International Women’s Day Spotlight: Rossella Sblendido


On March 8th women around the world will be honored for International Women’s Day…but instead of a day, we’ve decided to highlight our women in tech all week long. Tune in each day to learn more about the SUSE women behind the magic!


Name: Rossella Sblendido

City: Milan

Occupation: Team Lead Networking


Q: Tell us a little about you.

A: I hold a MSc in Telecommunications Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano and I studied in three different countries (Italy, Germany and Spain). I started my career developing software in the artificial intelligence field then moved to Software-Defined Networking. I started contributing to OpenStack in the early days, I was nominated Core Reviewer for Neutron (the networking project). In SUSE I lead the team that takes care of SDN/NFV and maintains the network related packages for our distros. I represent SUSE in the Technical Steering Committee of OPNFV and in the Technical Advisory Board of the LF Networking Fund. I am part of an improv theater amateur company. I love sports (running, tennis, pilates). I have two cats.

Q: Do you think it’s important to have an International Women’s Day?

A: I have mixed feelings about that. It should be a day to reflect about the fact that every minority had to fight to get the same rights, that human beings have preconceptions and judge others based on that, that there’s a lot of work to do to reach equality. Unfortunately for some people it’s just an occasion to bring flowers or to organize a dinner with female friends.

Q: What did you want to be growing up?

A: I wanted to be a cardiac surgeon or neurosurgeon.

Q:  Why do you feel it’s important for young girls to consider roles in STEM?

A: The question I would ask is why only few girls are considering roles in STEM. Is it because of the education? Social pressure? That’s something we need to address. There’s no biological reason why we have such a low percentage of women in STEM.


Q: What do you enjoy most about your role and working at SUSE?

A: I used to be a developer, had almost no social interaction. About my role as a manager I love to have to deal with people. I try to enable my team to do the best job possible. About SUSE I love the fact that we are open, in so many ways. People are approachable and they listen if you have something to say.

Q: What advice would you give someone looking to start working in your sector?

A: Don’t be scared of asking questions!

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Ruby Nicholson