Skip to content

International Women’s Day at Cleo: Honouring 5 women who defied career norms

Reading time :

8 minutes

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Cleo is proud to shine a spotlight on the professional journeys and invaluable contributions of five outstanding women who have excelled in unconventional fields, from engineering to technology. We hope their stories will inspire you to follow your dreams and carve your own path to success. 

Asma, PhD-Engineer in Electrical Engineering

Asma, PHD-Engineer in Electrical EngineeringAs Cleo’s Senior Technical Project Manager, Asma oversees the entire lifecycle of our electrification projects, from design to commissioning. She also provides expert advice to clients who have opted for our turnkey charging service, helping them choose suitable charging stations based on their operational constraints and electric vehicle specifications. 

Following her graduation from engineering school in Tunisia, Asma pursued advanced studies, earning a PhD and post-doctorate in electrical engineering from esteemed French universities. Her early career path led her toward academia, where she thrived as a university lecturer and researcher specializing in smart grids and the integration of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. This role allowed her to combine her passion for engineering and teaching. Since relocating to Canada in 2014, Asma has shifted her focus to practical applications in transportation electrification, specifically electric charging solutions for various types of vehicles.

While she takes pride in her career shift, Asma acknowledges the challenges of entering such a different world, while still largely male-dominated. Nonetheless, her professional experience and years of teaching have emerged as strengths, enabling her to mentor junior engineers and interns while facilitating collaborations with various universities.

“Every professional experience, whether good or bad, offers valuable lesson.” 

Asma’s father, who’s also an engineer, fuelled her passion for mathematics, a gift that would partly serve as an inspiration for her professional journey. Her loved ones were extremely proud of her career ambitions — a pride that reached new heights when her two adorable boys were born!


Esther, Practice Lead, UX Research and Design

Esther, Practice Lead, UX Research and DesignEsther plays a crucial role at Cleo, ensuring our smart charging management platform is designed with users in mind. She validates the effectiveness of every new feature by immersing herself in the realities of our clients and incorporating their feedback.

Armed with a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Polytechnique and a specialization in human-machine interaction (HMI), Esther initially ventured into areas such as data analytics and business intelligence. However, it was within the realms of User Experience (UX) that she discovered her true passion — a career path she didn’t know existed! And yet, it offered the perfect blend of strategy, creativity, and analytics while also providing a human-centric approach that aligned with her professional aspirations.

“UX made me realize that software development is more than just writing code to meet requirements. You can truly create amazing solutions just by adding a touch of empathy, user research, and ergonomics!”

Despite dealing with impostor syndrome, she realized that her skills and expertise were what truly mattered. Whether she’s navigating a male-dominated environment or she’s one of the youngest members of her team, excelling at her job guarantees her a secure place in her profession.

When she’s not working on Cleo’s UX systems, Esther is constantly pursuing new hobbies and artistic endeavours, so much so that it’s hard to keep track!

Jasmine, Software Development Engineer in Test

Jasmine, Software Development Engineer in TestJasmine is responsible for developing automated testing frameworks at Cleo, overseeing the entire process from design to implementation. She also writes code that enhances the testability of our smart charging management platform software. In other words, she writes code like any developer but focuses on test automation to expedite results throughout the development phase.

Jasmine’s path to becoming a test engineer was anything but conventional. Disinterested in math and science during high school, she pursued massage therapy, dedicating seven years to the field and gaining essential business management skills. She then transitioned to content strategy and digital marketing management, where she discovered an interest in web development, eventually mastering full-stack development before settling into her current role.

While they didn’t always understand the nature of her work, Jasmine’s loved ones encouraged her to explore different career paths. She attributes much of her success to the incredible women in her life, especially her mother and two grandmothers. They taught her to follow her heart and not limit herself to traditional careers.

“My career path has taught me to adapt and allow events to take me where I need to go. When I’ve fallen on hard times, I’ve always been able to turn to those around me for advice.”

Jasmine’s adaptability has served her well and taught her many valuable lessons. After all, there’s nothing like being in charge of your destiny!

Léonie, DevOps Developer

Léonie, DevOps DeveloperAt Cleo, Léonie is a guiding force for development teams, facilitating smoother workflows and enhancing efficiency. Her responsibilities include implementing automation and continuous integration (CI/CD) processes for application deployment and testing. She, therefore, actively contributes to infrastructure architecture decisions for our smart charging management platform. As part of her role, Léonie is also responsible for deployment automation and management of this infrastructure.

Léonie’s fascination with science and technology has shaped her career path. She studied at the Cégep de Trois-Rivières and Université Laval to become a computer programmer. After graduation, she decided not to pursue a career in the field, fearing its solitary nature. Instead, she opted to leverage her academic knowledge by offering training and support in the practical applications of digital solutions to those working in the healthcare industry.

Léonie eventually realized that being a developer requires a lot of collaboration. That’s all she needed to reignite her passion! As she transitioned into more technical roles, she found a perfect balance between her education and her need for human interaction.

“This strong desire for collaboration and interaction is, I think, an asset as a DevOps developer!”

Still, Léonie wouldn’t change her career path for the world. Her professional evolution has been shaped by a variety of experiences. As she often finds herself in male-dominated teams, she feels included when people say things like “Thanks, guys.” Yet, she never hesitates to assert herself, reminding others of her presence and indispensable contributions to the team!

Valérie, Product Specialist and Agile Coach

Valérie, Product Specialist and Agile CoachValérie plays two roles at Cleo. As a product specialist, she offers valuable advice to clients, helping them maximize the potential of our smart charging management platform. She does so by providing training and education, attentively listening to their needs and tailoring her approach to match the intricacies of their operations. She also leads feedback sessions, collecting client input to identify missing features. As an agile coach, she provides guidance on self-organization, continuous improvement and collaboration, facilitating work within internal teams.

Equipped with a degree in Business Administration from UQÀM, Valérie kicked off her career as an account manager in the telecommunications industry. Her primary mission was to help partners understand different solutions and provide support to bolster their sales efforts. It was while working in this industry that Valérie first took on the role of product specialist for a new cloud solution. That was when she discovered her true calling!  

“My mother worked in telecommunications. Her confidence and ability to build strong relationships with her customers left an indelible mark on my own aspirations.”

Valérie was drawn to mathematics during her high school years, but her interests took a different turn once she entered Cégep, where she discovered an affinity for art and psychology. Because of that, her friends and family were surprised by her change of heart, as it seemed to lead down a more rational and professional path. Little did they know, however, that her current role would enable her to combine her creativity with her love of collaboration, bridging the gap between human and technological realms.

Valérie’s journey through various academic programs, roles, and industries proves that pursuing our passions can lead to professional success. Today, she’s glad to have chosen a field of study that offers such boundless opportunities. Her achievements allowed her to make her way into a male-dominated workplace equipped with a wealth of experience that truly sets her apart.


Stay connected

Let’s stay connected: sign up for our newsletter.

Restez au courant

Soyez parmi les premières et les premiers à être informés de nos plus récentes publications, des nouveautés relatives à nos solutions ainsi que de nos événements. Vous pouvez vous désabonner en tout temps.

Stay connected

Be among the first to find out about our most recent posts, the latest news on our solutions and our events. You can opt out at any time.