I was happy to share my story as a researcher in technology. I never planned to become a researcher. As many of the kids today, I wanted to study languages and became a language teacher. However, I changed my mind 10 years later and studied Computer Science in addition. This gave me at the end the necessary set of skills to work on chatbots. But how could I know in 1996 that there will be something like chatbots? It was not possible!
What I new in 1996 was that I could become everything I wanted. There was no difference between men and women in my home country (Soviet Union, later Belarus). The first time I realised that something like a gender gap in STEM exists was as I arrived in Germany. I am happy to support the WIDE association in encouraging girls to become what they want and discovering their passion! This is more important than statistics on gender representation.