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#GEANTwomeninSTEM: Hannah Short

In honour of Women & Girls in Science Day and International Women’s Day, two important days marked by the United Nations and celebrated across the globe, 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 Hannah Short, logic and puzzles fanatic turned coding enthusiast.


Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Hannah Short, I work in Identity Management and Security at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research).

What is your study and professional background?

I originally studied Physics, specialising in Astrophysics, at Imperial College London. A highlight was spending an ERASMUS year at the Universidad de La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain) working with data from their observatory. During my Masters I discovered a love of coding, despite having been almost entirely computer illiterate beforehand, and took a job as a software developer after graduating.  Since then I’ve held a mixture of roles as a developer, consultant and in IT operations.

How did you end up in STEM?

I was interested in most subjects at school and it wasn’t very clear what I would study at University until I was around 16. It was partially a strategic choice, I remember vividly being told that once you had a Physics degree you could do anything! This, combined with my love of logic and puzzles, pushed me into STEM.

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

Firstly, I’ve definitely benefited from being “unusual” in my field – people are more likely to remember me and I’ve been offered opportunities that may not have come my way if I hadn’t been a woman. At the same time, there are significant areas where I’m playing catch-up because of my gender. A particular example is asking technical questions; my questions are frequently misinterpreted to be asking something non-technical, and I often have to repeat myself. The most frustrating moments are when a male colleague asks exactly the same question and is understood immediately. I can’t pretend not to have experience harassment in STEM as well – I’d like to see this change with the #metoo movement.

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

I participate in the AARC and GN4-3 Projects, representing the High Energy Physics Research Community. I particularly focus on collaboration and interoperability between Research Communities on a technical and policy level, which I find highly motivating and has led to building relationships with colleagues from around the world!

Name your greatest experience or achievement in T&I work

Being granted a GEANT Community Award in 2017 for my work on Incident Response in Identity Federations.

Any inspiring words for our readers?

I used to be hesitant to talk about equality with colleagues in STEM but my experience in the past few years has been very positive; as I’ve begun discussing gender issues I’ve seen colleagues change their minds and attitudes. I would encourage everyone to start speaking up!


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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