An interview with Maria Sonja Pereira from 3M

By:Lucy Neal

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An interview with Maria Sonja Pereira from 3M
Maria Sonja Pereira

We sat down with Maria Sonja Pereira, a Machine Learning Engineer from our sponsor, 3M to uncover what makes her feel empowered as a woman in DevOps, we touched on her career achievements and what strategies businesses can implement to tackle the gender imbalance in DevOps.

What empowers you as a woman?

"Not only as a woman but as a human being, I believe awareness is a key factor in our lives. I have an idea that we are all capable of developing ourselves professionally as well as personally. We can make positive decisions, we can collaborate and positive impact our family, the company we work with; we can learn and develop new skills. There is a long list of options, and we need to be aware of it, we need to remind ourselves frequently that we are empowered to act, decide, and to challenge our status quo. At the same time, we also need to understand that it requires dedication, focus, persistence, and time."


What strategies can businesses do to empower women and break biases?

"I understand the challenge to break bias, especially unconscious bias.  In my opinion, the main strategies that can be taken to overcome those are: engage, encourage, and talk about the differences, inspire others by example, recognise the plurality of knowledge and skills in the workplace."


Biggest career and personal achievements 

"I have a non-traditional career path. I combine intensive studies in multiple (biology, social and computer) sciences with work experience. In my personal life, it could not be different. I have been exploring the world, challenging myself every day to learn something new about myself and others. I see it as a continuous achievement, and I like to celebrate every step."


Advice to your younger self

"Enjoy the journey!"


Who is your female role model, and why?

"My mom and my grandma will always be my models. They are independent and strong women; they are original in respect to what they do and who they are.  They are also, sometimes, a bit funny."