• Natalia Vicente, ESOA

Changing Mindsets - time for a new approach!


It is painful to still hear people using phrases such as, “it is what it is”, or, “that’s just how society works” as an excuse for accepting inappropriate situations or as a reason for not making efforts to change. It's frustrating to hear those comments about any societal problem, but my blood boils when we talk about women or girls, because nothing is static! It is up to each one of us to kick out social inertia, ask questions, change mindsets and try new approaches.

I believe every single one of us wants to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. It is a tough challenge, but we mustn’t give up trying! Today, we have the digital knowledge and experience and we are not afraid to innovate, so let’s innovate against inequality.

ICT is so often the foundation for critical services, such as healthcare and primary education. It is an equaliser in bridging education, health and social divides.


Educating women and girls is a strategic development priority. Better-educated women tend to be healthier, participate more in the labour market and earn higher incomes. They usually marry at a later age and provide better healthcare and education for their children. A combination of all of these factors can help lift up households, communities and even nations.

So, if having access to connectivity has such a positive impact to so many lives and generations, what is holding us back? It is time to learn from past mistakes, time to try new approaches, time to work together - regulators and private sector alike - to ensure that opportunities and choice are available at a click for everyone.

As with many other sectors, the satellite industry is constantly evolving. It is exciting to see new innovations, different projects and business models unfolding the world over, each one with the potential to transform communities, make youngsters dreams prevail and help lift future generations to new heights. The satellite sector may just be a drop in this ocean, but it has an important part to play.

Everything we dream of will only succeed if we can count on the people that make the engines of the industry move. From engineers, astronauts, lawyers, coders and other different experts, to the head of an international organisation or a trade association; women that are pushing the boundaries and are not shy to show it. They are raising their voices, adding their views and value to drive change and progress. This is true for every woman AND man who proves that it can be done better.

We have so many great women that we can associate and identify with. I, for one, have worked with some of the most inspiring, intelligent and incredible women right here in our industry. To name a few: Aarti, Afke, Alejandra, Amy, Ann, Anna, Audrey, Belinda, Brit, Carla, Christine, Cristiana, Cristina, Dominique, Donna, Doreen, Elizabet, Enrica, Gabriela, Jennifer(x2), Julie, Kate, Kim, Kjersti, Laura, Lise, Loly, Luciana, Maritza, Michelle, Miia, Muriel, Nancy, Samantha, Simonetta, Suzanne, Zeina … all the ones not mentioned here, but especially all the ones yet to come…

Natalia Vicente is

Head of Public Affairs at ESOA

(partners in the EQUALS Access Coalition)


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