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Charting a path of innovation & impact for women in Computer Science

Woman studying computer science

ARTICLE SUMMARY

With a background in medical computer science and entrepreneurship, Dr Diana Röttger's story inspires young women to pursue careers in tech. She highlights how to get started in Computer Science and gives her tips on getting ahead.

Dr Diana Röttger is a Principal at APEX Ventures where she contributes to the APEX Medical fund in start-up evaluation and portfolio support.

computer science

Diana holds a PhD in medical computer science with multiple global research stays including Harvard Medical School. She has 8 years of start-up to scale-up experience in the field of medical computer vision software for Biotech and Pharma. Her areas of expertise are medical imaging and computer vision, neuro software solutions, company building and scientific sales/BD, Biotech and Pharma.

To all the young women out there dreaming of a future in computer science, I want to share my journey with you.

It’s a journey that has taken me from the lecture halls of academia to the forefront of technological innovation. I’ve discovered a world of opportunities waiting to be seized along the way.

It all began with a single moment of inspiration. Sitting in my first lecture on medical computer science, I was captivated by the endless possibilities technology held for transforming healthcare. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a part of it—to harness the power of computer science to make a real difference in people’s lives.

My journey started with my education in Germany, where I delved deep into the intricacies of medical computer science. But it wasn’t just about learning theories and algorithms; it was about understanding how technology could be applied to solve real-world problems. My passion led me to pursue a PhD, where I focused on analyzing MRI scans of the brain—a field with immense potential for improving our understanding of neurological disorders and guiding treatment strategies.

Yet, as much as I loved the world of Academia, I wanted to do more. My time at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA, was a turning point. I realized that to truly make an impact, I needed to bridge the gap between research and application—to turn ideas into tangible solutions that could directly benefit patients.

And so, I embarked on a new adventure: entrepreneurship. Joining a radiology AI startup in London, I found myself surrounded by a diverse team of experts—from radiologists to software developers to oncologists. Together, we set out to revolutionize medical imaging and diagnostics, using cutting-edge technology to improve patient care.

But my journey didn’t stop there. In 2021, I took on a new role as a Principal at APEX Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on deep technology. Here, I have the opportunity to support and invest in the next generation of tech startups—particularly those in medical technology and life science. It’s a chance to use my experience and expertise to help others bring their innovative ideas to life.

computer science

How to get started in your computer science career

So, what does my journey mean for you, dear reader? A computer science career is filled with possibilities. Whether you’re passionate about healthcare, finance, education, or any other field, there’s a place for you here. The opportunities are endless, from developing lifesaving medical technologies to launching your startup to investing in the future of innovation.

Don’t let anyone tell you that computer science isn’t for you. You have the talent, the drive, and the determination to succeed. So go out there and chase your dreams. And remember, you’re not just building a career—you’re building a future where technology has the power to change the world for the better.

Here are some tips to take away in your journey:

  1. Be open to opportunities. In the dynamic world of technology, new jobs are constantly emerging. Stay open-minded and curious, as the next big opportunity might be something you’ve never even heard of before. Embrace change and be willing to explore new avenues in your career journey.
  2. Seek work experience. Internships and work placements are invaluable for gaining hands-on experience and building your network in the industry.
  3. Find a mentor. Seek a diverse set of mentors who can offer guidance, support, and valuable insights as you navigate your career path in tech.
  4. Network. Connect with fellow professionals, attend industry events, and join online communities like SheCanCode to expand your network and access new opportunities.
  5. Stay informed. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the tech industry, globally and in your region.
  6. Dream big. Don’t limit yourself. The tech industry is full of possibilities, and with determination and hard work, you can achieve your goals and make a lasting impact.

Embrace the future with confidence

The path for women in computer science is brimming with profound opportunities for innovation and societal impact.

For every young woman contemplating a future in computer science, the message is clear: the world needs your unique perspective, creativity, and intelligence to solve some of its most pressing problems. Whether through academia, industry, or entrepreneurship, your contributions can lead to groundbreaking advancements that benefit humanity.

With each step, whether it is furthering research, enhancing patient care through AI in radiology, or empowering the next generation of tech innovators through venture capital, the impact of women in computer science continues to grow.

As you move forward, remember that the field of computer science is expansive and ever-evolving. It promises a rewarding career with the potential to make a difference.

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