As part of International Women’s Day 2020, WIDE (Women In Digital Empowerment) interviewed and highlighted women on their backgrounds and careers. A look back at the interview with Ilham Esslimani, IT Project Manager, at the CTIE

What are your functions at the Ministry of Digitalization (CTIE)?

I joined the CTIE (Centre des technologies de l’information de l’État) since January 2017 as an IT Project Manager. As part of my job and the missions that fall to the CTIE, I am in charge of steering and monitoring the implementation of IT application projects with Luxembourg’s public administrations and organisations. My role consists in accompanying the CTIE’s clients in the framing, analysis and definition of the functional and technical needs related to IT applications. My mission is also to ensure the coordination between the different actors during the implementation of IT solutions at the State.

My experience within the CTIE is very rich both professionally and on a human level, the projects are very challenging on a daily basis: we have to listen, we must always know how to frame and interpret the business needs and propose to our customers IT applications able to meet their expectations in compliance with the CTIE’s digitalization strategy and standards.

What background has led you to work here today?

My background is quite particular in that, after having obtained my master’s degree in Morocco in 2001 and a first experience as an IT project manager in a state administration, I decided to leave for France to pursue my postgraduate studies in Lyon. Afterwards, considering my motivation, I opted to continue my doctoral studies. I joined the LORIA-INRIA laboratory in Nancy between 2006 and 2010 where I was in charge of a research and development project related to artificial intelligence. In addition, I also taught computer science at the University of Nancy 2.

This experience in the field of research and teaching was very enriching, it allowed me to develop my capacities of analysis, supervision and knowledge sharing but also my innovative spirit.

After obtaining my PhD in computer science in 2010, I joined the Gabriel Lippmann Public Research Center in Luxembourg (cf. LIST). For almost 7 years, I was in charge of numerous application projects in IT studies and development.

At the end of my career through these various professional experiences, today as a CTIE Project Manager, I am fulfilled, dynamic, and motivated, I manage to apply and share in one way or another the knowledge and skills acquired throughout my career. Nevertheless, learning remains a continuous exercise, we must always stay in line with digital transformations and adopt a monitoring approach to be at the forefront of the latest technological advances.

How do you see your place as a woman, and that of all women, in the IT sector?

I think that my specialization in the field of IT has opened up great professional prospects for me. This specialization has strengthened my character and built my personality insofar as it has allowed me to develop my innovative skills, take initiative and assert myself in a predominantly male domain…

I think that women should be more and more involved in the IT field. This is the sector of the future and women must play a fundamental role in this area because they have the capacity to do so. The IT sector is a promising, innovative and constantly growing field. Women must disregard all stereotypes and turn more to digital skills, it is the job of the future.

Women in Tech Magazine
Release date: 5 March 2020
By: Women In Digital Empowerment (WIDE)
This interview has been translated from French to English.