Angela Maragopoulou – CIO B2B / Senior Vice President Business Solutions at Deutsche Telekom IT GmbH

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Women being the largest “minority” on the planet, can add diversity to the Technology factor.

Angela Maragopoulou is a technologist, a lean-agile awarded leader and a data scientist. She has more than 20 years of Telecommunications industry expertise, with achievements in IT delivery, IoT product delivery and operation, Pre-Sales, Sales and Service Management of Complex Solutions, Enterprise Sales and Transformation. Currently she is leading an international organization as CIO B2B / SVP Business Solutions for Deutsche Telekom AG, the largest TelCo in Europe, assisting the business with building new business models with exciting IT. She has achieved dramatic adoption and innovative use case approach, for low-cost predictiveness and preventiveness as well as operational excellence with large-scale AI. She has delivered and operated globally the Vodafone IoT and UCC portfolio. She is currently Advisory Board Member for Beyond Connectivity for the TM Forum and a Board Member of Telekom IT GmbH.

In a Nutshell: Tell us a bit about your job and what role technology plays in it?

I am working as a CIO B2B / Senior Vice President Business Solutions for Deutsche Telekom IT GmbH. My teams are creating exciting software to support all Business Processes from Lead to Cash to Assurance for all the Deutsche Telekom Business Segments. This means they change the way Marketing, Sales and Service Management teams sell and serve B2B products through digitalizing highly complex and formerly extremely manual processes. Technology is sitting in the middle of this transformation as the effect and the extend of the changes and improvements is highly dependent from the Technology solutions used: how quickly, how well, how cheap, is hanging from the Technology chosen.

Where did your professional journey start and how did you get to where you are now?

I would never have studied Physics unless my family had been so supportive with what I love.

My journey started in Athens at the late 80s when my very supportive father fostered my love for Science and Physics. I am a Physicist (I consequently also studied Telecommunications Engineering as well as Data Science) and I would never have studied Physics unless my family had been so supportive with what I love. I was, as a “traditional” girl, very good with linguistics (I speak 5 languages) and I could have easily moved away to a more traditional space for girls if it wasn’t for my parents. My father particularly decided to be driving me daily to a further, experimental High School only for me to be seeing how Informatics looks like. And he bought me a PC back in 1991.

I also tend to pick up challenges without feeling not even 50% sure I can pull through, I would call me very risky in my choices.

The way I got to where I am now was definitely NOT a straight line. The common denominator is my love for Science, Technology and how these two forces can help business make great changes. Everything else is curiosity, ability to adjust and willingness to learn. I also tend to pick up challenges without feeling not even 50% sure I can pull through, I would call me very risky in my choices.

What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?

By far the Agile Transformation. Agility has brought control back to the teams and has made the human the center of where everything is at. We have proven that ownership, small teams, trust and addressing topics / improvements are key to delivering great software more quickly. Never has a new way of doing stuff affected the quality of the outcome as well as the happiness of the people working for this outcome so much.

When you think about ‘women’ and ‘technology’ what comes to your mind first?

Technology needs women as any diversity factor. The male presence dominance is affecting the quality of the Technology produced as it is uni-dimensional. Monocultures are an issue in creating intellectual content and in finding new ways of doing things. Women being the largest “minority” on the planet, can add diversity to the Technology factor. So, diversity in need is what first comes to my mind.

We always hear there are not enough women working in Tech. What needs to happen to change that, which steps should be done to achieve gender equality in tech?

Create clear goals in bringing women into your pipeline, your talks, sponsoring (not only mentoring), being their advocate behind closed doors. It is a man’s world but it does not have to be.

In order to boost the presence of women in Tech one should first of all recognize the problem, as well as the fact that the solution lies in our active hands and no one else’s. Ι suggest listening to the women around us, how they are pushed out of Technology at an early age as well as pushed out of Technology leadership at later stages. For example, all the Women in Tech I know are mothers and do not enjoy long week-days away from their family. When we consider this but we continue to arrange for long nights for a drink and networking in an exclusive manner for women, women will either lose the networking possibility or follow carreer paths that do not impose such issue. Do working lunched instead, do not make women chose. So in the end talking clearly about what stops us and being considerate about it is a way to improve the picture. Last but not least: goals. Create clear goals in bringing women into your pipeline, your talks, sponsoring (not only mentoring), being their advocate behind closed doors. It is a man’s world but it does not have to be.

Which was the best decision in your career?

My principles: Liking spagghetti lines and not straight lines, loving to dive with the eyes closed into something new, not being afraid to fail and asking for what I am worth plus some more. Always plus some more.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Listen more.

Angela Maragopoulou is a technologist, a lean-agile awarded leader and a data scientist. She has more than 20 years of Telecommunications industry expertise, with achievements in IT delivery, IoT product delivery and operation, Pre-Sales, Sales and Service Management of Complex Solutions, Enterprise Sales and Transformation. Currently she is leading an international organization as CIO B2B / SVP Business Solutions for Deutsche Telekom AG, the largest TelCo in Europe, assisting the business with building new business models with exciting IT. She has achieved dramatic adoption and innovative use case approach, for low-cost predictiveness and preventiveness as well as operational excellence with large-scale AI. She has delivered and operated globally the Vodafone IoT and UCC portfolio. She is currently Advisory Board Member for Beyond Connectivity for the TM Forum and a Board Member of Telekom IT GmbH.

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