The Big Interview

Q&A with Data Science Malta founder Denise De Gaetano

Malta is rapidly becoming the hub of blockchain innovation, earning itself the 'Blockchain Island' title. Coin Rivet recently spoke to Denise De Gaetano, founder of Data Science Malta, to get her views on the data science industry and the emergence of blockchain technology in Malta

Denise De Gaetano is the founder of Data Science Malta, an education platform that provides courses, networking events, and general knowledge transfer.

The Maltese resident recently spoke to Coin Rivet about Women in Blockchain, the data science industry, and the emergence of blockchain technology in Malta.

How did you get involved in blockchain technology?

Having a background in data science, I have been working with data for now almost 11 years. My career started off with the then initiation of the term ‘big data’ in various industries, and it has been moving from strength to strength in terms of different areas of data science, including but not limited to, AI, machine learning, and also blockchain technology – the last of which I have been involved in for now almost five years.

Tell us more about what you do.

There is no one-liner to this. I am involved in a number of different aspects of tech, data science, and business. Having always been an inquisitive mind, I always loved learning and applying various different aspects and turning them into money. Hence, I can say that I am a data scientist, business consultant, and entrepreneur, having worked within various industries throughout my career.

My skills and expertise have helped with the transformation of data investments into actionable business results through the visioning and implementation of big data, web presence, content publishing, and enterprise search solutions. I was also involved in business strategies providing a superior engagement experience through a combination of business acumen, intellectual curiosity, a collaborative work style, and strong partnerships with award-winning vendors.

Why is it so important to be philanthropic?

Doing good in the world is something which we should all be doing. Giving back to society and making it a better place in view of what we build will allow us to live in harmony with each other and the world we live in.

What were your career ambitions when you were younger?

Since I was little, I always loved science and business. For quite a number of years, I wanted to become an astronaut. Innovation was the pillar to what I enjoyed doing. I always needed to know newer ways of doing things. Nonetheless, I also loved coming up with ideas of how to turn my projects into possible businesses. This flourished when I started working in data science, where we can use data and technology to turn ideas into money.

Why are so few women involved in blockchain?

The number of women I meet in blockchain is increasing. In reality, rather than looking at the actual field of blockchain, one needs to focus on the full aspect of the science, given that blockchain technology needs a strong background in technology. Perhaps to break this chain, both males and females need to be invited to this gender diversity conversation, for such to turn into a more gender-balanced science.

What more needs to be done to remove obstacles for women in blockchain?

Once again, I do not think that we need to focus on gender in any field. Whenever there is the drive and passion to succeed, it will be done. In most instances of my career I was the only female, coupled with almost always being one of the youngest in the team. This has never deterred me from moving up the ladder of my career and being successful.

What are you, personally, doing to get more people involved in blockchain?

I am the founder of Data Science Malta. The aim is to provide various courses, networking events, and a platform for general knowledge transfer in all fields of data science, including blockchain technology. There has been a lot of interest in this field, not only from Malta, but also abroad.

How do you see this technology changing peoples’ lives for the better?

Blockchain technology brings with it transparency together with accountability. Any company utilising blockchain technology will allow its consumer to understand the whole process of the product life cycle right from origination, allowing you to know if what you are buying has been ethically made or otherwise. This will eradicate illegal activities in various industries, such as that in illegal fishing, as keeping track of the life cycle will not be done anymore over a piece of paper, but rather tracked over the blockchain platform.

What would you say to young women considering a career in blockchain? How would you encourage them?

Go for it! Pursue your dreams. Whatever you believe will make you happy for the rest of your life, do it – even if it is not what the majority of your peers are doing. You will only reach success when you have reached happiness.

Is gender a barrier to success. Or not?

Absolutely not. As I said before, whenever their is passion and drive to succeed, anyone can do it, irrespective of your gender.

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