Rebecca Peres is a journalist for Israel News Now and Peres Daily, as well as a freelance software engineer residing in Montreal, Canada. We spoke with Rebecca about her experience being a woman working in STEM and what it’s like to work alongside her brother and fellow entrepreneur Michael Peres.
What inspired you to work in STEM? How did your background influence your love for tech?
Firstly, the challenge. I always enjoyed school, studying and working hard. I guess I am curious by nature. STEM fields are challenging and that is what kept me going.
Second is my family. My older brothers loved tech and my parents always encouraged it. My brothers were constantly taking apart computers and putting them back together. Seeing a motherboard or a heatsink fan lying around wasn’t an unusual occurrence. Need a new CPU? Broke your flip phone? Call the Peres home. We always had the newest phones, laptops, computers. It was awesome.
And lastly, Margret Hamilton. I was always inspired by that photo of her standing near her stack of code. She was the person in charge of coding Apollo 11, the very spacecraft that took us to space. She hand wrote the code of Apollo 11 along with her team.
Do you believe more women should consider roles in STEM and why?
Of course! There are now plenty of opportunities for women to pursue fields in STEM if they choose to. At the same time, I don’t think they should be shamed or discouraged from pursuing more “traditional” roles if they so desire. I grew up in a home where there were no expectations based on your gender. You did and pursued what you love, not only with total acceptance but with a ton of encouragement.
You work alongside your brother, Michael Peres, who is also a software engineer and entrepreneur. What is the key to your strong working relationship?
Trust, respect and shared values. I 100% trust his knowledge, intelligence, and intentions. I mean, he’s really smart. How can I not? Also, our long-term values and goals match up. We figured out early on where we both fall short and use that to our advantage by filling in the gaps for one another.
We’re able to keep the balance between professionalism and brother/sister banter. There is more freedom to speak one’s mind with siblings and I love being able to be forward but it’s a fine line. Honestly, Michael is a super intelligent person but he’s also kind, deeply thoughtful and considerate of others. Growing up together, I can’t recall a time where I felt negatively towards him. As the kids say today, it’s always “good vibes” with Michael.
What areas of technology do you like most and in what area would you like to expand?
Artificial intelligence, medical technology and cybersecurity technology.
What are your favourite podcasts and apps?
Ted Talks Daily – I love Ted Talks. There’s a variety of topics that are interesting, engaging and always insightful!
The TWIML AI Podcast – I enjoy this one as the host, Sam, focuses on having guests that are tracking (or directly a part of) current advancements in machine learning which makes it really fun and interesting to listen to.