News & Interviews

Edge Women of the Year Interview – Lily Yusupova, Schneider Electric

In the lead-up to Edge Computing World, we’re taking some time to speak to this year’s finalist of the Edge Women of the Year award. Today we’re talking to Lily Yusupova, Strategic Account Executive at Schneider Electric


Tell us a bit about yourself – what led you to get involved in the edge computing market?

I started in the Data Center space, but quickly realized the importance of the Edge in terms of the communications in and out of the data center.  For a Data Center to be successful, it’s much more than strategies to maximize hardware and to manage cooling – connectivity is the key and Edge is playing a critical role in the Data Center’s success. Edge is also an area that’s quickly evolving. Whether you consider the Edge to be a cellular tower, a data center or the mobile phone in a person’s hand, the Edge – and the technology behind it – is changing and I wanted to be part of that change.  Most recently, in joining the OIX committee and I’ve been part of the team developing industry standards around the Edge.  My experience in both the Data Center and Edge spaces, as well as my work with in helping customers address their real-world data needs, has helped me develop a unique perspective to contribute to the committee activities.  

How does diversity benefit the edge environment?

I think diversity is critical to the success of any project. We are redefining the Edge everyday – what it is, the technology behind it and the benefits that it offers – and this is a significant undertaking.  To be successful, we need diversity in our teams because diversity of people drives diversity of thought. It will be those new approaches and new ways of thinking that will help us address these challenges as we continue to evolve Edge into the future.

Tell us what is one lesson you’ve learned that’s unique to being a female leader in the Edge space?

I bring a different perspective to the conversation, both as a woman and as a seasoned IT professional.  I’m able to offer a unique point of view and I may approach challenges from a different place than others, based on that experience and that adds real value to my projects.  This experience is based on years of hard work and my continued efforts to gain new skills and further my career every day. The lesson that I have learned is the need for that drive to be successful. Take on the next challenge, join the next project team and learn from every experience. And, when those projects are completed, drive forward and start the next one.  It’s that personal motivation that has helped me grow and be successful.

How do you see the edge market developing over the next few years?

It’s going to evolve and transform the way we live our lives every day.  Looking back years ago, I don’t think that we fully understood the challenges or opportunities of Edge or saw how technology would evolve to bring the full value we see today.  I’m proud to be part of this and I’m excited to be driving where this market is going.

What advice would you give to other women entering the edge space, and/or what are some ways in which you have helped to support and lift other women in the space up?

I think more women are very much needed in this space because we bring that different viewpoint to everything that we do.  There is greater opportunity across the IT space for women than ever before, so younger women need to take advantage of these opportunities and find their paths in the space, taking on challenges and gaining experience as they grow. My advice for them would be to step up. Your critical thinking is important.  Your contributions are important.  You need to have a mindset that you are capable of doing anything that you put your mind to and the confidence that comes with that. If you understand your value, you can then demonstrate that to your peers, your teams and your customers.

As seasoned professionals in this space, it’s our responsibility to then mentor those younger women. Challenge them and, when we see them rise to that challenge, help them find their next opportunity. We need to be the support network to foster their growth. By sharing our experience and guiding them in their careers, we can help them be that voice for future projects.

Thanks Lily ! 

The Edge Woman of the Year 2021 winner will be announced during the Edge Computing World Keynotes on October 13th.