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BreezoMeter Celebrates International Women's Day

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By Amalia Helen on March, 8 2021

Today is International Women's Day, so we asked some of our own Breezos about their career journeys so far and what advice they have for young girls and women interested in pursuing a similar path! (By the way we're hiring!)

Gabriela Adler Katz- Chief Scientist

I work as BreezoMeter’s Chief Scientist - on a daily basis, I get to work towards fulfilling my personal vision of democratizing environmental data worldwide...which also happens to be the vision of our company too. I take on active cross-departmental consulting roles for all algorithmic queries relating to our air quality information (whether internal or external). I also contribute to the company's product development and roadmap from  a scientific point of view and help to further the environmental research we do in the name of the company - through scientific proposals and academic/research outreach.

 

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How did you come to do what you do now? Why did you choose this path?

During my last year in undergraduate school  (Aerospace Engineering at the Technion), I started to consider how I could use the engineering knowledge and skills I had gained during my studies to help make this world a better place (as cliché as it may sound :-). 

 I was actually driven to change the path I was on and continued on to an Msc and PhD in Atmospheric Science). In particular, I wanted to help find solutions to the climate change problem.  Given this desire and my aims to improve awareness of air pollution, I came to join the ranks of BreezoMeter’s team of environmental superheroes as their Chief Scientist! I believe that environmental research is really important for better regulation which help protects our planet, but when empowered with knowledge, people also do more! I believe that it is my duty as a scientist to pass on the information and knowledge I have to the public. 

Do you have any particular female role models?

If you ask this question to the general public, many people would say Marie Curie as she is maybe the only female scientist known the world over. This is sad because there are many other women that are less known and just did not receive the recognition they deserve. I had several women which inspired me but I would choose Hedy Lamarr who was a great engineer and inventor - she was only recognized for contributions to science and technology recently. 

In your opinion, which changes, if any, are needed in the scientific system to be more attractive to women in science and possible future scientists?

I don't think that the scientific system needs to change in order to be more attractive to women, but rather the way we educate our daughters and sons. We should introduce scientific and engineering contact to both girls and boys at an early age, and thrive to stop gender based bias that we may possess as parents, teachers and educators.     

Do you have any advice for young girls interested in entering your profession?

Follow your heart and your dreams, love what you do :-) Don’t stop asking questions, being a scientist is very similar to being a child that always questions the world and never stops learning! (I would say the same thing to boys as well, because I don’t see a difference!!) 

Shaked Friedman-Katzir - Senior Algorithm Engineer

I am part of the Algorithm team at BreezoMeter - we're focused on improving algorithms and models. My routine includes researching academic work, combined with writing code in Python. We use data management and machine learning tools which enables us to  inspect large datasets and test various new and existing air quality models.

 

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How did you come to do what you do now? Why did you choose this path?

I've always loved the life and earth sciences, especially biology. At university I studied environmental engineering which is a very "wide" degree - it included courses from many fields, such as the physics, microbiology, ecology, atmospheric sciences, and others. During my time at university I also learned to write code, and found out that I enjoyed it very much. The experience I got in coding and my interest in atmospheric science brought me to work at BreezoMeter.

In your opinion, which changes, if any, are needed  to attract more women to science & open up possible careers as future scientists?

Encourage girls to study science at high school and to get certificates and qualifications in these fields. Expose more girls and women to coding at a young age!  I always imagined it was something I wouldn't like, until I got the chance to learn it properly and put my skills to use.

Do you have any advice for young girls interested in entering your profession?

Do what you love. If it's interesting to you - it's worth the effort!

 
Roni Mendelsohn - R&D Team Lead

I am an algorithmic team leader in the R&D, a core team consisting of environmental and software engineers, responsible for the algorithmic and technical aspects of BreezoMeter’s cutting edge air quality models and algorithms

 
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How did you come to do what you do now? Why did you choose this path?

I started at high school and never looked back. I think computer science is the perfect field for anyone who enjoys solving problems. As a software engineer you get to come up with solutions to diverse problems on a daily basis.

Do you have any advice for young girls interested in entering your profession?

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want, it doesn’t make you look less smart. Confident people ask questions in order to improve themselves.

Amalia Helen - Inbound Marketing Manager

I'm responsible for directing the inbound content strategy at BreezoMeter. I set the topics and themes we cover at the company, look after our SEO and ensure we maintain our high levels of editorial style throughout.

 

Amalia

How did you come to do what you do now? Why did you choose this path?

Writing has always been my thing. I studied English Literature at University, then naturally gravitated towards writing and inbound marketing roles both agency-side and inhouse. My move to BreezoMeter was very intentional as I'd been following the company for some time, really believed in what the company was doing and knew I wanted to be involved with a company that was purpose-driven. You can write content and do marketing for any company - it might aswell be something you believe in and feel passionate about!

Do you have any particular female role models?

Many I guess - but in terms of what I do, some of Virginia Woolf's early essays resonate with me a lot. In particular 'A Room of One's Own' which explores the practical realities of needing actual time and space for being able to write - something that women are still not always offered the luxury of. I recognize how lucky I am.

Do you have any advice for young girls interested in entering your profession?

Be persistent, find something you believe in, always learn and get up after any knocks! Especially if you work in an area that is somehow creative, you have to be ready to receive feedback openly, learn from it and improve all the time. See what works and ask lots of questions, you'll get there.

Yvonne Boose - Atmospheric Science Expert

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I describe my role at BreezoMeter sometimes as a translator. I translate the most recent scientific findings in the world of air quality, pollen and fire to products that have a real-life impact on everyone, our end users as well as our business customers. This means I need to understand deeply what’s behind our products and to know what’s going on in the scientific world to be innovative, to be able to advise our engineers on the technical aspects and our customers on our abilities and strengths. I love communicating with almost every part of the company, representing the technical part of the company to customers and initiating collaboration with researchers. 

How did you come to do what you do now? Why did you choose this path?

In school, I was as passionate about physics as I was about politics and history - so my interests were pretty broad. Hence, I found it hard to decide which direction to go for at university. In the end, I chose to study physics as I thought that a fundamental education in science opens the most doors. No whitewashing - it wasn’t always easy. But I always loved challenging myself and had great people around me and we pushed each other.

For my PhD, I changed fields a bit because I had been always passionate about the environment and especially climate change. I went to the ETH Zurich in Switzerland - one of the most renowned universities in the world especially for environmental sciences. Thanks to my own hard work but also a great community of international students and scientists there and an inspiring (female) boss I was able to really flourish and surpass my own limits.

My desire of feeling the direct impact of your work on people’s lives finally brought me to BreezoMeter. It’s amazing to experience every day that people more and more understand and care about the air they breathe and we can help them in doing so and thus improving their lives.

In your opinion, which changes, if any, are needed  to attract more women to science & open up possible careers as future scientists?

Get rid of useless gender roles. Give girls from an early age the feeling that they can do everything a man can do and teach them everything you would teach a boy. When older - women - make use of your networks - it’s ok (and necessary) to do so. And man - take over more responsibility home - it is also good for your soul. And lastly, I think it helps everyone if both genders are more aware that they might communicate differently and might have different needs in a work environment. In the end - for the sake of a successful company - employees of both genders need to be fostered the way they need it. 

Do you have any advice for young girls interested in entering your profession?

Believe in yourself!

Tamar Yacobi - Algorithm Engineer

As part of the Algorithm team in BreezoMeter, I work on the scientific aspects of our product – air pollution. This is a huge title for many different projects, including: air pollution modelling, air pollution health effects, research tasks, algorithms development, and many more.

 

How did you come to do what you do now? Why did you choose this path?

I always had an interest in environmental problems and how to solve them, which is why I studied environmental engineering. I found the air pollution problem to be the one that was really important to me, mainly because we have to breathe the air around us and can't choose to avoid it. As a result, during my MSC studies I focused my attention on air pollution, and when graduating, looked for a place where I could do something meaningful that was connected to the subject. For me, working at BreezoMeter is the best way to raise people’s awareness of the air pollution hazards around them and help them to improve their health.

Do you have any advice for young girls interested in entering your profession?

Science has many aspects, and so much of is interesting. Finding the subject that makes you passionate, and study and work in that field, can really make your life interesting!

 

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