almost all the schools around<br />

the world had to shut down, I decided to use all<br />

my skills and experience to help children keep<br />

engaged in learning as much as possilbe. So I<br />

designed a new website, and then a YouTube<br />

channel targeting elementary school children<br />

called Curious Mind TV. Launching <strong>February</strong> 1,<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, it is totally free and only aims to encourage<br />

children to love learning and researching. I’ve<br />

been super busy preparing high-quality and fun<br />

educational videos for kids for the past few<br />

months. I also started learning how to make<br />

animated videos too. I love it! This project is very<br />

near and dear to my heart, as it is a perfect<br />

combination of my newly gained tech skills and my<br />

love of writing, and at the same time contributes<br />

to social development. If you want to help me out<br />

to spread the word, please subscribe to<br />

Curious Mind TV.<br />

I’d love to get your feedback and comments!<br />

Finishing the web design for a recent project : tired eyes, but proud of my work!<br />


I can work anywhere: working on my blog in Red Square, Moscow<br />

Technology makes change much easier, for<br />

better or for worse<br />

I’m from a generation who grew up without the<br />

advantage of the internet, but I did my best to<br />

make use of all the good things it has brought to<br />

our lives. This puts me and my generation in quite<br />

a unique position in human history, I guess. :)<br />

When I develop educational content for children, I<br />

try to keep both the traditional ways of learning<br />

and playing as well as the new online approaches<br />

in balance. I “learned” to become tech-savvy at a<br />

relatively older age, but the new generation is<br />

born right into technology. It changes the way<br />

they look at the world completely. I wish I had had<br />

that flexible approach when I was younger. If I<br />

could change anything from my past, it would be<br />

to give myself more credit and encourage myself<br />

to diving into uncharted waters more freely,<br />

because technology makes change much easier, if<br />

you’re up for it.<br />

A photo shoot for a crafts magazine<br />



What is Data Privacy?<br />

Fintan Viebahn received the Caroline Newton Humanities Award<br />

from the FAWCO Foundation in 2018. She used the award to fund a<br />

study trip to Moscow in which she learned more about data<br />

practices. Here she explains the importance of data privacy for us all.<br />

What Is Data Privacy?<br />

Data privacy can be understood as the desired<br />

absence of tracking of an individual’s activities in<br />

the form of data. It can also be understood as the<br />

degree of control that individuals have over the<br />

extent and form of tracking.<br />

Why Is Data Privacy Important?<br />

Data privacy is often considered a fundamental<br />

right. The idea behind this is that individuals<br />

should be empowered to control all of the data<br />

about themselves.<br />

From an economic perspective, privacy is a<br />

feature of products exchanged on markets. ¹<br />

Some people might be willing to pay more for<br />

more privacy. For example, there are fee-based<br />

email services and search engines whose selling<br />

points are that they offer relatively high security<br />

standards or anonymity. Others might not be<br />

willing to pay. Or they might even prefer<br />

personalized advertising, for example on<br />

Facebook or Google, or other personalized<br />

settings, such as curated newsfeeds, Netflix<br />

recommendations or Spotify playlists.<br />

Five sisters playing a game involving data<br />

Put more simply, data privacy is the control of<br />

individuals over how their personal information is<br />

collected and used. Examples include how easy it<br />

is for an individual to find out which data<br />

Instagram has about her, to store her medical<br />

records digitally, to donate her personal data to<br />

research, to search anonymously on the web, to<br />

research government spending online or to delete<br />

her data from Amazon’s servers.<br />

Data privacy is also known as information privacy<br />

or data protection.<br />

Data in the making<br />

¹Acquisti, A., C. Taylor and L. Wagman (2016), “The Economics of Privacy”, Journal of Economic Literature 54 (2), 442–492.<br />


What Problems Currently Exist in Regard<br />

to Data Privacy?<br />

One issue is that information about oneself can<br />

be indirectly disclosed through others’ data.²<br />

Correlation in datasets means that, for example,<br />

data about the everyday life of young women as<br />

captured by their internet activity is likely to<br />

provide information about a young woman who<br />

may not wish to share her data.<br />

Another concern are privacy policies. Nearly all<br />

devices and activities generate data with a<br />

personal dimension. Consumers cannot<br />

reasonably be expected to engage with the<br />

privacy policies and terms of use that govern that<br />

data. Reading the privacy policies one<br />

encounters in a year would take 76 work days –<br />

and that was in 2012. ³<br />

Why Is Privacy Not the Only Important<br />

Aspect in Regard to Data?<br />

Sharing data potentially has many benefits for<br />

individuals. Sharing data with researchers can<br />

improve the quality of studies, thereby increasing<br />

the value of research for individuals.<br />

Regarding energy, for example, researchers<br />

could analyze data on energy use in homes by<br />

type of device, time of day and year and other<br />

Exploring “Meitu” filters popular in China<br />

factors that affect energy consumption, such as<br />

weather conditions. This information would allow<br />

an assessment of how energy consumption could<br />

be shifted to better match energy production.<br />

For example, heating in winter, when a person is<br />

at home, is unlikely to be flexible, but running a<br />

washing machine or dishwasher may well be.<br />

Energy production and costs could be reduced.<br />

Data on health can help us identify problems<br />

(e.g., early detection of strokes ⁴, detection of<br />

influenza outbreaks through search queries ⁵)<br />

and new solutions (e.g., personalized cancer<br />

drugs ⁶, models to calculate healing processes ⁷).<br />

Greater amounts of data on the use of public<br />

spaces and political process ⁸ would amount to<br />

more transparency and accountability.<br />

From a business point of view, sharing data can<br />

open up new and better products and services.<br />

Contemplating all the data being processed in this<br />

photograph of the Chicago Board of Trade<br />

² Mantelero, A., “Personal Data For Decisional Purposes in the Age of Analytics: From an Individual to a Collective Dimension of Data Protection”,<br />

Computer Law & Security Review, 32(2), 2016, 238-255; Bergemann, D., Alessandro B., and T. Gan, “The Economics of Social Data”,<br />

Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 2203, 25 September 2019; Choi, J. P., D. S. Jeon, and B. C. Kim, “Privacy and Personal Data Collection<br />

With Information Externalities”, Journal of Public Economics, 173, 2019, 113-124.<br />

³ Madrigal, A. C. (2012), “Reading the privacy policies you encounter in a year would take 76 work days”, The Atlantic, 1 March. Available<br />

at: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/reading-the-privacy-policies-you-encounter-in-a-year-would-take-76-workdays/253851/<br />

(accessed 22 April 2016).<br />

⁴ https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/machine-learning-app-scans-faces-and-listens-speech-quickly-spot-strokes<br />

⁵ Ginsberg, J., Mohebbi, M., Patel, R. et al. (2009), “Detecting influenza epidemics using search engine query data”, Nature 457, 1012–1014.<br />

⁶ https://healthitanalytics.com/news/deep-learning-model-could-enhance-cancer-precision-medicine<br />

⁷ https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2733183<br />

⁸ https://kleineanfragen.de/<br />


How Did My 2018 Education Award Enable<br />

Me to Learn About Data Privacy?<br />

My 2018 Education Award enabled me to study<br />

abroad at the Higher School of Economics in<br />

Moscow, Russia, for one semester. I was able to<br />

take classes on statistics, econometrics and<br />

philosophy of data. Through this time abroad, I<br />

was able to acquire a solid understanding of this<br />

field. I was even able to take part in a research trip<br />

to Hong Kong and China to study data practices<br />

there. I am very grateful to the FAWCO<br />

Foundation and every one of the wonderful<br />

women who provided me with this once in a<br />

lifetime learning opportunity.<br />

Fintan Viebahn is a research assistant with Stiftung<br />

Neue Verantwortung and the economics department<br />

of Humboldt University Berlin. She supports the<br />

think tank’s work on data economics and the<br />

university’s work on behavioral economics. In 2018,<br />

she was honored to receive the Caroline Newton<br />

Humanities Award from the FAWCO Foundation.<br />

Prior to her current positions, Fintan held<br />

internships in strategy consulting and at the District<br />

Court of Berlin. She holds a fellowship with the<br />

German Academic Scholarship Foundation. In her<br />

free time, she is an avid debater and loves playing<br />

piano with others.<br />

Fintan studied for a B.A. in economics and<br />

philosophy at Humboldt University and an LL.B. at<br />

Potsdam University. She spent semesters at<br />

Columbia University and the Higher School of<br />

Economics in Moscow.<br />



Keeping FAWCO<br />

Tech Savvy<br />

Cat Conner, member of the AWC<br />

Hamburg, Germany and FAWCO’s<br />

Web Manager, reveals how she<br />

got involved in internet<br />

technology consultancy.<br />

I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas.<br />

Although overall it was a lovely place to spend a<br />

childhood, I grew up in a relatively conservative<br />

society where I didn’t always feel I belonged. Girls<br />

in that time and place were generally discouraged<br />

from being too academic. Even though my family<br />

valued education, and sent me to a very<br />

academically-oriented school, I was unhappy that<br />

many girls there had already internalized the idea<br />

that they just weren’t “suited” to math or science.<br />

I’ve always had an interest in technology. When I<br />

was six or seven, I used to take apart the<br />

telephones in our house to see how they worked.<br />

Luckily for me my father loved gadgets and new<br />

technologies so our house always had new tech<br />

toys for me to play with. I first learned to program<br />

BASIC on a TRS-80 computer, and enjoyed<br />

tinkering with Commodore 64 and Apple IIs to see<br />

what I could make them do.<br />

Our family in 2005<br />

Cat Conner<br />

Leaving Texas<br />

I left Texas to go to Princeton University in New<br />

Jersey, USA. My plan was that after I took my<br />

bachelor’s degree (in History, with a specialty in<br />

Medieval/Renaissance European history) I would<br />

continue on the academic track through a<br />

doctorate and a career as university faculty.<br />

But when graduation came, I wanted some<br />

professional experience before focusing on that<br />

career, and worked variously in public relations,<br />

human resources, and project management for<br />

government-funded research projects. All of<br />

those jobs required using my computer skills<br />

which I had acquired using my first Unix computer<br />

network while at university.<br />

Once I entered the professional world, my interest<br />

in learning everything I could about all the<br />

technology systems around me meant that I often<br />

became the go-to staff member responsible for<br />

tech support and system maintenance, regardless<br />

of what my official tasks were. Eventually that<br />

turned into a (unexpected!) career as by the time I<br />

was working with the research projects, I was<br />

building databases and websites to analyze and<br />

disseminate data.<br />

From there I made a lateral move to being a fulltime<br />

consultant, working for software consulting<br />

companies, and later went independent as a<br />

freelance internet technology consultant.<br />

Me a few years ago!<br />

Getting to Hamburg<br />

During my time working as a consultant for<br />

software companies, I travelled full-time. I<br />

enjoyed that immensely, and volunteered for<br />

every international project I could – including one<br />

in London. While there, I met a German man who<br />


Learning about computers<br />

I am mostly self-educated. I studied quite a lot of<br />

science in school (my first professional ambition<br />

was to become a chemist!), and I have done quite<br />

a lot of technical training and professional<br />

development over the years, but my university<br />

degree is in History. Lucky for me that in the<br />

computer world, especially twenty-five years ago,<br />

having a formal computer science degree isn’t<br />

always as important as having real-world<br />

implementation experience. But I do think my<br />

biggest obstacle has been proving my expertise<br />

and value despite my lack of formal technical<br />

degrees – especially to myself.<br />

Making punch cards<br />

was also working in my company’s London tech<br />

support office. We had a loooooong distance<br />

relationship (BostonLondon) for a year before<br />

we decided we wanted to be together on at least<br />

the same continent. My tech qualifications made it<br />

very much easier for me to get a work permit in<br />

Germany than his did to get one in the USA, so we<br />

decided on living together in Europe. I took a<br />

consultant position with a German tech firm and<br />

moved to Hamburg. Eighteen years later, my<br />

husband and I are still living together here in<br />

Hamburg where I am now working from home<br />

as a freelancer.<br />

Being a woman in the Tech world<br />

It’s been challenging being a woman in the<br />

computer tech world which does have a bit of a<br />

“bro” culture. I can remember in my early days of<br />

consulting often being the only woman in project<br />

meetings full of male developers and managers. In<br />

one instance, a planned “team-building” exercise<br />

concluded with a visit to a (heterosexual-maleoriented)<br />

strip club. They were very surprised<br />

when I opted to attend; I was not going to miss the<br />

professional networking opportunity, and I was<br />

pleased to make them all uncomfortable with their<br />

exclusionary choices. This situation is continually<br />

improving and is much better now than 25 years<br />

ago, but there’s still a ways to go.<br />

Driving practice!<br />


information they need to make good decisions for<br />

themselves, either personally or professionally.<br />

And vice versa, to communicate business<br />

concerns back to technical staff, so they can<br />

implement solutions that actually solve problems<br />

the users have. I have often found myself in<br />

meetings “translating” between technical staff and<br />

business staff – even though we’re all actually<br />

speaking English!<br />

Quick-fire questions for Cat<br />

1. If you could change one thing about your past,<br />

what would it be? If I’d known earlier where my life<br />

would take me, I would have started learning<br />

German much earlier :-D<br />

On vacation at Falling Water<br />

Looking at web pages<br />

When a lay person first visits a website they see<br />

words and pictures on a screen, but I just see the<br />

things I see as mistakes, especially from a usability<br />

standpoint. These are mainly in three categories:<br />

1. Functionality -- maybe a menu whose usage<br />

isn’t intuitive or a section where color contrast<br />

makes something hard to read.<br />

2. Design -- objects that aren’t 100% aligned, off<br />

by a few pixels, or not arranged well for the<br />

current screen size I’m using.<br />

3. Structure -- if I can’t immediately find content<br />

or a feature that I’m looking for, or if a process to<br />

achieve something isn’t logical.<br />

Misconceptions about web design<br />

Probably the biggest misconception about the<br />

internet is that it is one big well-ordered,<br />

quantifiable, coherent system, when in fact it’s just<br />

a ginormous number of machines around the<br />

world talking to and through each other using<br />

mutually-agreed-upon standards.<br />

It’s a wonderfully complex and chaotic system that<br />

only works because hardware and software<br />

makers have voluntarily agreed to follow those<br />

standards (some more than others, I’m looking at<br />

you Internet Explorer!). The more I learn about<br />

how the internet REALLY works under the covers,<br />

the more surprised I am that it can do everything<br />

it does!<br />

2. What things about your career in technology do<br />

you apply to your daily life? Almost everything,<br />

really. There aren’t many aspects of modern life<br />

that aren’t touched by the need to use technology.<br />

Basic knowledge about how email works, how<br />

smartphones work, how computers work, and<br />

how internet connections work are things most of<br />

us need every day. Some of these things can be<br />

quite complicated; I’m very sympathetic to nontech<br />

people who might struggle with this. Because<br />

tech is everywhere, but it’s not always easy!<br />

3. To whom would you dedicate your memoirs and<br />

why? To my mother, father, and sister. They have<br />

had the longest-standing impact on determining<br />

what kind of woman I have become.<br />

4. If your life or career had not been in technology,<br />

what would you have pursued? Being a history<br />

professor is my one big “what-if” path. I’m happy<br />

with the patchwork career I’ve had, and think it<br />

has given me a wider variety of skills than I might<br />

have developed as an academic. But sometimes<br />

it’s nice to fantasize….<br />

The future for the industry<br />

I work with people all over the world, from many<br />

different cultures, but one skill I’ve found to be<br />

incredibly important no matter what cultures are<br />

involved: the ability to present complex tech<br />

concepts for less technically-knowledgeable<br />

people in a way that provides them the<br />

At a FAWCO Conference with my husband<br />



FAWCO and Tech in Times of COVID-19<br />

Emily van Eerten, President of FAWCO, explains how the organization<br />

had to adapt its online presence to cope with the pandemic.<br />

One week before the 2020 Interim Meeting in<br />

Luxembourg, the FAWCO Board took the<br />

excruciating and difficult decision to cancel the<br />

gathering because of the increasing health<br />

concerns and travel advisories as a result of the<br />

COVID-19 virus. Without the ability to gather in<br />

person, we had to get creative. FAWCO and the<br />

board were already in the process of learning and<br />

using G Suite Applications. This Google<br />

environment was working extremely well<br />

together. All of our volunteers with @fawco.org<br />

email addresses had access to Google Drive,<br />

Calendar, Docs, Numbers, Slides, Forms -- and<br />

Google Meet (among others) and all of these apps<br />

allow collaborative work and excellent interaction<br />

with each other. At that moment, however, it only<br />

allowed meetings for up to 25 people. We needed<br />

a way to host online virtual sessions for<br />

considerably more.<br />

Using Zoom<br />

We signed up for our first FAWCO Zoom<br />

account. At that moment, Zoom wasn’t considered<br />

a very secure platform. We learned how to set up<br />

meetings using particular protocols that ensured<br />

that random streakers could not disrupt our<br />

online meetings and we started scheduling Zoom<br />

sessions to replace the in-person sessions we had<br />

prepared for Luxembourg. Onboarding for this<br />

platform presented a few challenges, but we<br />

mostly managed to work through them. We all<br />

learned how to navigate and get beyond the initial<br />

audio and video challenges, even as “we can’t hear<br />

you, you’re on mute,” became a common Zoom<br />

lament. We learned to share screens for<br />

presentations, and then moved on to how to<br />

share screens with sound. We all progressed and<br />

regressed with our home lighting and Zoom<br />

blouses. Most of us<br />

took care to wear<br />

makeup and a nice<br />

Zoom top, but then we<br />

learned that we didn’t<br />

HAVE to have the video<br />

turned on. Sometimes we ate on camera,<br />

sometimes we forgot to turn off our mic when<br />

there were other noises in the room. But even<br />

though Zoom solved some of our sadness from<br />

not being able to gather together, it also was<br />

frustrating. We could have dozens on camera, but<br />

interaction still needed to be one person at a<br />

time, meaning that it was still a passive program<br />

for most tuning in. We thought that we could<br />

handle that, but then we had to cancel our Fall<br />

Open Regional, again not being able to travel and<br />

meet in person. We started to look for more<br />

interactive platforms we could use.<br />

Finding Hopin<br />

Initial research led us to companies that wouldn’t<br />

talk to us unless we committed to plans in the<br />

tens of thousands of dollars. These weren’t<br />

options. But we kept looking and we found Hopin,<br />

a company that was offering plans in the tens of<br />

thousands, but importantly, they were also<br />

offering relatively affordable DIY plans. We could<br />

have access to the same Stages, Sessions,<br />

Networking and Expo Booths on their expensive<br />

plans, but we’d have to do it without access to<br />

special branding or support. And we accepted.<br />

A FAWO first, a virtual Regional Meeting<br />

When we cancelled the in-person meeting in<br />

November 2020, we were able to announce that<br />

we would host a Virtual Open Regional instead on<br />

the same weekend. We scheduled our speakers<br />

for time slots on the Main Stage or in Sessions<br />

and FAWCO volunteers went to work, learning<br />

how they could each set up a virtual Expo Booth<br />

using a Google Slide Presentation or YouTube<br />

videos as on-demand content. The Hopin platform<br />

was evolving with new features even as we were<br />


e planning virtual workshops and speakers<br />

throughout the year highlighting the work of our<br />

teams. But our Biennial Conference March 18-21,<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, will be a Hopin event featuring the reports<br />

and news of FAWCO, our Diversity & Inclusion<br />

Task Force, our Target Program and The FAWCO<br />

Foundation. We will also be hosting sessions to<br />

bring together our clubs in regional groups to<br />

network, and an online version of our Face2Face<br />

fair with our volunteers -- all of our Teams and<br />

Committees will be hosting Expo Booths and will<br />

be live at set times to engage with our clubs. Club<br />

FAWCO Reps, Presidents and all FAWCO Members<br />

are welcome to attend to learn more about the<br />

extensive work of FAWCO! We look forward to<br />

seeing you throughout <strong>2021</strong> and can’t wait to see<br />

you again in person. We will get through this<br />

together!<br />

learning. The time for our inaugural Virtual Open<br />

Regional arrived. The onboarding process had<br />

some glitches. Hopin was designed to work on the<br />

Chrome browser and several people had internet<br />

bandwidth issues. But the response from those<br />

for whom everything worked were extremely<br />

enthusiastic. We ended up reaching far more<br />

people than would have been able to travel to<br />

Luxembourg to join us in person.<br />

What next?<br />

This involuntary experiment into virtual<br />

conferencing has shown us that even once a<br />

vaccine has been administered and the world is<br />

safe to travel again, FAWCO will continue to<br />

embrace digital opportunities.<br />

Virtual conferencing is not simply replacing all of<br />

the plenary sessions and workshops. As we are<br />

still under the thumb of COVID-19 in <strong>2021</strong>, we will<br />

Conference booths from FAWCO’s first online meeting<br />

A native Oklahoman, Emily van Eerten's marriage<br />

to a Dutchman has taken her from Curaçao to<br />

England, Canada and The Netherlands. She has<br />

been a member of four FAWCO clubs, a veteran of<br />

16 FAWCO conferences and has served the<br />

organization since 2000 in many capacities,<br />

including President, Vice President,<br />

Parliamentarian, Chair of Archives, Membership,<br />

Nominating, R&Rs, Website and as Counselors'<br />

Coordinator. A National Merit Scholar, she got<br />

her bachelor's degree from Rice University and<br />

law degree from the University of Tulsa, where<br />

she practiced as a civil defense/insurance<br />

litigation attorney. Emily has four children, one<br />

in Germany, one in France and two starting<br />

university in <strong>2021</strong>.<br />



Creating<br />

Websites<br />

Debbie Hastings, member of<br />

FAUSA and formerly of the<br />

Chilterns AWC in England,<br />

explains how she came to be a<br />

self-taught expert in creating<br />

websites.<br />

I was born and raised (for the most part) just<br />

outside of Portland, Maine. Most of my family still<br />

lives in that area. Our family (my parents, my<br />

sister, and myself) lived throughout New England,<br />

moving every 3-5 years depending on my dad’s<br />

job location. Maine was always the constant,<br />

though, as grandparents, cousins, aunts and<br />

uncles all lived there. That has always been, and<br />

always will be, “HOME.”<br />

One of my fondest memories was growing up<br />

around the farm. My mother’s parents owned a<br />

chicken and dairy farm and I always loved visiting!<br />

I’d help my uncle milk the cows and I’d help my<br />

grandfather gather eggs (there were thousands of<br />

chickens). To this day, I still shake the milk carton<br />

to mix the cream into the milk, even though I<br />

know it doesn’t really matter anymore.<br />

Debbie Hastings<br />

Leaving home<br />

I worked for many years as a typesetter, pre-press<br />

graphic designer, and print buyer throughout<br />

New England. While working, I completed school<br />

at the New England School of Photography in<br />

Boston, after which I did part-time work as a<br />

photojournalist. I realized soon after that I loved<br />

photography more as a hobby than a job and<br />

over the years, taught myself anything “techy” I<br />

could get my hands on.<br />

A love for travel<br />

I am a huge Grateful Dead fan (aka “deadhead”)<br />

and spent a fair amount of my 20s following the<br />

band up and down the east coast. I had a lot of<br />

fun and made lifelong friends during my travels.<br />

During that time I also took a cross-country road<br />

trip – camping and visiting interesting places in<br />

Canada and the US for two months. I think that is<br />

what started my love for travel!<br />

The Hasting family begins<br />

My husband, Bill, and I met in late 1995 (we are an<br />

original “You’ve Got Mail” couple). He lived in<br />

Houston and I lived in Maine with my 2-year-old<br />

daughter. We dated long distance for two years<br />

and were married in late 1997. My items arrived<br />

in Houston in early December 1997 and within a<br />

year, we were on our way to England! We arrived<br />

in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, just after<br />

January 1, and two weeks later were told we were<br />

pregnant! And that’s how the story of “The<br />

Hastings Family” began.<br />

Still a Deadhead, 2015<br />


My first tech equipment<br />

My first piece of “technological” equipment was a<br />

Wang Word Processor. Knowing how to type got<br />

me a job learning the Wang in 1984. That job<br />

landed me a position as a typesetter using a<br />

program called “Informatics” and then a Penta and<br />

Mergenthaler. I taught myself to create programs<br />

within the platforms to do some of the tedious<br />

chores. It wasn’t uncommon for me to have<br />

multiple machines running at one time. That was<br />

just the beginning of where the “Wang” would<br />

take me!<br />

Word processing in 1983<br />

Back to Maine<br />

After almost six years in England, we were sadly<br />

sent back to Houston, where we stayed for three<br />

years. At that time, our kids were 7 and 13 and we<br />

made the decision to “retire” from Marathon Oil<br />

and move back to Maine. We’ve been in Maine<br />

ever since, only now it’s only for the best months<br />

of the year. Just a year ago we sold our home of 12<br />

years to rebuild a 100-year-old family<br />

“camp” (Maine term for house on a lake), for<br />

summers and move to Arizona to be closer to Bill’s<br />

family in the Southwest.<br />

Creating a website<br />

Although my tech background started early, my<br />

passion for coding and website development<br />

actually started with the need of a website for<br />

some of the clubs I was involved in during our<br />

expat stay in England. It just happened that the<br />

international school my children attended taught<br />

several of us how to use Dreamweaver back in<br />

2000. That got me going on building the first<br />

online auction for the FAWCO Foundation and<br />

then an entire website for my club – CAWC.<br />

So today when I visit a website, what I see is the<br />

CODE. I look to find out what platform it was built<br />

on and what theme or plugins were used, etc. I<br />

actually flip it backwards within a few minutes of<br />

seeing it.<br />

When I moved back to the States, I continued my<br />

“self-education” by volunteering for small local<br />

organizations and PTOs and eventually building a<br />

business around website development for small<br />

businesses. Many people think that it’s<br />

complicated or expensive to get a custom website<br />

that works well and looks great. It doesn’t need<br />

to be!<br />

Hastings Family Christmas 2020<br />


Quick-fire questions for Debbie<br />

1. If you could change one thing about your past,<br />

what would it be? Get more formal training at a<br />

younger age. I didn’t know what I wanted to do<br />

when I “grew up” until I was over 40. Otherwise, I<br />

would have soaked up all the education around<br />

tech and design that I would have gotten.<br />

2. What things about your career in technology do<br />

you apply to your daily life? I am the household IT<br />

person (and for many of my friends, too).<br />

3. To whom would you dedicate your memoirs and<br />

why? My husband, for all his love and support<br />

during my journey.<br />

4. If your life or career had not been in technology,<br />

what would you have pursued? I would have done<br />

something creative, but I’m not sure what. I see<br />

coding as a type of “creative outlet,” almost like<br />

solving a puzzle and then looking at what you<br />

created when it’s complete.<br />

In my home office in 2020<br />



Introducing AWC<br />

Perth, Australia<br />

Club President Karen Slavinsky, from<br />

San Diego, and FAWCO Rep Kari<br />

Young, from Houston, introduce their<br />

club to us. AWC Perth is one of four<br />

clubs in FAWCO’s Region 11.<br />

hold true 53 years later, but with one addition: to<br />

give back to the community we live in through<br />

volunteerism and donations.<br />

How many members do you have and what is<br />

their nationality? In its prime, when the mining<br />

and oil and gas industries brought many expats<br />

into Western Australia, the AWC of Perth boasted<br />

265 members. However, with the downturn in<br />

both trades, many families were repatriated back<br />

to the US. Currently, our club membership count<br />

stands at 46, but it is climbing.<br />

Karen Slavinsky<br />

Kari Young<br />

When and why was your club started, and by<br />

whom? The American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Perth was<br />

formed in 1968 by a group of women seeking<br />

fellowship with other American women. The first<br />

president and founder was Addie Munsell. The<br />

club’s purpose was to provide social opportunities<br />

for American women to come together for<br />

cultural and recreational activities, to celebrate<br />

missed US traditions and holidays, and to provide<br />

help and guidance to American women newly<br />

entering Western Australia. These objectives still<br />

We attribute this incremental growth to COVID-19.<br />

Yes, you read right. Australia’s early adoption of<br />

lockdowns and mandated sequestering elevated<br />

homesickness to the forefront for many American<br />

women living in Perth. What better way to<br />

experience a taste of home than to share a cuppa<br />

with women who talk, think and act like you?<br />

As a club, we decided to become more inclusive to<br />

help increase our numbers. So, at the beginning<br />

of 2020, we opened membership up to anyone,<br />

American or not. As a result, eight of our 46<br />

Coffee Morning at Mama Mahoney’s June 2020<br />


members are not American! In addition, we’ve<br />

been gently promoting the club on Facebook and<br />

on our new website at https://awcperth.com.au/<br />

How does the club run? The AWC of Perth is a<br />

not for profit, non-political association. Club<br />

activities fall within the guidelines outlined by our<br />

Constitution and By-Laws, which are in<br />

accordance with the Associations Incorporation<br />

Act 2015 of Western Australia. Currently, we hold<br />

monthly General Meetings (GMs), though we are<br />

seriously considering the merits of moving to<br />

quarterly GMs in <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Our Annual General Meeting in <strong>February</strong> is where<br />

we hold our board election. Trying to fill the slate<br />

for a new board has become difficult. A number of<br />

our current club members have held one or two<br />

of these positions in the past and are not<br />

interested in stepping up again. Another<br />

presumed deterrent for signing up is the time<br />

commitment that comes with the job. People are<br />

busy. Life is busy.<br />

We are also struggling to fill vacant Activity<br />

Director positions. Members are being repatriated<br />

to the States. Not to mention, some members are<br />

coordinating two activities to keep club activities<br />

running. Burnout is a real by-product of<br />

overworking the 20% of key members who<br />

participate in the club on a regular basis.<br />

Hopefully, as we gain new members, we will have<br />

a new group to recruit for open positions.<br />

What kind of events do you have in your club?<br />

We host our annual Founder’s Day luncheon in<br />

September, which draws in a few former<br />

members of years gone by in addition to the<br />

current members. A tablecloth with<br />

monogrammed names of each year’s board<br />

members is always on display, along with photo<br />

albums and memorabilia to entertain the group.<br />

This past September, we were honored to have<br />

David Gainer, the US Consul General to Perth, as<br />

our guest speaker!<br />

The club used to host a huge 4 th of July event in<br />

Kings Park when we had the member base to pull<br />

off such a HUGE feat. The celebration would draw<br />

in thousands of expats and Aussies to partake in<br />

the fun. Though we didn’t have the woman-power<br />

to celebrate in such a big way in 2020, we were<br />

able to hold a combined Independence Day event<br />

at a local American BBQ restaurant with the<br />

Facebook Group members from Americans Living<br />

in Perth. Red, white and blue dominated the<br />

scene with the scent of smoked brisket filling the<br />

air as people mingled, played games and chowed<br />

down on American food!<br />

One favored annual event that hasn’t missed a<br />

beat is our Thanksgiving Dinner, which is held on<br />

Thanksgiving evening. The turkey and fixings are<br />

catered, but the desserts are provided by the<br />

attendees. It’s a day to feast on traditional dishes<br />

while gathering with fellow Americans to give<br />

thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us!<br />

And finally, our club holds an annual Christmas<br />

Party. It has taken many forms over the years,<br />

from cookie exchanges to fancy sit-down dinners.<br />

This year the gals held an ornament exchange<br />

while celebrating over a potluck luncheon at a<br />

member’s beautiful home.<br />

In addition to these annual events, our club offers<br />

many monthly and bi-monthly activities to meet<br />

the varied interests of our membership. We have<br />

a Book Club, a Quilting Group, Coffee Mix’n<br />

Mingle, Walkers & Talkers, LaW (Lunch and Wine),<br />

Longtimers Group, Cinematics Club, Bible Study<br />

Group and our Volunteer Group. The Book Club is<br />

consistently well-attended, with a great discussion<br />

followed by lunch. The Longtimers Group was<br />

reactivated in 2020 to bring former members<br />

together for a catch-up with the ultimate goal of<br />

encouraging them to sign up again! It’s working!<br />

Do you raise money for any particular cause?<br />

The AWC has been a member of FAWCO for many<br />

years and has supported several worthy causes.<br />

Although we are a small club compared to other<br />

member club groups, in the past we<br />

enthusiastically supported the "Bra Collection," for<br />

which our FAWCO representative Kath Balfour<br />

rallied our efforts. Sadly, Kath has passed away,<br />

but she leaves a legacy of an unflagging ability to<br />

Christmas Book Club December 2020<br />


turn working for worthy causes into a way of<br />

developing friendships and promoting women's<br />

causes as well.<br />

For the past couple of years, we have been putting<br />

together Christmas Care Packages containing<br />

toiletries and other necessities wrapped in shoe<br />

boxes with a message from our club. They are<br />

then distributed to local organizations and<br />

shelters that provide services to those who are<br />

struggling. We just started participating in the<br />

Ronald McDonald House Lovin’ from the Oven<br />

Community Outreach Program. We bring in all<br />

the necessary ingredients to their facility to<br />

prepare lunch and snacks for the families who are<br />

living there and the many volunteers who help<br />

them. It is a blast! The smiles, thanks and mmm’s<br />

we receive when the food is laid out are so very<br />

heart-warming. We stumbled at our first attempt<br />

to participate in the Dress for Success Initiative<br />

due to holiday conflicts. We will attempt it again<br />

in <strong>2021</strong> with better planning! This organization<br />

collects gently used business attire that is made<br />

available to struggling women who are entering<br />

into the workforce.<br />

What was your own favorite event last year? I<br />

can’t choose just one event, but I’ve narrowed it<br />

down to three! Coffee mornings are a club<br />

favorite, and my personal favorite coffee morning<br />

last year was at an American diner called Mama<br />

Mahoney’s. 38 of our 46 members are Americans,<br />

and Tammy Mahoney caters to our sweet tooth.<br />

Cinnamon rolls, cheesecakes, cupcakes, thick<br />

American shakes, diner hamburgers, American<br />

pancakes – delectable treats just like home! Even<br />

better, over half of our membership attended.<br />

Luncheons are also quite popular in this group,<br />

and my favorite one this year was the Book Club<br />

Christmas Luncheon at Sitella Winery. Perth is so<br />

casual, so it was a nice chance to dress up and<br />

enjoy a more formal meal in a beautiful setting<br />

surrounded by good friends. Cultural events also<br />

find favor with cub members, and my personal<br />

favorite was the annual July 4 th Celebration, which<br />

we shared with the Facebook Group called<br />

Americans Living in Perth at a genuine Texas BBQ<br />

place called Frank’s here in Perth. Other members<br />

mentioned wine dinners, monthly club meetings,<br />

annual shared events like Thanksgiving,<br />

Independence Day, and the club Christmas party<br />

as their favorites for this year. It’s a great group of<br />

ladies, and to be honest, I enjoy every event that<br />

brings us all together.<br />

What else would you like us to know about<br />

your club? Our club is undergoing a bit of a<br />

reboot. We redesigned our website, created a new<br />

logo, and described our group with three words:<br />

Friendship, Fellowship, and Community. We come<br />

together to find our friends, to spend time in<br />

fellowship with each other, and to give back to our<br />

community. That’s a pretty accurate description of<br />

our group, and we hope we can increase our<br />

membership. If other FAWCO member groups<br />

have had successful membership drives, we<br />

would love to hear from them!<br />

Tell us a little about your city and country in<br />

general Perth is the capital of and largest city in<br />

Western Australia. It was named after the city of<br />

Perth, Scotland, and is Australia’s fourth most<br />

populous city, with a population of just over 2<br />

million in the metro area. The whole state is about<br />

five times the land area of Texas, with only 2.5<br />

million people in total. Perth is geographically<br />

closer to Bali, Indonesia than it is to the other<br />

major Australian cities. Very near to Perth are the<br />

Swan Valley and Margaret River, both of which are<br />

home to award-winning wine producers. One<br />

might think that Western Australia would feel a lot<br />

like any American suburb based on how it looks,<br />

but the culture and language (English, but very<br />

different language usage) are very different.<br />

People are friendly, but not super eager to get to<br />

know expats because we are “blow-ins” who will<br />

only be here a short while. The AWC is really<br />

helpful in that regard because it is probably the<br />

first opportunity most of us have to form genuine<br />

friendships despite our temporary status.<br />

July 4, 2020 at Frank’s BBQ<br />

The natural beauty of Western Australia is its best<br />

kept secret. It is a biodiversity hotspot, filled with<br />

an utterly unique array of plants and animals. The<br />

locals like to scare everyone else away from their<br />

personal paradise by keeping up the myth that<br />

everything here wants to kill you. And, while the<br />

spiders and snakes and sharks are the stuff of<br />

nightmares, and the plants legendarily toxic, the<br />

climate is similar to Southern California or the<br />

Mediterranean. As one member said, “It’s<br />

beautiful one day and perfect the next.” The<br />

sunsets are breath-taking, the food is all fresh and<br />

locally grown, and the air is clean and refreshing.<br />

If you love the outdoors, there is no better place<br />

on Earth! All of this, and it is naturally isolated –<br />

even from the other Australian states, so West<br />

Aussies don’t have to share this Garden of Eden<br />

with too many expats and/or tourists. Did I<br />


might say “Hey, Mate, grab a stubby (beer) from<br />

the esky (ice chest).” There is a distinctive<br />

Australian sense of humor that permeates the<br />

language itself – like calling children swimming in<br />

the ocean sharky biccys (shark biscuits/cookies)<br />

and calling speedos budgie smugglers (a budgie is<br />

a small bird).<br />

Perth as viewed from Kings Park<br />

mention that there has not been a single case<br />

here of community transmission of the<br />

coronavirus in 10 months?<br />

There are 97 national parks in Western Australia<br />

and so many more local and regional parks, like<br />

Kings Park in Perth, not to mention islands that<br />

are reachable by ferry, like Penguin Island (yes,<br />

there are penguins there) and Rottnest Island<br />

(best place to see quokkas in the wild, though<br />

they are quite tame). Margaret River and the Swan<br />

Valley are easily reachable by car from Perth,<br />

should you want to drink amazing locally<br />

produced wine paired with delicious locally grown<br />

meals. You can visit the rest of Australia’s<br />

marsupials at Caversham Wildlife Park in the<br />

Swan Valley, and if you love birds, you needn’t<br />

venture outside Perth to see some unique<br />

Australian birds, from magpies and ravens to<br />

kookaburras and cockatoos, honeyeaters,<br />

ringnecks, lorakeets, wattle birds and splendid<br />

fairy wrens. And, of course, the Swan River is<br />

beautiful to look at and has dolphins and black<br />

swans dotting the surface, and Western Australia<br />

has no shortage of westward facing beaches with<br />

beautiful sunsets, crystal clear blue water, and<br />

sugar white sand. All of these fabulous natural<br />

vistas are connected by a phenomenal network of<br />

hiking and biking paths that are protected from<br />

automobile traffic.<br />

Any unusual/interesting traditions or traits of<br />

the locals? One interesting thing about<br />

Australians is that they love to give people and<br />

things nicknames, which can be humorous or<br />

affectionate or both. If your name is Julie, people<br />

probably call you Juls. If your name is Barry, you<br />

are Baz. My name is Kari, so people often call me<br />

Kezza. One soccer player was called Jigsaw<br />

because he always fell to pieces inside the penalty<br />

box. You might eat smashed avo (avocado) on<br />

toast for your brekky (breakfast). Or you might<br />

work as a tradie (tradesman) – perhaps you are a<br />

sparkie (electrician) or a firey (fireman). If you’re at<br />

a barbecue in the arvo (afternoon), someone<br />

Aussies have different traditions around most<br />

holidays, too. For starters, everything is closed on<br />

holidays, and if restaurants decide to stay open<br />

on a public holiday, they add a 15% holiday<br />

surcharge to the bill. The most popular thing to do<br />

on Valentine’s Day is to pack a picnic and head to<br />

Kings Park with your partner. ANZAC Day is a very<br />

important holiday which commemorates all<br />

Australians and New Zealanders who served and/<br />

or died in any foreign war or peacekeeping<br />

operation. Finally, Aussies go to the beach on<br />

Christmas Day because it is the height of summer,<br />

and no one would want to stay home and cook a<br />

turkey in a hot kitchen. In addition, Perth<br />

celebrates itself with an entire month of social<br />

and arts activities for Perth Festival. The Fringe<br />

Festival is also a month long and has more quirky<br />

acts and comedians in the mix. A recent event<br />

that was very popular with our members was the<br />

Highway to Hell AC/DC Tribute Concert, which had<br />

bands on parade floats playing AC/DC (called Acca<br />

Dacca here in their hometown) hits as they slowly<br />

drove down a highway lined with fans. If you think<br />

of how far Perth is from the next big city, it is quite<br />

amazing to have so much public entertainment.<br />

Perth’s unofficial mascot, a quokka<br />



Get Work Done and Have Fun Virtually<br />

A step-by-step guide on how to collaborate virtually.<br />

President of the Heidelberg IWC in Germany, Christine Funke,<br />

explains how FAWCO clubs can use the Miro platform.<br />

When the coronavirus pandemic sent most office workers home to work in 2020, companies and teams<br />

turned to online programs to replicate collaborative work, like meetings and brainstorming sessions.<br />

Miro is an online whiteboard for visual collaboration, and I use it daily at my job to work remotely with<br />

my colleagues, and starting this year I’ll be using it for my club’s board meetings. In this article, I’ll walk<br />

you through setting up a successful virtual collaboration session for your club using Miro.<br />

Session Prep<br />

First you have to decide what kind of session to plan. To keep it simple, let’s consider a brainstorming<br />

session that will generate a lot of ideas that your team can put into action. Some relevant topics for<br />

FAWCO clubs include:<br />

• activities or events<br />

• creative ways to take care of your members<br />

• channels for recruiting new members<br />

• social media content<br />

• charity fundraising ideas<br />

For this how-to I’ll use the example of coming up with ways to keep members connected when we can’t<br />

meet in person.<br />

Miro Board Prep<br />

1. Create a free account at miro.com. Invite the attendees with the “Invite” button (on the dashboard in<br />

the top right corner). They are part of your team and can access all 3 of your free boards.<br />


2. Create a new board (blue box on the dashboard). After it opens, name it and then set it up.<br />

3. Add in 2 frames (frame icon on the left side toolbar) next to each other.<br />

4. Next to frame 1, add a sticky note on the left (sticky note icon on the left side toolbar).<br />

5. In between the frames, add sets of 5 dots; 1 set per attendee. To add in dots, add a template<br />

(templates icon on the left side toolbar), search for “Dot Voting” and add in the template. Then delete the<br />

part with the names and add or delete dots as needed. To change their color, select them all then<br />

choose a new color.<br />

6. Add a template to frame 2 (templates icon on the left side toolbar), search for “Impact/Effort Matrix”<br />

and add in the template. Adjust the size so it will fit in the frame.<br />

7. Add in text directions above frame 1 (text icon on the left side toolbar): “How might we keep members<br />

connected while we can’t meet in person? Use 1 sticky note for 1 idea.”<br />

8. Add in text directions above frame 2: “Move the sticky notes with the most votes and place them in<br />

one of the four quadrants that correspond to these categories: Quick Wins (top left), Major Projects (top<br />

right), Fill-Ins (bottom left), and Time Wasters (bottom right).”<br />

Now you’re ready to start your session!<br />

Part 1<br />

Join a Zoom or Google Meet call, but turn your cameras off. Open up Miro (in a browser or on the<br />

computer), then open up your session board.<br />

Start the session by having everyone try to move around, duplicate (copy/paste), and type text onto a<br />

sticky note. This helps attendees get comfortable on the board. Next, give directions: “We’re here today<br />

to come up with some new and creative ways for our members to connect while we can’t meet in<br />

person. Use 1 sticky note for 1 idea and place it inside the frame. There are no wrong or silly answers,<br />

just put down as many ideas as you can think of in 5 minutes.”<br />


Set a timer for 5<br />

minutes, and say go.<br />

This part creates a fun<br />

energy with a lot of<br />

simultaneous activity<br />

on the board!<br />

Part 2<br />

After the 5 minutes are over, ask your attendees<br />

to immediately pick their favorite ideas by placing<br />

a dot on that sticky note. Each attendee has 5<br />

votes for 5 different ideas.<br />

Part 3<br />

Once all attendees have voted with all of their<br />

dots, ask your attendees to take a look at frame<br />

2 and explain each of the quadrants. Then as a<br />

group take a look at the ideas with the most<br />

dots and move each sticky note to the best<br />

quadrant on the grid. If there are duplicates,<br />

you can remove one of them. You can<br />

categorize or group ideas as needed.<br />


Part 4<br />

To wrap up this session, take a look at the categories and decide how to move forward. Who’s<br />

responsible for each idea? Will you focus on Quick Wins first, then move on to Major Projects? Which<br />

ideas have priority overall?<br />

Use Miro’s tools to figure out what works for you and your attendees: change the sticky notes’ colors to<br />

assign them to a team, or based on priority or timing. You can add a comment on the sticky note and<br />

tag a person’s name. Try duplicating the sticky notes and organizing them within a new frame.<br />

This is just the start for all the many ways Miro can be a fun and effective virtual collaboration tool<br />

for your club!<br />

Christine Funke is an immigrant, feminist, reader,<br />

traveler and communicator. She is the Founder and<br />

President of the Heidelberg IWC and has been involved<br />

with FAWCO behind the scenes since 2013, including<br />

doing communications at the Brussels and Frankfurt<br />

conferences, chairing the U40 Task Force in 2019, and<br />

leading the redesign of the FAWCO website in 2017. She<br />

works full time as the Product Content Strategist at<br />

HeidelbergCement. She has 2 young sons and a<br />

husband. She is trying her best to say no to new<br />

projects and work in <strong>2021</strong> (she’s busy enough!)<br />

Questions about Miro? Email her at<br />

president@heidelbergiwc.org.<br />



Overcoming<br />

Obstacles One at<br />

a Time<br />

Maria Barros Weiss, member of<br />

the Heidelberg IWC, Germany,<br />

describes her pivot as a systems<br />

engineer in academia to industry.<br />

I was born in Luanda, Angola, during my father’s<br />

military service. This was in 1974, the year of<br />

Portugal’s Civil Revolution, when the country<br />

became a democracy and returned its colonies to<br />

their owners. This allowed my parents to return to<br />

Portugal, where I grew up.<br />

This would be not the last time my parents would<br />

move, and after coming back to Lisbon, they<br />

decided to move close to Braga in the north,<br />

where most of my extended family lives.<br />

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before we moved<br />

again, to Porto. It was difficult for me to make<br />

new friends, feel at home and find my place in<br />

this new life! I was always looking out the window<br />

thinking about Braga, counting the days until the<br />

holidays so I could spend time with family and<br />

friends. I do remember my mother telling me that<br />

life is made of phases, each of them full of people<br />

who are important and who, in times of difficultly,<br />

Our family in 2005<br />

Maria Barros Weiss<br />

will all walk alongside us for the rest of our lives!<br />

The friends from each phase are always in our<br />

memories, and then sometimes we meet up again<br />

and have the opportunity of revisiting the past.<br />

But life goes on.<br />

Today I am still friends with my best friend from<br />

those early days, even though we haven’t ever<br />

lived in the same city again. Instead, we have<br />

made sure we spend as much time together as<br />

possible, on weekends and in the summer. One<br />

year we went to England together to do an English<br />

language course; later we ended up collaborating<br />

on some international projects, which have<br />

allowed us to meet frequently even though I<br />

moved to Germany. I have two other very close<br />

friends from two other phases of my life, who, for<br />

professional reasons, moved here to Germany<br />

as well.<br />

But this hasn’t been the same with all my friends.<br />

As my mother told me when I was 9, sometimes<br />

we find one of these old friends, and in the<br />

moment it feels like we can still talk about<br />

anything like it was yesterday, but at the end of<br />

the day each person goes back to their own<br />

separate lives!<br />

Me with my parents<br />

Leaving home<br />

I left home to go to university in the south of<br />

Portugal, to study Systems Engineering. My father<br />

helped me move and later said this was one of<br />

the most difficult moments of his life! Now that I<br />

have kids of my own I understand the worries, but<br />

I believe he was feeling the end of a phase in his<br />

life, too, seeing the daughter “flying away” on her<br />

own! And I have flown a lot since that day, ending<br />

up moving even more often than my parents.<br />


Being a technologist allows me to be part of<br />

research, with influence on its applications to the<br />

industry and society, and to be part of the<br />

progress in innovative ICT-enabled solutions,<br />

which are part of the digital transformation taking<br />

place in economy and society!<br />

As a woman, being a doctorate engineer in ICT<br />

certainly puts me in a minority. Coordinating<br />

mainly male teams is not always easy, but I’ve<br />

never had a problem there – although there have<br />

been some situations where I felt that a man<br />

would not have had to prove himself in the<br />

same way!<br />

Receiving recognition from the Canon Foundation in<br />

Europe<br />

Today I still travel a lot, for work and personally,<br />

but I try to give my sons the chance to grow<br />

together with their friends by living in one place.<br />

Curiously, I have always moved for academic and<br />

professional reasons, not out of need but to<br />

embrace new challenges! And in any place I have<br />

been working, and in every city I’ve been living, I<br />

feel I’ll never leave, but then it comes a new<br />

challenge I cannot resist!<br />

Getting from Portugal to Germany<br />

While working on my doctoral thesis, I spent some<br />

time at the Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan –<br />

once with a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian<br />

Foundation, and for another period with a grant<br />

from the Canon Foundation in Europe. It was while<br />

working in Nagoya, at the Tokuda & Kitamura<br />

Laboratory, that I met my husband, a German<br />

researcher working in the same laboratory.<br />

After our return from Japan, my husband (still my<br />

boyfriend then), moved to Lisbon, Portugal where I<br />

was lecturing. I was a lecturer for six years, first at<br />

the Superior Technology and Management School<br />

of the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, and at<br />

that time I was lecturing for four years at the<br />

Superior Engineering Institute of Lisbon.<br />

An early interest in computing<br />

My interest in computing technologies started at<br />

an early age, with the consoles and computer<br />

games that we used to play with all day, closing<br />

the shades until our parents would force us to go<br />

outside to play. When I was a teenager, we already<br />

had two computers at home, besides the console,<br />

which was unusual at the time. My school projects<br />

were already typed in the computer and then they<br />

were printed.<br />

In high school I studied economics, only becoming<br />

a STEM student at university, where I took my<br />

licentiate diploma in Computers and Systems<br />

Engineering at the University of Algarve, in<br />

Portugal. We were a class of 80 students, but only<br />

three of us were girls!<br />

In the final year of my licentiate degree, during my<br />

final project in ionospheric communications, I<br />

started collaborating internationally in a pan-<br />

European group, and had the opportunity to<br />

spend a short period of time in a communications<br />

center in Huelva, Spain.<br />

After the licentiate degree I decided to go back to<br />

Porto and started working as scientific researcher<br />

in signal speech processing at the Faculty of<br />

Engineering, where I concluded my Master’s in<br />

I loved the contact with the students and the<br />

possibility of focusing on my research, but I always<br />

had the feeling that I needed get experience in the<br />

industrial world, with experience outside of<br />

academia. Therefore, when my husband got a job<br />

offer in Germany I told him to go for it and I<br />

would follow.<br />

Entering a new phase<br />

During my maternity leave for my first child, I got a<br />

job as a program manager in information and<br />

communication technology (ICT), which I am still<br />

doing today.<br />

With my family<br />


Electrical and Computer Engineering. We were<br />

only eight students following the<br />

telecommunications specialization, and I was the<br />

only woman in that group.<br />

At the Faculty of Engineering of the University of<br />

Porto I also started my doctoral thesis in text-tospeech<br />

synthesis, in collaboration with the Nagoya<br />

Institute of Technology, Japan, where I spent<br />

several months. After moving to Germany, I<br />

decided to transfer my doctoral thesis work to the<br />

University of Bonn, where I was already<br />

collaborating via a European research group on<br />

speech processing. I have now completed my<br />

doctorate work and got my PhD degree in<br />

Bonn, Germany.<br />

Overcoming obstacles<br />

Interesting enough – in part due to a society<br />

where men and women are given different roles,<br />

but not only that – my biggest obstacles have<br />

been in making choices that prioritize my career.<br />

It is not simple to explain it without generalizing to<br />

statements that could be misunderstood, but in<br />

different moments of my life, I felt that I was<br />

expected to quit my studies or my profession in<br />

order to live up to the expectations, even if I was<br />

more successful than many of my male peers!<br />

participating in meetings, speaking publicly even<br />

when I was pregnant. I remember speaking in<br />

China in at a European Commission event when I<br />

was five months pregnant, already with a<br />

considerable belly.<br />

Possibly my biggest obstacle<br />

When I was 42, I was diagnosed with invasive<br />

breast cancer and I found myself in a situation of<br />

fighting for survival! The pressure from everyone –<br />

from family, friends, colleagues to doctors – to<br />

quit everything and accept that being a patient<br />

should be my priority was tough! I had to fight for<br />

my life in terms of health, but I also had to fight<br />

for my life as I built it, that I worked hard for, and<br />

to make everyone believe that this was my way to<br />

get cured.<br />

This was the case when I wanted to study<br />

informatics in high school, which was seen as a<br />

path for office assistants, while for men it was<br />

seen as the path to a tech career. This view was<br />

definitely gender biased!<br />

Then after finding my way to an informatics<br />

university, I had a boyfriend who wanted to start a<br />

family before I would have finished my degree. He<br />

was wealthy, so he imagined that I would only<br />

have a low-paid job anyway, so there was no need<br />

to rush finishing my studies!<br />

Next obstacle: after university I was seen as<br />

immature for refusing to use my family’s social<br />

connections to help me find a first job that would<br />

give me the proper pillars for a solid career.<br />

Later, when I became a mother, I found out that<br />

even if German women are more emancipated<br />

than many others in the world, I was seen as a<br />

“raven mother” – someone who prioritizes her<br />

career rather than enjoying her children’s<br />

childhood and supporting their development at<br />

home and giving my husband the stability to build<br />

on his career!<br />

In Germany we are entitled to three years of<br />

leave, paid for 12 to 14 months, when it is shared.<br />

I took six months of maternity leave for my<br />

second child. For the first child I was still working<br />

in Portugal, and I took the four months leave we<br />

were entitled to. I kept working full time and<br />

At work in my office in 2017<br />

Many people find out what they really want when<br />

they are diagnosed with cancer, I found out that I<br />

had what I really wanted, and I wanted to keep it!<br />

By doing my job while I was receiving treatment I<br />

felt I was still part of the normal world!<br />

This was my way to survive and be cured! My light<br />

bulb moment came when my boss reminded me<br />

that resilience was one of my strengths! Even one<br />

of my oncologists said the best thing to do was to<br />

be positive, however you might achieve that.<br />

Although I was entitled to paid long-term leave<br />

during treatment like this, I preferred to make a<br />

schedule that worked for me around my work.<br />

Even though I had two surgeries, six months of<br />

chemotherapy and more than 30 sessions of<br />

radiotherapy, many of my work colleagues didn’t<br />

even know I was ill! I never hid my illness from<br />

those working close to me, but by using clever<br />

tricks with a scarf that I learned from my Muslim<br />

cleaning lady (who was a scarf expert having worn<br />

one for years of course) or by wearing a wig, many<br />

people didn’t seem to notice my hair loss. I made<br />

public presentations, had international meetings<br />


Quick-fire questions for Maria<br />

1. If you could change one thing about your past,<br />

what would it be? If I could one thing from the past,<br />

I would have learned the German language as<br />

soon as I decided I would move to Germany! It is<br />

very important for integration, but also for the ties<br />

you want to create!<br />

I’ve been in Germany for 13 years, and it is very<br />

difficult to have time to invest in the language, but<br />

it is even more difficult to make friends imposing<br />

a language that is not your own. I started learning<br />

Japanese before I went to Japan, and even if it was<br />

just at a basic level, it helped with my integration<br />

into the country!<br />

Relaxing while on vacation<br />

and even concluded an international project with<br />

outstanding results, and got funding for another<br />

one during this period of treatment. Today I have<br />

been cancer free for over three years.<br />

The future for IT<br />

The future of the ICT industry is connected with<br />

the future of most of the vertical industries. I’m a<br />

technologist in communications networks,<br />

artificial intelligence, the internet of things,<br />

digitalization, and cloud and data innovation. The<br />

digital transformation we are living and<br />

experiencing is the most fascinating thing, and it is<br />

enabled by many of these technologies. New<br />

digital services are changing most of the vertical<br />

industries as we know them and disrupting most<br />

of the societal sectors. They will have a great<br />

impact not only on the economy but also in a<br />

more sustainable society and a greener world,<br />

with a smarter use of resources.<br />

Today I’m a manager for international projects<br />

with geographically distributed teams,<br />

participating in 16+ international and national<br />

projects and evaluation and follow up of 50+<br />

projects. In these roles we need to travel a lot, but<br />

we also use media technologies a lot – like video<br />

conferencing, messaging, collaborative<br />

management and software development, or realtime<br />

document collaboration tools and other<br />

collaborative technologies that are already<br />

transforming the culture at the workplace.<br />

When I came to Germany it was such a busy time<br />

in my life: finishing my PhD, becoming a mother,<br />

changing from an academic career to one in the<br />

industry, in another country and yet another<br />

language, that I allowed myself not to learn the<br />

language right away! After all, I could speak<br />

English everywhere! I even joined an English<br />

women’s group! But later it didn’t get easier! I<br />

know I would have had a much easier integration<br />

here if I had spoken better German.<br />

2. What things about your career in technology do<br />

you apply to your daily life? New digital services will<br />

change most of the vertical industries as we know<br />

them and disrupt most of the societal sectors. ICT<br />

technologies, like artificial intelligence and 5G<br />

mobile communications are recognized as<br />

enablers of these future services, contributing to a<br />

digital economy and society.<br />

These enabling technologies will affect not only<br />

our way of working and doing business, but our<br />

daily life as well, bringing a whole new range of<br />

innovative services into our lives. The industry and<br />

governmental authorities worldwide are<br />

prioritizing and putting money towards this digital<br />

transformation because they recognize its need.<br />

These and other digital tools will affect not only<br />

our way of working and doing business, but our<br />

daily life as well. This will bring a whole new range<br />

of innovative services into our lives. Industry and<br />

governmental authorities worldwide are already<br />

giving priorities and funding to digital<br />

transformation initiatives.<br />

At the EC ICT 2018 event in Austria<br />



ThePajamaCompany.com and Me<br />

Ellie Badanes, member of FAUSA and FAWCO’s Twitter expert, tells us<br />

all about setting up and running an online business in <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Starting with new tech<br />

I don’t know how to code, but I do love new shiny<br />

things. I remember being thrilled with my word<br />

processor, my fax machine and my first computer.<br />

I loved the crinkling sound of that first Netscape<br />

dial-up internet connection. What a thrill to be<br />

connected to the world right at my desk. I<br />

remember trying to think of a clever email<br />

address for that first CompuServe and AOL email<br />

account. What a communication game changer<br />

that turned out to be.<br />

I joined Twitter in 2008 and a church organist<br />

from Oregon was the first person to follow me. I<br />

thought that was amazing.<br />

Working on my business<br />

I started my career back in the late 70s in the<br />

fashion business. I was a retail buyer for a<br />

department store group working in the dress<br />

market. I would answer my phone by saying,<br />

“Dress Office.” My daily life was consumed by<br />

runways, vendor showrooms, fashion trends and<br />

retail merchandising.<br />

Loving pajamas<br />

I have always loved pajamas. Pajamas just make<br />

me happy. You know when you plop into that<br />

comfy chair, that cozy couch, that scrumptious<br />

bed? You know what it’s like to just sigh that<br />

happy sigh? Pajamas do just that for<br />

me. Whether it’s a new fresh pair or an old<br />

favorite, the soft cotton always feels fabulous. I’ve<br />

found the pajama style that’s just right for me. I<br />

love to lounge in pajamas, but I also love to work<br />

in pajamas. I’ve been my most creative in<br />

pajamas. I was likely wearing pajamas when I<br />

thought about starting an online pajama store<br />

one summer day in 2003.<br />

I was ready for a new journey.<br />

When I was 27, my life totally changed, as my<br />

husband was transferred from New York to<br />

Copenhagen. At that moment, a new journey<br />

began and what a journey it was. I could never<br />

have imagined that the promised 3-to-5-year<br />

assignment would turn into a life abroad that<br />

would encompass the next 20 years. It was a<br />

journey that would lead me to a full fledged<br />

@fawco career as well.<br />

My overseas life encompassed another most<br />

exciting journey of a lifetime which was to become<br />

the mom of Jilly, Alex and Steffi, each born in a<br />

different country. The greatest gift of all.<br />

In 2003 we left England and returned to America.<br />

We moved to Connecticut and a new journey<br />

began for us.<br />

Some of The Pajama Company pajamas<br />


were returned with a note that his wife didn’t like<br />

them. That first order was memorable for me at<br />

least. He never knew that he was my first<br />

customer. I still have those pajamas hanging in<br />

my office.<br />

The first holiday season<br />

My first holiday season turned out to be wild. I<br />

had bought an assortment of adult footed<br />

pajamas from a fellow entrepreneur who had just<br />

started her business at the same time as mine. My<br />

brother-in-law, a photographer, agreed to find<br />

some models among his friends and neighbors in<br />

Colorado Springs, and do a footie photoshoot for<br />

me. With his images and boxes of footies in my<br />

basement I added these new pajamas to my<br />

website. Within minutes I started getting orders<br />

and phone calls.<br />

More of our pajamas<br />

Setting up the business<br />

Online shopping was still pretty new, so my first<br />

task was to find a domain name. I jumped on<br />

register.com and searched for<br />

thepajamacompany.com and, yes, it was available.<br />

I paid $7.99 to buy it for a year and with a click I<br />

had my domain name. I was on my way. I created<br />

a logo and hired a company to create a website<br />

with a shopping cart.<br />

Although it had been 20 years since my days as a<br />

buyer, it was pretty easy to jump right back in. I<br />

had a vision of what kind of store I wanted to<br />

create and the items I wanted to sell. Soon I was<br />

back in NYC and LA showrooms, looking not at<br />

dresses this time around but at pajamas. I wasn’t<br />

sure if these vendors would sell to me as an<br />

online store. I was thrilled when they all said yes. I<br />

wanted www.ThePajamaCompany.com to be<br />

cheerful. I promoted the mantra “Life is better in<br />

pajamas” because I believed it. I was building my<br />

store not with bricks but with my computer.<br />

It was exciting.<br />

Launching the website<br />

With the help of a tech assistant in Atlanta who I<br />

found online, I launched my site in April of 2004.<br />

My first order came in a matter of days. It was a<br />

man in Texas who bought my “Las Vegas” themed<br />

pajamas and told me in the customer note that he<br />

was giving them to his wife for their one-year<br />

anniversary and surprising her with a trip to Las<br />

Vegas. All my inventory was in my basement, so I<br />

picked and packed them and out the door they<br />

went. That gave me chills. A few weeks later they<br />

I had a cleaner a couple of days a week and I<br />

asked her if she would mind filling pajama orders<br />

instead of cleaning. I printed the orders, handed<br />

them to her and she came back with the products<br />

for me to ship. My phone rang and rang with<br />

footie requests. It was so frantic that I even asked<br />

some 9 th graders hanging out at our house with<br />

my son to help me answer the phone. A mom<br />

called saying her son was a police officer and<br />

really wanted some footies. When my oldest<br />

daughter arrived home from her freshman year of<br />

college, within moments of taking off her coat and<br />

dropping her bags on the floor, she had provided<br />

a Texas pastor with a red footie for his Christmas<br />

Eve service while also advising another man on<br />

the delicate subject of determining the correct<br />

size to buy for his wife.<br />

The business today<br />

Looking back, I admire my early enthusiasm and<br />

hope I still have much of it intact today. I did<br />

outsource fulfilment to a warehouse team and<br />

customer service to a call center. The journey as<br />

an online retailer has been exciting and stressful,<br />

energizing and exhausting, happy and pensive.<br />

The economic highs have been thrilling and some<br />

lows have been challenging. Through it all, the<br />

opportunity to be creative, to sell something I<br />

love, to expand the brand across social media<br />

networks has been a dream. What a treat to<br />

interact with customers from around the world<br />

and to see our pajamas truly making people<br />

happy season after season. Pajamas proved to be<br />

a great niche business for e-commerce. I’ve come<br />

to realize that people who love pajamas really<br />

love pajamas and will search high and low for the<br />

perfect pair.<br />

The future for pajamas<br />

From my launch back in 2004, I’ve promoted the<br />

fun and comfort of living and working in pajamas.<br />

I’ve heard from customers over the years how<br />

they love spending weekends in pajamas, but this<br />

era of COVID is a unique moment. This is a time<br />


when pajamas really are bringing some calm,<br />

some happiness and comfort, and likely increased<br />

productivity. I’ve been here year in and year out<br />

working in pajamas, but now I know I’m not the<br />

only one. Owning the “way you work” might be the<br />

new thing now and the new thing for the future.<br />

Ellie Badanes is originally from Bloomington, Indiana<br />

but today lives in New Canaan, Connecticut. She has<br />

been involved with FAWCO for about 30 years<br />

including being President of the American <strong>Women</strong>’s<br />

Club in Denmark, President of the American <strong>Women</strong> of<br />

Surrey and President of The FAWCO Foundation. She<br />

says “@fawco helped me grow and provided amazing<br />

mentors and friends to cherish year after year.<br />

@fawco showed me the power of women, the power of<br />

passion and activism, the power of being a global<br />

citizen and the power of giving. Today I have the fun<br />

of managing our @fawco presence on twitter. For all<br />

of this, I will be forever grateful.”<br />

Ellie Badanes<br />

“Confetti” Dot Pajamas are the Cat’s<br />

Pajamas<br />

Start with hand-pulled Peruvian Pima cotton,<br />

which is known for its silky luster and<br />

unbelievably soft feel. We combined this Pima<br />

cotton with Modal to get the perfect drape<br />

and added Elastane to give it stretch and<br />

recovery. These PJs are so luxuriously soft you'll<br />

never want to change out of them.<br />

Available online now<br />



Googling My Way<br />

from Journalism to<br />

Engineering and<br />

Back<br />

Carolyn Stransky, member of AWC Berlin, Germany, on using<br />

Google’s search engine to find a job.<br />

If living in Berlin has taught me anything, it's the<br />

importance of search engines.<br />

My first life-altering Google search happened<br />

shortly after moving to Germany from the United<br />

States. It had been days since I had had a<br />

conversation with another human besides my<br />

German partner. I was lonely. So I apprehensively<br />

typed six words into the box on my screen: "how<br />

to make friends adult berlin". When those results<br />

were useless because Freund was out of my<br />

vocabulary, I added "expat". That's how I found<br />

the American <strong>Women</strong>'s Club of Berlin.<br />

The second significant search led me to a career in<br />

technology. And the third, software engineering.<br />

Before I get into that, some context.<br />

Arriving in Berlin<br />

I arrived in Berlin with only a journalism degree<br />

and a whole lot of unfounded confidence. I was an<br />

idealist, planning to “change the world with my<br />

words.” Turns out, being a journalist in a country<br />

where you don't speak the language is hard. A<br />

byline here and there didn't pay enough to cover<br />

my rent or qualify for a visa. I realized that I<br />

needed something more sustainable.<br />

After weeks of uncertainty and growing concern<br />

that my tourist visa would expire, I did another<br />

search: "how to work in Berlin as expat". I learned<br />

that this city has a growing technology and startup<br />

scene. And the best part? The primary<br />

language in most offices is English. The next day, I<br />

submitted my CV for any role on<br />

BerlinStartupJobs.com that listed “native English<br />

speaker” as a qualification.<br />

Back to the beginning<br />

Two years and a couple miscellaneous marketing<br />

jobs later, I found myself back where I started<br />

after the start-up sponsoring my working visa filed<br />

for bankruptcy. Judging by my empty inbox,<br />

prospects for another full-time communications<br />

role were grim. My colleagues in engineering,<br />

however, were thriving. Most were already<br />

snatched up by a competitor and the rest were<br />

"weighing their options" (a foreign concept to me<br />

at the time).<br />

I always had a hunch that software engineers were<br />

better off. Upper management never questioned if<br />

their work was important. Not to mention that<br />

many of their salaries were double mine.<br />

Engineers also possessed an in-demand skill.<br />

Comparing their post-insolvency job hunt to mine<br />

made this strikingly clear.<br />

Enjoying life in Berlin<br />

There were downsides to engineering, I was sure.<br />

For instance, being hunched over a screen all day<br />

surely destroys your back, and their office was<br />

vaguely sweaty and pungent like a locker room.<br />


But the promise of stability kept creeping into my<br />

thoughts. If I wanted to build a life with my<br />

partner in Germany, I would need a visa and a<br />

reliable income. Job security and the ability to pay<br />

off my lingering student debt wouldn't hurt. I<br />

didn't have any of that, but the software<br />

engineers did.<br />

Learning from Google<br />

Illuminated again by the glow of Google's home<br />

screen, I hesitantly typed: "how to become a<br />

software engineer". It felt ridiculous to ask a<br />

search engine for such major career guidance.<br />

The results yielded three options: go back to<br />

university; teach yourself online; or attend a<br />

coding bootcamp. University would require either<br />

money or a better command of the German<br />

language, so that was out. I wasn't disciplined<br />

enough to be self-taught. The remaining option<br />

was a coding bootcamp. The only problem was<br />

that I had no idea what a coding bootcamp was.<br />

According to edX, coding bootcamps are defined<br />

as "short-term, intense training sessions designed<br />

to prepare students for the practical reality of<br />

development". This is accurate.. but it fails to<br />

articulate how grueling the experience can be.<br />

Coding bootcamp<br />

In 2017, I attended Spiced Academy's twelve-week<br />

web development program in Berlin. It was<br />

immersive – a minimum of eight hours per day at<br />

the school, plus review every night and project<br />

work over the weekend. Writing code also<br />

required rewiring my brain and taking a new,<br />

more logical approach to problem-solving. It was<br />

Enjoying life in Berlin<br />

difficult. I cried frequently. I almost quit three<br />

times. But I made it.<br />

My job today<br />

Today, I'm working as a software engineer at a<br />

different start-up. Most of my assumptions were<br />

true, although sometimes that stability is<br />

overshadowed by sexism and other systemic<br />

problems in the industry. It’s hard to complain,<br />

though. Building websites is interesting enough<br />

and even more so when the paycheck comes in<br />

every month.<br />

My background in journalism has also proved<br />

useful. I’ve written presentations about the<br />

technical concepts I’ve learned and traveled to<br />

conferences in Iceland, India and Singapore as a<br />

result. Now I’m actively trying to combine<br />

journalism and engineering by writing for outlets<br />

like Future of Sex, a publication focused on the<br />

intersection of tech and human sexuality.<br />

It’s impossible to say where this new career will<br />

take me, especially given how quickly technology<br />

evolves. But I’m confident I'll be able to figure<br />

it out.<br />

Or, worst case, I'll Google it.<br />

Learning new skills<br />


At the Spiced Academy<br />

Carolyn Stransky (she/her) is a software engineer and<br />

freelance journalist based in Germany. Originally from<br />

Seattle, Carolyn moved to Berlin nearly six years ago<br />

and has been a member of the American <strong>Women</strong>’s<br />

Club of Berlin ever since. During the day, she builds<br />

web products with a focus on design and accessibility<br />

for early-stage start-ups. Out of the office, Carolyn<br />

writes about technology and identity for outlets like<br />

Future of Sex and Curve Magazine. You can find her<br />

most places on the Internet @carolstran or through<br />

her website: workwithcarolyn.com<br />



Specializing in<br />

Web Security<br />

Susan Spälti, member of the AWC<br />

Bern, Switzerland, describes her<br />

roles in operations research and<br />

internet security.<br />

Although I was born in Pittsburgh PA, my family<br />

moved every five years between Pittsburgh and<br />

New Jersey. I am one of eight siblings – five girls<br />

and three boys – and my father jokingly referred<br />

to me as “number three child, number two<br />

daughter.” Since we moved so often, we quickly<br />

learned that that home was not a house or place,<br />

but where the family was.<br />

I am a child of the 60s and 70s. Very turbulent<br />

times to be sure, but gender roles really had not<br />

evolved. Commercials told women to “bring home<br />

the bacon” but they still had to “fry it up in a pan.”<br />

Men got the Marlboro man. True, my father went<br />

to work and my mother stayed at home, but both<br />

had bachelor degrees and my mother worked for<br />

four years in her field until the children came.<br />

They expected their children, regardless of sex, to<br />

help with the housework, take care of the younger<br />

Susan Spälti<br />

siblings, earn their own pocket money and apply<br />

themselves to schoolwork to the best of their<br />

abilities. We were encouraged to read, explore<br />

new things, go outside to play, and have lots of<br />

fun. It was understood by us all that we would go<br />

to college if we wanted and were able to. My<br />

mother said, “you raise children to leave home”<br />

and my parents were determined to provide us<br />

with the necessary tools.<br />

Our family in 2005<br />

With my family in about 1972<br />


degree and then we would move back to the<br />

States.<br />

I was granted my degree in June 1990, but still<br />

have not moved back to the States. While I was<br />

finishing, I was completing another project. In<br />

September 1990 I gave birth to our daughter,<br />

Nina. Fifteen months later, in December 1991, we<br />

welcomed our son Jacques.<br />

The first desktop computer I used<br />

Leaving home<br />

I left home when I was 17 to attend Allegheny<br />

College, a small liberal arts school in north<br />

western Pennsylvania. I thought I wanted to be a<br />

medical doctor and Allegheny had a good premed<br />

program. As part of premed, I had to take a lot of<br />

science courses, including mathematics. After one<br />

college level course, I was hooked and majored in<br />

math. I loved its beauty and logic. I enrolled at<br />

Ohio State as a graduate student in pure<br />

mathematics as soon as I graduated. OSU was<br />

quite a shock. I went from attending a school with<br />

three departments in one building to one with<br />

three buildings per department. Plus, pure<br />

mathematics was a little too esoteric for me. I quit<br />

after two semesters and got a summer internship<br />

in Washington DC.<br />

Discovering OR<br />

I loved DC and decided to look for a fulltime job<br />

there. This was in 1979, the Cold War was still<br />

“hot,” – and the Department of Defense and its<br />

contractors were offering many jobs for people<br />

with my skill set. I accepted a job with a defense<br />

contractor, devising algorithms to solve logistics<br />

problems and “discovered” Operations Research<br />

(OR), a type of applied mathematics. I loved OR<br />

and decided to go back to graduate school parttime.<br />

I got my masters in OR from George<br />

Washington University in DC and then decided to<br />

go full-time for my PhD. I got a fellowship for the<br />

PhD program at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)<br />

in Pittsburgh and moved there in 1984.<br />

Moving to Switzerland<br />

At CMU I met my Swiss husband, Karl, a visiting<br />

research fellow from the University of Bern. He<br />

specialized in OR and we “clicked” on more than a<br />

professional level. As he only had a one-year<br />

fellowship, one of us had to relocate. Since he had<br />

a job and I was just starting out, I applied to and<br />

was accepted at the École Polytechnique Fédérale<br />

de Lausanne. We married in July 1985 and I moved<br />

to Bern in September. The plan was to finish my<br />

My mentors<br />

My earliest mentors were my parents. They<br />

encouraged me to explore many fields and always<br />

be curious. My doctoral advisor, Prof. Thomas<br />

Liebling, was a wonderful mentor who provided<br />

guidance on how to thoroughly analyze problems<br />

and present my results in a comprehensible<br />

fashion. Finally, my husband Karl. Perhaps not a<br />

mentor, but he and I worked as a team, both<br />

professionally and privately, so that we could give<br />

our customers quality solutions while<br />

simultaneously raising a family.<br />

Consulting from home<br />

While caring for two small children, my husband<br />

and I started a small consulting firm which<br />

With my father, husband and Professor Liebling at my PhD<br />

Defense.<br />

developed algorithms, database models, etc. for<br />

the Swiss version of Social Security. Our office was<br />

at home so we could be with the children. After<br />

almost 20 years of working at home, I took a new<br />

job. I enjoyed going to an office outside of my<br />

house and honing my skills in Identity and Access<br />

Management, an internet security field. I worked<br />

in this field until I retired in 2020. My husband<br />

continued with our consulting firm until he retired<br />

a few years ago. After my retirement, we had<br />

planned to travel, play golf and enjoy life.<br />

Although the traveling and golf plans are now on<br />

hold, we enjoy walks to see the llamas in our<br />


In an enterprise, PAM deals with user accounts<br />

which have special access above that of a<br />

standard user, for instance system administration<br />

accounts. Many famous security breaches<br />

involved these special access accounts. PAM is<br />

used to control, monitor and audit such accounts.<br />

Quick-fire questions for Susan<br />

1. What things about your career in technology do<br />

you apply to your daily life? Being in IT Security, I<br />

find myself very cautious when dealing with all<br />

things involving the internet. I have learned not to<br />

“click” on something just because I can, I keep the<br />

software and operating systems on my computer<br />

and all devices up to date. I also believe in<br />

reading the manual. In my career I have spent a<br />

lot of time cleaning up “issues” that could have<br />

been avoided if someone had just bothered to<br />

read the manual.<br />

village (yes, we’ve got llamas, or are they alpacas?),<br />

talking with each other, our friends and our<br />

relatives (albeit remotely) and just being together.<br />

The future for the industry<br />

Although I started out as a mathematician and<br />

was formally trained as a STEM (Science,<br />

Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)<br />

student before that became an acronym, I ended<br />

my career as an IT specialist in Identity and Access<br />

Management (IAM). Most understand the concept<br />

of authentication. When you try to log onto an<br />

application, you are asked your username and<br />

password to “authenticate” who you are. IAM asks<br />

the following questions: Are you allowed to do<br />

what you want? What resources can you “access”?<br />

In today’s world of increasing data breaches and<br />

more rigorous compliance requirements, IAM, a<br />

relatively new field, is constantly evolving and will<br />

continue to do so. Privileged Access Management<br />

(PAM), a subcategory of IAM, is the new hot topic.<br />

With my husband Karl in Cape Elizabeth, Maine<br />

2. If you could work with one famous person, past or<br />

present, who would it be and why? I would have<br />

loved to work with Grace Hopper (1906-1992), an<br />

admiral in the US Navy, mathematician, and<br />

computer scientist who, amongst other things,<br />

invented the compiler, an intermediate program<br />

that translates English language instructions into<br />

”computer” language. And better yet, she coined<br />

the term “bug” for an error in your program after<br />

a moth got into the circuits of the Mark I, a<br />

precursor of electronic computers, which she<br />

helped design. I spent a lot of time “debugging”<br />

my code.<br />

Enjoying Swiss Glüwey with my daughter Nina in 2019<br />



Why I Design For The AIWCD<br />

Jessica Nicholson tells us what she feels are the benefits of donating<br />

her skill set to her local club, AIWC Düsseldorf.<br />

politicians. The American International <strong>Women</strong>’s<br />

Club of Düsseldorf (AIWCD) participates every<br />

year and 2017 was no different. It was at this<br />

event, dressed as Wonder Woman, that I met<br />

Alisa Cook-Röhs, then President of the Club and<br />

was recruited as the Graphic Designer for the<br />

AIWCD. My accepting of this position would<br />

greatly impact the AIWCD, but it would affect my<br />

life far more.<br />

Sense of Purpose<br />

When I moved to Germany, I took some time off –<br />

I had not been without a job since I was 15. I<br />

spent a couple months exploring my new country<br />

and getting settled. This adjustment period was<br />

lovely, but I soon realized that I was bored. I didn’t<br />

have kids or pets to keep me occupied and it was<br />

obvious that I was not suited to a life of leisure.<br />

Jessica with Alisa Cook-Röhs at the “Storming of the<br />

Rathaus” in 2017<br />

There is a tradition in Düsseldorf called “Storming<br />

the Rathaus.” The women of the city, donning<br />

their Karneval finest, crash through the doors of<br />

City Hall (“Rathaus”) and cut off the ties of the<br />

My first project for the AIWCD was redesigning<br />

the Club magazine, the Radschläger. It was so<br />

much fun to work with the Rad Team to<br />

modernize the look and feel of the quarterly<br />

publication. The magazine gave me something to<br />

do; I had meetings to attend and calls to take.<br />

One nice thing about volunteer work is that you<br />

are in charge – you can put as much or as little<br />

into the job as you want. I only had four issues to<br />

do each year, so it didn’t take over my life but<br />

made me feel productive.<br />


I often use these skills when working with paid<br />

clients, but the extra practice and freedom to take<br />

risks has made me a better designer.<br />

Expanding My Network<br />

When I first joined the AIWCD, I did not think of it<br />

as a place to meet professional contacts. My<br />

perspective has since shifted. As an English<br />

speaking designer in a German speaking country,<br />

the expat community is an excellent place to meet<br />

new clients.<br />

Even today, I feel a sense of accomplishment<br />

when my Radschläger arrives. The feedback from<br />

Club members is welcome as well. It’s always nice<br />

when someone praises your work.<br />

Staying Tech-Savvy<br />

Today, I’m back to designing as a freelancer. I<br />

wouldn’t have it any other way, but the gig<br />

economy comes with benefits and drawbacks.<br />

Technology is quickly and constantly changing; I<br />

must stay up-to-date to stay relevant. So, I<br />

continue to volunteer.<br />

While the AIWCD has not facilitated all the<br />

learning I have done in the past four years, it has<br />

given me many occasions to polish my skills<br />

without the pressures of a paying client. Working<br />

on the magazine and marketing materials helped<br />

me learn about the German printing industry and<br />

how it differs from the US. Redesigning the Club<br />

website gave me a crash course in membership<br />

platforms and taught me how to use Wild Apricot.<br />

I have had opportunities to practice and improve<br />

upon my existing skills as well, like illustration,<br />

logo design and photo editing.<br />

The Club is filled with remarkable women, many<br />

of whom are small business owners and<br />

executives – just the type of people I want to work<br />

with. As a Club member, I may have met these<br />

women at events and had a moment or two to<br />

win their business. My position gives me an<br />

advantage, however. As the AIWCD’s Graphic<br />

Designer, I can showcase my services on an<br />

ongoing basis. Every member of the AIWCD sees<br />

my work when they receive a magazine in the mail<br />

or sign up for an event on the website.<br />

If members have design work that needs to be<br />

done, it takes very little effort to find out who I<br />

am. My volunteer position helps me to win clients<br />

by letting my work speak for itself.<br />

Paying it Forward<br />

The AIWCD is my community and, had I not taken<br />

this position, I would never have found my feet in<br />

Germany. Most Americans live under the false<br />

pretense that everyone speaks English and<br />

therefore, as an English speaker, you can easily fit<br />

in anywhere.<br />

This is not the case in Düsseldorf. Most Germans<br />

speak a bit of English – enough to go to the<br />

grocery store or ask for directions – but that<br />

doesn’t mean they can easily form friendships<br />


with English speakers. As an expat – especially if,<br />

like me, you are linguistically challenged – it is<br />

imperative that you find an English speaking<br />

community wherever you live. That was the AIWCD<br />

for me.<br />

The main reason I continue to volunteer is because<br />

I want this community to be here for the next<br />

person. I want them to find their home in Germany<br />

and have the life-changing experiences that come<br />

with living abroad.<br />

Today<br />

I have volunteered with the Club for four years<br />

now. In my position, I have revamped the AIWCD’s<br />

branding, magazine and website. When I show<br />

people the work I have done, they ask me, “You do<br />

this for free?” And the answer is yes. But I get more<br />

out of this deal than the Club does.<br />

Originally from Woodstock, NY, Jessica Nicholson grew<br />

up in Richmond, VA. She studied Art and Visual<br />

Technology at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.<br />

After university, Jessica began her career by working as<br />

an in-house designer, then founded Medulla, a graphic<br />

design firm, with her business partner, Jessica Fleenor.<br />

In 2016, Nicholson and her husband chose to relocate<br />

to Germany. Since moving overseas, Nicholson has<br />

continued her design work on a freelance basis. She<br />

spends her free time cooking, taking photos and<br />

exploring Europe. To get in touch with Jessica, or to see<br />

her work, visit www.jessicanicholson.com.<br />



Founded in 1931, FAWCO is a global women’s NGO (non-governmental organization), an<br />

international network of independent volunteer clubs and associations comprising 60<br />

member clubs in 31 countries worldwide, with a total membership of around 10,000 women<br />

and men. FAWCO serves as a resource and a voice for its members; seeks to improve the lives<br />

of women and girls worldwide, especially in the areas of human rights, health, education<br />

and the environment; advocates for the rights of US citizens overseas; and contributes to the<br />

global community through its Global Issues Teams and The FAWCO Foundation, which<br />

provides development grants and education awards. Since 1997, FAWCO has held special<br />

consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.<br />


FAWCO is an international federation of independent organizations whose<br />

mission is:<br />

• to build strong support networks for its American and international<br />

membership;<br />

• to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide;<br />

• to advocate for the rights of US citizens overseas; and<br />

• to mobilize the skills of its membership in support of global initiatives<br />

for education, the environment, health and human rights.<br />


We want this magazine to be interesting for all FAWCO members. In an effort to<br />

provide articles of interest to all of our readers, we have created an online<br />

feedback questionnaire. It should only take a few minutes of your time to<br />

complete and will be a great help to us!<br />

Please click on the link or paste it into your browser<br />

to complete our short five question survey.<br />

SURVEY<br />

THANK YOU!<br />


FAWCO receives financial remuneration for page space from advertisers. Views expressed or benefits<br />

described in any display advertisement, advertorial or in any webpage visited online directly from these<br />

adverts are not endorsed by FAWCO.<br />



The <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Team<br />

Liz Elsie Karen Berit Michele<br />

For more information about this magazine, please contact a member of the<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> team:<br />

Editor in Chief, Liz MacNiven, inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org.<br />

Advertising and Sponsorship Manager, Elsie Bose, advertising@fawco.org.<br />

Distribution Manager, Karen Boeker, iwdistribution@fawco.org<br />

Social Media Manager, Berit Torkildsen, iwsocialmedia@fawco.org<br />

Features Coordinator, Michele Hendrikse Du Bois,<br />

inspiringwomenfeatures@fawco.org<br />

Acknowledgements:<br />

Thanks to our profilees: Adelina, Bev, Cat, Debbie, Irem, Maria and Susan, with<br />

thanks also for the use of their photos and those of their friends and families.<br />

Additional thanks to Carolyn, Christine, Denise, Ellie, Emily, Fintan, Jessica, Karen<br />

and Kari for their articles.<br />

Special thanks to the proofreading team of Laurie Brooks (AWC Amsterdam/<br />

AWC The Hague), Sallie Chaballier (AAWE Paris), Mary Dobrian (AIWC Cologne),<br />

Tamar Hudson (AIWC Cologne), Janis Kaas (AAWE Paris/FAUSA), Carol-Lyn<br />

McKelvey (AIWC Cologne/FAUSA), Lauren Mescon (AWC Amsterdam), Mary<br />

Stewart Burgher (AWC Denmark) and Jenny Taylor (AIWC Cologne and<br />

Düsseldorf).<br />

Please note: images used in this publication are either sourced from the authors themselves or<br />

through unsplash.com<br />



Coming in May:<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> wants you<br />

to live your best life.<br />

Welcome to our<br />

“<strong>Women</strong> and Wellness” Issue.<br />

Take a deep breath. Self-care is okay.<br />

Our team is looking to profile women from your club who promote<br />

the significance of wellness in daily life and offer the means to<br />

achieve it.<br />

The journey to wellness takes many paths. We want to profile<br />

women who work in traditional or naturopathic medicine, exercise<br />

or meditation. Or they may work in mental health or the arts,<br />

nutrition or diet. They might offer a means to restore personal order or to seek adventure. The<br />

search for wellness spans many disciplines! But they are all have one thing in common: they are<br />

offering an opportunity for others to find the key to personal peace and calmness.<br />

We want this issue to be informative. We are also looking for features to help our readers understand<br />

what “wellness” is. Do you have instructive articles on how to achieve mindfulness. How does one<br />

start their journey to wellness? Readers are curious as to the advantages of working with a life/career<br />

coach. If diet or fitness is your method of wellness, how did that start and how is working for you?<br />

And what methods are you employing? Share your story by writing an article (700-800 words) for our<br />

next issue.<br />

To nominate candidates for profiles, please send the candidate’s name, candidate’s email address<br />

and a brief description (50-100 words) of why you think they are inspiring and fit the theme for the<br />

issue. Send the information to: inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

To contribute an article or feature, either on the suggested topics or one that you think fits with<br />

the theme “<strong>Women</strong> in Wellness”, contact: inspiringwomenfeatures@fawco.org<br />

NEW!<br />

Introducing our latest feature, “That’s Inspired!”<br />

The <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> team feels that photographs are integral to our magazine. We thought it<br />

would be interesting to end each issue with a page of a photograph that offers a unique perspective<br />

on its theme. The photos can be provocative, amusing, entertaining, artistic. The photos should lend<br />

themselves to a portrait orientation and able to fit an A4 page.<br />

To submit a photo that you think says “That’s Inspired!” for our Wellness issue please contact<br />

inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

The deadline for submissions of profile candidates, feature ideas or<br />

“That’s Inspired!” photos is March 25, <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Copyright <strong>2021</strong> FAWCO<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>© Magazine is owned and published electronically by FAWCO.<br />

All rights reserved. All bylined articles are copyright of their respective authors as indicated herein and are<br />

reproduced with their permission. The magazine or portions of it may not be reproduced in any form, stored in<br />

any retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy or otherwise –<br />

without written consent of the publisher.<br />


That’s Inspired!<br />

A Unique User Experience!<br />

Kristina Soleymanlou, member of AWG Paris, is known for the<br />

special treatment she gives her clients. The pandemic has made it<br />

impossible to offer personal service, but Kristina is undaunted,<br />

shown here offering an online class demonstrating to participants<br />

how to give themselves their own facials!<br />

“That’s Inspired!” is <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> magazine’s newest feature. For more<br />

information about this feature, please see the opposite page (p. 58).<br />



The Cover Photo<br />

“A Day at the Academy” (2017)<br />

By Paul Fowler<br />

The cover photo is of Carolyn Stransky<br />

(AWC Berlin, on left) and Ingrid Majdalani at<br />

Spiced Academy in Berlin, Germany. Spiced<br />

Academy provides immersive training for<br />

people hoping to get into the fields of<br />

software engineering and data science. On<br />

this day, Carolyn and Ingrid were writing<br />

pseudo code (plain language descriptions<br />

for what you’ll try to accomplish with code)<br />

for their final projects.<br />

Both women attended Spiced Academy’s<br />

12-week web development program in<br />

2017 and have been working as software<br />

engineers ever since. You can read more<br />

about Carolyn’s story and career transition<br />

in the feature on p.47 “Googling my way<br />

from journalism to engineering and back”.<br />

The Back Page Photo<br />

“Working anytime and anywhere!” (2020)<br />

By Tugba Asmazoglu<br />

"One of the perks of freelance work for me is to be able to work anytime and anywhere, as<br />

long as I have access to coffee and internet. Having been working as a freelance writer/<br />

content creator for over a decade, I feel like if I go to a library to work, I won't be able to<br />

concentrate due to an excess amount of silence!<br />

This photo was recently taken by Tugba Asmazoglu, an expat friend who had just moved to<br />

Moscow. We wanted to meet at GUM, the historical market site in Red Square, but I also had<br />

to meet a deadline that day. So I went to a coffee shop earlier to work on my latest animation<br />

before we met and when she came, she found me working on cave people’s eyebrows. It was<br />

a part of a new animation for my educational video channel, Curious Mind TV. “<br />



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