CHRISTINA LUCAS: EMPOWERING WOMEN PIONEERS IN TECH AND INNOVATION

by Anthony Georgieff

Christina Lucas has been known to Vagabond readers since we introduced her back in 2018 when she was the insurance giant AIG's general manager for Bulgaria

christina lucas.jpg

Christina is now back on these pages owing to her participation in the Business Lady Excellence 2024 event in Sofia at the end of March.

Business Lady Excellence has a 15-year history of connecting leading personalities from Bulgaria, Europe and the Americas. Its main aim is to gather together inspiring women from business, politics, culture, technology and social life, and to foster expanded business and personal development.

Some of the key speakers in 2024 include Dr Kunka Petkova, an adviser to the German Federal Ministry of Finance, and Andro Donovan, a senior partner in McKinsey and the founder of AD Consulting.

Christina Lucas has over 20 years of experience as president and general manager of teams at the intersection of global insurance, operational transformation and technology, living and working in markets as varied as Germany, Brazil and Japan. Her AIG role in Bulgaria was so successful that the team she managed gained recognition as the country's Best Place to Work in 2019. Christina is global head of Industry Advisory for Guidewire Software and is also on the board of directors for the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Her talk at Business Lady Excellence 2024 focuses on women breaking the barriers into technology.

"Like sports, technology has traditionally had limited representation from women due to the lack of access of resources, " says Christina. "If we think about women's advances in sports during the past few decades, firstly it is mostly attributable to increased accessibility to literally a fair playing field... equal athletic facilities, training regimes and coaches. And secondly, women's dominance in sports has accelerated due to the greater visibility of women's wins – in Olympic stadiums or at world championship. Representation in our community and the media matters. Likewise in tech, a common attribute of the earliest women pioneers has been access to resources – whether that be scientific labs or educators – which gave them the ability to build upon the momentum of others. Bulgaria is uniquely positioned in the tech industry – a prototype of an early computer was developed by a Bulgarian man, the fastest growing industry in the country is tech, and Bulgaria has the highest percentage of women in tech EU-wide – at nearly 28 percent, according to the Bulgarian Centre for Women in Technology. Through technology, women's natural gifts, such as communications and problem solving, become strategicassetsfortheindustry. Examples include Ada Lovelace who was the world's first programmer; Radia Perlman, who leaned into our gift of connectivity to create the foundations of the Internet; and Katherine Johnson, who enabled humankind to walk on the moon through her contributions at NASA."

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