Professor Letizia Jaccheri receives the Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy


On 3 December 2022, the Italian Embassy in Norway organised a ceremony in Trondheim to award this year laureates of the Knight of the Order of the Star. Professor Letizia Jaccheri was appointed ‘Cavaliere’ (Knight) of the Order of the Star of Italy by the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella.

The Italian Order of the Star is a distinction for civilians endowed by the state which specifically honours Italians abroad or foreigners who have acquired special merit in the promotion of friendly relations and cooperation between Italy and other countries. The order is conferred by the Italian President of the Republic. On this occasion, the Italian Ambassador to Norway, Stefano Nicoletti, awarded Prof Jaccheri the Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy for her work on gender equality in academia and industry.

Jaccheri is Professor the Department of Computer Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She also chairs the COST Action European Network For Gender Balance in Informatics (EUGAIN). This network aims to improve gender balance in Informatics at all levels, from undergraduate and graduate studies to participation and leadership in academia and industry.

Woman standing on a large stage lit by spotlights giving a speech holding a bouquet of flowers.
Prof. Maria Letizia Jaccheri during the 50th anniversary celebration of Department of Computer Science – IDI – NTNU 11/22/2022 photo by Kai Torgeir Dragland

For more than 30 years, Prof Jaccheri focused her studies on understanding software though empirical studies. Her areas of expertise include computer science, interaction design, and computerised gaming. She has been behind several initiatives to get more women to choose the technology industry.

“It is important to lift other people up and not to be selfish. My motto is adapted from my favourite book, the children’s book Pinocchio: “be good, clever and unselfish and you will become a real girl”. Carlo Lorenzini wrote “bambino” but I write girl.”

Prof Maria Letizia Jaccheri

The key to success? According to Jaccheri “Try to get inspiration from the subject you study (in my case computer science that is the most interesting source of change and innovation in the last 50 years) and the people you meet (students, colleagues, users of the systems we develop, industry actors).”

Branching out

COST is delighted to announce an exciting upcoming collaboration with Prof Jaccheri at the upcoming ‘Women in Tech’ Breakfast Roundtable, to be held as a hybrid event from 09:00 – 10:30 on 26 January 2023.

This event is organised under the umbrella of the Microsoft ‘Conversations Unscripted’ initiative, a multistakeholder platform that brings together European leaders to explore avenues to reduce the gender gap in the fields of politics and technology. COST is one of the implementing partners of the project alongside Microsoft’s European Government Affairs team, the Brussels Binder, WOMEN IN TECH, Womenpreneur-Initiative, Women4Cyber Foundation, WIIS Brussels, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP), and the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO).

Registration for Breakfast Roundtable will open in December and will be announced on the COST website soon. All are welcome!

Additional information

Read the full interview with Prof Jaccheri ‘Women in Science‘ in the context of International Day of Women and Girls in Science celebrated every year on 11 February.

In 2021 Prof. Letizia was awarded with a prestigious Norwegian prize for her work on gender balance. The ODA-Award highlights women in technology subjects.

Read more on gender equality at COST here.

Feature photo by Kai Torgeir Dragland