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#GEANTwomeninSTEM: Licia Florio

In honour of Women & Girls in Science Day and International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the women in our community. As our wonder women are involved in many fields, we decided to focus on specific fields and this year we are highlighting the women in Trust & Identity! Like everything in the world of GÉANT, our trust and identity team is a strong collaboration between women (and men!) all over the globe.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to our colleagues working for T&I, which shows perfectly in this series.

Let us introduce you to Licia FlorioTrust and Identity expert.



Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Licia Florio and I’m a Senior Trust and Identity Manager at GÉANT. Currently I’m leading the AARC project and the Trust and Identity activity in the GÉANT project. I’m also a member of the EOSC-Hub Technical Committee (TCOM), and responsible for the implementation aspects in the MyAcademicId project that aims to enable federated access for Erasmus projects.

What is your study and professional background?

I have obtained a MSc degree in Computer Science, at the University of Bologna.

What made you pursue a career in STEM?

I was always interested in science, mostly physics. And I was fascinated by the computer. If you study computer science you have big chances to end up in STEM. And if I didn’t study computer science I would have studied physics, so I would have ended up in STEM somehow.

But it was by chance that I ended up at GÉANT. After my graduation I worked as programmer for an Italian start up, and I was allocated to work on a couple of EC-funded projects. Then I decided I wanted to spend one year abroad and I joined GÉANT. After 17 years I’m still here!

Are there any challenge(s) you face as a woman in STEM (personal, in the sector, in T&I)?

I guess there are challenges, as there are in any job. In general, I do not feel discriminated for being a woman, although that has occasionally happened. On the other hand, that helped me push myself beyond my limits. And I have had many men that have actually helped me believe more in myself. As in many cases there are always two sides.

What is it you do in the field of T&I?

I do different things, such as project coordination, preparation of proposals for EC grants, management of virtual teams, support for new activities to get to life, training events. One of the nice things in my job is the possibility to bring different people together and discuss ideas and see how we can implement them. 

Name your greatest experience or achievement in T&I work

I am proud for working with very talented people and for having being involved in great initiatives that resulted in useful services for the research community. When I started, one of my first assignments was to organize workshops on mobility. This led to the task force on mobility and eduroam. The AARC project is something I’m very proud of; seeing how many research collaborations refer to AARC results as the de-facto guidelines to build their authentication and authorization infrastructures is amazing. Probably the most emotional experience in my carrier was receiving the Vietsch Award in 2018.

Any inspiring words for our readers?

Believe in yourself, and keep your interest alive, there is much to learn. Find a great team to be part of and don’t be afraid to try things out. There will always be challenges, but it is important to believe that your work is for a good cause and to enjoy what you do. ______________________________________________________________________________________

From all the men and women at GÉANT, we would like to show our gratitude to the female career tigers, young professionals, researchers, students, mothers, experts, in short all the hard working women contributing to not only trust and identity, but all the work we are doing in R&E networking.

Make sure to keep an eye on the GÉANT blog and social media channels and follow the campaign under #GEANTwomeninSTEM.

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