Women in Tech: From France with Love (for Tech)

Gotta get that snack time in whenever you can! Anne-lise in the SGS France office.

Gotta get that snack time in whenever you can! Anne-lise in the SGS France office.

The pronunciation of Anne-lise Millereux’s last name doesn’t roll off the tongue easily for non-native speakers of French, so she breaks it down by syllable. “Meel-eh-roo. It means ‘thousand – happy,’” says the developer from Dijon, France.

And does the positive-sounding name describe her appropriately? “Yeah, mostly,” she laughs.

Anne-lise’s interest in tech is all in the family. Her father was the director of IT at a Swiss company, so tech was regularly the topic of conversation around the dinner table. “I was interested in hearing his stories about work, and it was nice that there was a common interest between us.” She started studying computer science in high school before completing a bachelor’s degree in Grenoble, France’s Silicon Valley.

After graduating, Anne-lise spent the next decade working at SGS as a software developer. “I worked on a vehicle inspection app, so on top of being a woman in tech, it was also a super masculine project.” But it never bothered Anne-lise that she was always just one of the only female developers in her class or job. “I got used to it. You have to adapt. I’m doing exactly what I like to do.”

Anne-lise and her father had a common interest in tech; he was a developer as well.

Anne-lise and her father had a common interest in tech; he was a developer as well.

Anne-lise arrived in Canada in 2015 after having a premonition five years prior that she was destined for a big change. “You know when you have a strong feeling that pushes you in a certain direction?” she asks. Anne-lise eventually got a job at Traction on Demand after meeting VP of HR Manu Varma at a career fair. “I couldn’t find Traction’s booth and almost left!” she recalls.

In the year since, she has made quite the impression on her colleagues and was recently nominated for the Linden Cup, a quarterly award for the employee who has gone above and beyond to support their teammates (in the spirit of former Vancouver Canucks captain Trevor Linden). According to her manager Hans Vedo, the “thousand – happy” Tractionite is always positive, even during challenging times. “Anne-lise is fun to work with. She’s always looking out for how others are doing and cheering up the group,” he says.

While Anne-lise is being recognized for being a rock star employee, later this month, women across North America will be recognized for their contributions to tech. Anne-lise will be right there with them, attending events in Vancouver. “I like that there is the motion of supporting women but it should be the norm. Until then, it’s still something to promote, like Women in Tech Week or Traction for Good’s program to teach girls how to code. Girls need to know they can do whatever they want in life. Tech is a possibility for you.”

Find out about the events taking place across North America and get digitally literate with Ladies Learning Code.

This post is the first in a series profiling Tractonites and Friends of Traction ahead of Women in Tech Week, February 27 – March 3.