Bianca’s story is one of triumph. From almost being homeless, to being chosen to work on NASA’s Insight Mars Mission, her story is one of amazing accomplishment despite early adversity. In this podcast we discuss how to ignore the labels given to us by ourselves and others, how what happened to you doesn’t have to become your story, and why we must speak up to support others that are being labelled.

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Don’t Let The Labels Define You, With Bianca Cefalo

Welcome back, Leading Ladies and male allies. It is actually a gloomy Saturday here in Seattle, where I am sitting right now, but I’m not feeling gloomy, because today I have two amazing guests with me. I have Matt Higa, who’s been with me as a co-host for the last few podcasts. He’s the founder of new space startup, Pineapple Empire, as well as the creative force behind the Top Women in Aviation and Aerospace to follow on LinkedIn. And today we’re interviewing one of the amazing women from that list. Bianca Cefalo. She’s a self proclaimed tech nerd, a rocket scientist, a feminist, a STEM advocate, and much much more. She is currently the Director at Space startup Carbice. While at the same time, she’s been busy founding her own company, Space DOTS Ltd. She worked with NASA on the inside space Mars mission, as well as with or for various space companies moving across Europe and currently residing in the UK. Bianca is a Leading Lady that likes to challenge the system, and her LinkedIn cover photo states, rocket scientists looking like idolaters will become the norm. She sounds like a woman after my own heart. And I can’t wait to have our conversation today around not letting labels define you. Welcome, Bianca.

Hello, everyone. Hi, Fiona and I’m really happy to be with you. And I’m giving you some very hot steamy summers from the South of Italy, where I am at the moment so you don’t feel gloomy.

My first guest from that? Who’s that? I’m interviewing from Italy. I love it. I love it. Matt is it sunny in California?

Yeah, you can have some of my sunlight too. We got more than enough of it. Please take some of it, please. It’s a little too hot right now. I spent all yesterday napping because it was just so hot.

So here in Seattle, it’s been raining for, it’s not been raining. It’s actually been no rain for a month now for everything is just parched. And so I’m quite happy for a gloomy day because we don’t have AC here. Yeah.

Yeah, and we are having Bianca here from Italy. It’s our first one internationally. And so this is pretty exciting.

It is. So Bianca, the first question that I always ask on every podcast is what do you think about the glass ceiling? And in your experience, does it still exist?

And I do believe they exist. And I do believe they exist mostly the way we want to approach our careers, especially in a male dominated environment. Like it could be aerospace, aviation, and space, or more generally, the tech industry they exist in. Especially if we talk about age, for instance. If I started in Italy probably wouldn’t have gotten where I am, at my age, because I’m a millennial, basically. And so, it really depends on where you’re coming from. What is the path that you want to choose and how do you want to approach obstacles that you have on your way? They exist, but they can be broken. All of them.

Yeah, yeah, I know exactly what you mean about moving around. I’ve had very different experiences with the glass ceiling in the UK versus the US, some quite unexpected. But like you, they don’t have to hold me back. It sounds like you’re somebody who’s actually broken through the glass ceiling. When did you first realize you’d broken through it?

Well first of all, I think I’ve broken the glass ceiling that was more of a generational glass ceiling because I’m coming from my background and was absolutely non tech. I’m the first child graduate, coming from a very financially problematic dysfunctional family. And nowadays you might not believe that the south of Italy is still quite conservative. I mean, it was when I started studying engineering, especially aerospace engineering. So, I think that the first boundaries are labels that have broken or I’ve shattered was around where I was coming from, what I wanted to do and how masculine that was. I didn’t care about anything, I didn’t care about financial problems about working in the afternoon, starting in the evening, I didn’t care about moving around when I was 23. Actually, I think the first one I’ve broken was that in 2008, we almost were homeless, literally, were my family. Five years later, I was chosen amongst the only women European to work on the NASA JPL insight Mars mission for an instrument that was developed in Germany by an SME working for the German Space Agency. So, I think that was really the first one, I was super young, I was 23, I had no idea if someone would have told me in 2008, “Oh, my God, you’re going to be homeless, but hey, you’re going to work for NASA,” I wouldn’t have believed that. So, I think that was the first one really that I’ve reached. And then I moved on to more managerial places, and now founding my startup, still in my early 30s. And again, that’s something that comes from my backgrounds where the mindset of people is still kind of holding women back. All of those, let’s say the steps have been breaking some houses down for me, no total ceilings.

I love that. I love that. Because that’s one of the things in this podcast, before you can break society’s glass ceilings, you’ve got to break your own. I think it’s absolutely beautiful. And thank you for sharing that story. I’m going to have to introduce you to Huy Tran, she’s the director of aeronautics at NASA. She was actually one of the boat people that came from Vietnam, and worked her way up to that position, I think you guys would really get along. I love what you’re saying around the other glass ceilings, the financial and generational glass ceilings. Matt, do you have any thoughts on those?

Yeah, you know, I was actually thinking about that, as you were saying that too, because that’s where a lot of my experience with glass ceilings comes in, and where I can kind of relate to, you know, listeners of this podcast that have heard my episode, which would have been a few weeks back already. But know that you know, I come from a strong background, and have a lot of strong women in it. My mom, and my sisters, like I’m just surrounded by it. So, like, I’m empathetic and sympathetic to the cause and everything. I’m a feminist myself. So, I get it, personally, and individually had I experienced it, and woken up to maybe some racial things. But just other things, I’ve just, I don’t know what they are yet, like I’m at a company now that is really difficult to get some upward growth in for some reason. Not quite sure why. Based on first principles, thinking or some reasoning, and it might just be me being logical, but there are definitely like these weird ceilings or like barriers to entry or like going forward when you know you can totally do something. So, it is nice. I’ve had some of the financial steps to like my family from an engineering background, my dad’s a mechanic at Maddison. So, there’s aviation and aerospace. But space, that’s a whole different thing. Nobody thinks that’s a real thing. That’s still a joke.

But what I love, Matt, is that, you know, you’re working for this big, well known company, and you’re hearing you’re encountering some glass ceilings, but you’re sitting out there with your own startup so that, you know, you’re going to your own company. Eventually, the only glass ceilings that you’re going to have are going to be the ones that you set for yourself. And hopefully people like me and Bianca will call you out on those and help you. I took a sledgehammer to them.

And you know what? Sometimes or a lot of times that is my least favorite glass ceiling is my own limitations and self-limiting beliefs are the ones that I put on myself. So, for sure.

Beautiful. Well, Bianca today the topic that you came to me with, because usually I set the title, but I just loved yours so much like I’m going with that, is “Don’t let labels define you.” I just loved it. So why did you choose this topic?

And I chose the topic exactly for probably you know, what we’ve been discussing now was, I mean truth to that. Because again, I think most of the boundaries are the limitations. I think all of the limitations we have are in our own heads, really. And again, I use labels as very specific words because I’ve been going through different labels since I was a child. Then growing up again, growing up in a very rough environment. My childhood wasn’t easy at all. Since I was five years old, there were many rough things happening in my family and around me. So, I had to learn from a very young age that life wasn’t a fairy tale. I just had to be a model since I was a child. And that word that really gave me a scar tissue against all the possible stereotypes labels that people put on you. But that also was in a sense, because everybody around from the larger family to, let’s say, neighbors, whatever the settings were, I was leaving, they were labeling me as part of this dysfunctional family. As a consequence, I had to unlearn and rewire my brain thinking that, “Hey, this is not my story,” not because this happened to me. Or “We’ve been unlucky with a business” and whatever, and so on and so forth. This is not going to be my story forever. So, I had to work on all the labels as I was moving through my life from when I was a very young child, and I loved studying. So, I was a nerd, I was a proper nerd. Then, I was bullied for whatever reason, because I wasn’t financially very wealthy, as most of the people around me. And also, because I was a nerd. And then when I moved on to growing up, I became a pretty, you know, the usual pretty lady that here was like “How well you can find the rich husbands?” There aren’t usually pretty ladies that go into engineering. Anytime there was a stage in my life, there was a label put on myself, from wherever else from people that had no idea what they were talking about. So, I had to work through all of them. Then there were other labels, again, in a very, very male dominant industry. I moved from Italy when I was 23. I went to Germany; I had no idea about what I was going to do. Then I moved on to the UK and US. So now all of those labels have really, really come to my mind as we didn’t need them. We don’t need to think of them.

Yeah, I love some of the stuff that you’re sharing there. Thank you for being so vulnerable with us. It’s beautiful. I know what it’s like to be bullied for being smart and stuff. And I just loved, loved, loved what you said about you’ve actually used some of the scar tissue that you developed. And you said, “Okay, this has been my story so far, but it is not going to be my story forever.” That’s the thing, our story can be: “This bad stuff happened to me, I’m such a victim,” or it can be like, “This stuff happened to me, and it sucked. But I use that to fuel me.” And I almost want to cry listening to your story because I just like, oh my god, I love this woman. Because I love it. I love people that say “My circumstances don’t need to hold me back.” At the very start of my career, I actually taught in a very, very rough school in inner city, London. And sometimes people would label the kids and say, you know, you’ll come to nothing. And there was this one kid who was naughty. But he was amazing. And I said to him, “You know, you could make it to Oxford or Cambridge.” And he laughed at me, and the other teachers laughed. And guess what, 10 years later, I got a LinkedIn message from him, saying, “I’ve just graduated in Cambridge, and I’ve got a job with an investment bank, and I was a boxer for the university. And thank you for being the first person that told me. and I was just like “Oh my God! I’m so happy!” You’re right, people that don’t come from these super functional, wealthy families, or I don’t know, many wealthy families that are super functional. You know, everybody seems to go on to great things. And if you’re not from that, people put labels on you. Anyway, I’m getting carried away here. I’m getting too emotional. I just love, love, love that story. Because it doesn’t matter where you’re born, or what you come from. It might take you longer to get there. You may have hurdles, more hurdles to climb. But you can get there.

Yeah, that’s really, you know, well, I think also what we represent here, we’re all very different but at the same time it’s not that you don’t have to look like somebody or something to be there. You don’t have to be as old or as young or as functional or as whatever, you know. All of these things are coming from people that have never done what you want to do. So why would you listen to them anyway?

I love that. I love that. Yeah, the naysayers are just pulling you back. It’s like, “Well, if you’ve never experienced it, how would you know?” And I’m actually listening to a song right now by Katy Perry. I think it’s called Daisies or something like that. And she talks about, “Well, I might be one in 7 million, but why can’t it be me?” And so, every time I start to doubt myself, I just like you know, mentally punch myself in the head and say, “Well, why can’t it be me?” I love it. It can be me if I want it to be.

Exactly, I’m gonna have to look that song up because I’m usually a pretty big Katy Perry fan. I have not heard that one. So, I’m gonna have to go listen to that one.

Well, I’m all into female empowerment music right now. So, Amazon, iTunes, whatever it’s called and keeps sending me recommendations. So, it’s wonderful.

It makes sense and enticing that in the past few weeks, as well as just like, there’s nothing to lose, just go out there and do it. Because I mean, I, I can’t remember the exact quote, but it’s like, “If you don’t have haters,” I mean, “If you have haters, you’re probably doing something right.”

Oh yeah Haters don’t hate on losers. Remember that everybody. Haters don’t hate losers. So, if you’re not upsetting somebody, you’re not trying hard enough.

Childish Gambino has one that goes along the lines of “Don’t be mad at me, because I’m doing me better than you’re doing you.” A lot of it is kind of like that jealousy. Because we’re out there we’re doing something that is you know, we talked about it, it’s courage. And, you know, putting ourselves out there and being uncomfortable and breaking boundaries and glass ceilings, which is scary and terrifying. And not a lot of people do it. And so then, other people as traitors are having to hit that point. Yet, they are, you know, just a little intimidated or jealous that we’ve done it for them.

I was actually inspired by Reshma Saujani. I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing that correctly, but she’s the founder of Girls Who Code. And she was actually speaking at a conference that I was at. And she said, “You know, rather than envying people for what they have, you know, go after and get what you want.” And I was sitting there, and I just thought to myself, “I wish I was standing on the stage talking like she was. I’ve got some good stuff to say.” And so, I was like, “You know what, she’s absolutely right. Why am I seeing envy in this woman? I’ll go build my own stage.” I was trying to learn that she was lovely. And I just love that if you feel envy, it means you want some of that? So go after it!

Oh, yeah, yeah, I think we all experienced this kind of comparison with everybody. But then again, because I had to learn everything from you know, minus scratch, not even scratch, since I was young. Anytime I would see somebody who I thought was better than me, or had more, I wasn’t hating them. I was like, “Okay, I love something that they have, I want to have it too.” So, I’m going to ask them how they did it. So, you know this is how you learn. And I admired them. And still, this is what I do even now. Now, having started my new startup I go after the CEOs that I admire. Women, men, non-binary, who cares, you know, that’s just gender is irrelevant. And I’m like, “Okay, I love what you’ve done, how you did it?” And that’s probably the greatest thing we can do. Again, going around the labels, even if you’ve been in the industry for 10, 20, 30 years, there is something that you have to learn. So, have a beginner mindset all the time. Put your ego aside and let you really learn from people that have done it without envy, possibly.

Beautiful, beautiful. And back to today’s guest. So you mentioned a few times about your career. And you actually had a fascinating career and it’s only just getting started. I really, really want to hear more about it because I know our listeners will be fascinated. And I want to know more about your career and maybe some of the labels that you’ve had to overcome along the way.

Alright so okay, I’ve basically started aerospace and astronautical engineering, and I specialized in something that at the time again, was labeled as very niche, which is aero thermal fluid dynamics for hypersonic reentry capsule. It is very niche. It was very niche at the time, but I just loved it. And I said, “Okay, I’m going to go and do it and specialize in this thing. And I’m going to be an expert.” This is exactly what helped me getting hired by this company in Germany for the NASA space inside Mars main mission, which I was the youngest again. I had just finished my university and that was my very first project. So, I was like, “Okay, so as a first project, they just need someone who has exactly my CV,” which everybody labeled as too niche, “You’re not going to do anything but these two competitive blah, blah, blah, and they’ve chosen me.” So that was the first label I saw, I was good with the niche. Then I went to work for the HB cube, it’s called the instrument that was developed by the German Space Agency. And then when that project was over, and it was meant to be six to eight months, then I was renewed with the contract in Germany. So, I moved on to thermal engineering working on the simulation of multiple E’s, and European Commission programs from CubeSat to bigger telecommunication spacecraft. So, everything from R&D management, to lab assistants. It was pretty much like five full years of hands-on experience from really designing to simulating the testing. To see on orbit and downloading the data. When they did, the CubeSats, or the satellites were on orbit. So, it was an end-to-end learning of how a space system was working. And then I had enough of Germany and Berlin. I had learned everything that I thought I needed to learn. And I’ve realized also, I’m not going to be just an analyst all the time. I’m a people person, I need to speak to people I need to be on the stage. I don’t want to be in the lab forever. So, I moved on to Airbus Defense in Space. And that was, again, another glass ceiling for me, let’s say because I was at the time under thirty. And I was the only woman non-British under 30 sitting in a boardroom of 50, usually men over 50. And when I was sitting there, and it was after two weeks, I started as a thermal product manager on a telecommunication spacecraft, huge problems. I was sitting there looking around, I was like, “Okay, I’m very proud to be here for the entire humanoids. Where are the others? Where are all of them? Why am I the only one under thirty women here, what’s going on?” And that’s really snapped something in my brain where I said, “Okay.” Besides working on, you know, moving myself around professionally going through the lab, or however we would call it, being so successful in what I do, I need to help more women and girls that are like me, that look like me, and they don’t look like you know, Mr. Einstein. They need to understand that they can be here, that they can wear whatever they want. They can wear red lipstick and sit in a boardroom deciding about the future of space exploration. And so, that’s when I state the purpose of defensive space for three years and something. And then I realized that through my consulting, which I started last year, lots of STEM, I was going to all the girls’ schools in North London, where I was living at the time I really learned from them. I learned what the girls wanted and what they wanted to hear. And all of them will come to me saying, “Oh my god, I’m so grateful you’ve come here, because so far, everybody would come as a Stem Ambassador. They look like my grandfather.” And they were like, “How am I supposed to be even fascinated by this topic? If all of you look like my grand dad trying to sell me a ticket to something. I don’t even understand why, and what is my role in that?” That made me understand even more how much work there was to do, how much wasn’t done. And so, in parallel, I was transitioning anyway, from the corporation to the world of startups. And I decided I needed to speak more, move on to my own startup and really show to myself and everybody out there that you can be a CEO in the space industry without looking like the average man out there.

I love that. I love that. And I love that you’re also challenging. The looks are stereotypes, I guess hands up here. So, in my career, I spent time watching the people that were at the top and making sure that I dress like them. I always put my hair up. I always wore my glasses and tried to look conservative because I knew that way, I would be more accepted. And so, I think it’s really beautiful. What you’re saying about not only breaking the barriers of being a woman, but it’s also almost like you don’t mind saying It’s okay to be a feminine woman as well.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I was kind of intoxicated literally by the whole corporation culture. Because as much as you express yourself and you help others, again, it is respective of genders there are most of my friends and now co-founders who are men, and they didn’t fit into the kind of, you know, office stereotype. As much as you want to be that, the majority is like them. And I didn’t like it. It’s also because I am a person who doesn’t care about opinions, but there are many other women or in many other minorities also in terms of religion, cultural, ethnic, or whatever, sexual, who can suffer out of those opinions. It’s still there. It’s still unspoken. Now many people speak up, I was extremely intoxicated. And I think the tipping point was when the Black Lives Matter happened. I mean, the whole movement happens, I spoke with a couple of people HR from, you know, those big corporations. I didn’t hear anything back from them. Nothing, not a statement, not a word, when everybody was putting out their statements. And people of my team were black men. And I was like, “How are you even kind of preaching that you accept, you nurture all this diversity and culture is if you’re not even stating anything about everything that’s happening.” So, I said, “I don’t like this.”

A part of my role with, you know, leading ladies of aerospace and leading ladies of defense. A lot of people will come to me with stories of what’s happening. And obviously, I’m not going to name those companies. But you see, they’ve got these initiatives, these statements that they’re putting out there. And you hear these stories, and you’re like, “Oh, my goodness, you know, the same one thing?” Yeah, these behaviors are happening. And how do you expose that, without being labeled a troublemaker? It’s hard. And I personally think that’s why people like us, in a way, are breaking free and doing our own thing. Because it’s very, very difficult to take on when you’re in a company.

Yeah, yeah, it is. And when you’re out, you can really attract your tribe. And they sound super spiritual, who out there. But it’s true. Now when I moved to Carbice, which is a black owned business, it’s super cool. Actually, I met the CEO when I was working with Airbus. And I thought, “Oh, my God, that’s the kind of leadership I love,” actually came around last year and offered me a job as they are expanding. And this is what I want to see. I want to see the actual diversity, I want to see people who actually care, who actually made me feel and I make them feel part of the mission that makes sense to us. It’s not just okay, nine to five, we are paying our bills. And who cares. We’re working in an industry that is shaping the future generations. How will they work? How are we possibly meant to just check in, checkout, and not care about what’s happening around us? So yeah, it’s much better to build your own cultural environment, rather than changing something that has been there for hundreds of years.

But what would your advice be to people that are in these companies, because not everybody has the entrepreneurial spirit or their set of circumstances that allows them to go do their own thing? What advice would you give, because we see that companies are doing a lot right now. I feel that Airbus is publishing its diversity statistics. And the gender pay gap, how they’re addressing that. There are a lot of companies doing stuff. So, if you’re in those companies and you want to, you know, express yourself and make change, what advice do you have?

I advise everyone first of all to speak up anytime they see, or they hear something that isn’t looking right. And this is what I used to do. And to be honest, I even made a change of listing where I was or the people I was working with, because when I left they actually told me you always stood your ground and our grounds, we felt protected and accepted in your team more than was ever done before. Which made me cry. But I would say “Speak up!” Really, if there is something that you feel is sexist, something that you feel is racist, something that is just outrageous to you and there’s more than words to speak up and make your voice heard. And sometimes this is difficult because obviously you fear retaliation and everything else. But if you do, and then the other person and all the other people around you start saying “Hey, it’s possible I can do it too!” a much bigger movement of speaking up rather than you know, passing by is going to change something. I was making your office or virtual office life much more peaceful, and your work more enjoyable.

Yeah, I love that. I love that. It’s so scary to speak up. But it’s needed. And you might speak up and the change might not happen while you’re still there. But it may well happen once you’ve moved on. So, I love that.

Yeah, same here, I completely agree. It’s I mean, leadership at its core is being that person who does speak up and say that thing. What I always think about is, I think a lot of people won’t speak up, because they’re thinking, “Oh, it’s just me. It’s not affecting other people, or everybody else is okay with this.” But what I got from my calculus teacher back in the day, as he told me, is like, “If you have that question, there’s probably five other people that have that question. So please speak up so that those other five people can be represented,” Which there’s so much to touch on with everything that you just said here. And I know we have to wrap up soon. It can’t take too much more time. So, I’d love to speak to you some more sometime as well. But I think it was really important what you said about having that representation, and seeing somebody who looks like you, and not just that old grandfather like asking you “Oh, yeah, Sam loves women. But here I am, out there.” Because it’s actually so powerful. I mean, I started hearing about representation A few years ago, right, maybe, maybe about 10 years ago. Like it started, like becoming a kind of topic in the social media sphere. And I’m like, “Yeah, it’s important,” but I didn’t realize how important until I started seeing myself being represented. I started seeing more Asian actors on movies and television, or in just different spaces. And when I saw there was like, it’s such a weird feeling, you get that tingling. You’re like, “Hey, that’s me. That’s my culture. That’s my thing.” And I was just kind of taken aback by how powerful that is. So that is incredibly important to like, see, you know, people who look like you in the spaces that you want to be. So, kudos to you again. You’re doing some powerful work!

Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, as Matt said, I have, I’ve been discovering the magic number for a podcast, which is really hard, because so many of my guests, I could talk to them for six hours. But as we are hitting the 30-minute mark, which is apparently the point where people start switching off, although I can’t imagine anyone wanting to switch off from this interview. So, as Matt mentioned, we are coming up on time here shortly, as I’ve been discovering with my podcast, that 30 is the magic number. Although with most of my guests, I could talk with them all day long. But we would be remiss if we didn’t ask a question about space since we do have two space startup founders sitting here. So, Matt I’m gonna hand this over to you since you the resident Space Expert.

Awesome. Yeah, now I’m always happy to fill in the space questions. It’s probably my basic go to anybody who knows me as it knows that I’m obsessed with getting to space and going beyond that. So, I am trying to currently crowd fund a project to, you know, get to Mars. So, Bianca as a new entrepreneur and a woman, and having been in the field a lot longer than I have, if you were trying to put together a the first human crew to Mars and make it all women, how would you go about it? Like, what’s the next step that needs to be done? Like if you were starting today.

And that is the label to break all female space crew. We’ve had plenty of men. So, I love that question.

Yeah, by the way, that’s funny, because this is what they are thinking to do. Because women are lighter and more flexible and more adaptable to a longer journey in isolation. I think that I will ask them first of all, how would they want to lead into their isolation? So that, my very first basic thing is to design that space, and the suits and the environment for them. So, they need to tell me how they like it, instead of me just imposing to them what they’re supposed to do with the rest of their life on Mars.

Awesome. That’s great feedback there. I’m gonna lock that away.

I love that onset. Start with the environment first. Oh, there’s a great book by Barbara Annis, it’s called Gender Intelligence. And it talks about how some of the biggest challenges we face in industry are the environment, the processes, the tools, the systems that were all designed in the industrial revolution, but it was mostly men. And if you want equality, if you want true diversity, equality and inclusion, it’s not about forcing people to be a certain way. It’s about creating the environment where everybody can thrive. So that is a beautiful answer.

Yeah. I love that. Starting with the, I mean, it goes back to basic design principles for me like design for a specific problem, not like creating a problem and then designing things to make that fit.

So, Bianca, before you leave today, do you have any parting words for our listeners, especially the young women that might be wanting to get into space or maybe leave aerospace to get into space?

Well, first of all, I think that they should leave aerospace and go into space. Because it’s awesome. And then the second one is that we need more sisters into the space industry. I mean, I would tell them if they want to do this, to really go out there and see how many amazing women are doing this. And most of them can relate to them, they are coming from different parts of the world. So, if they think that will be the only one and they are scared, just look on social media, look at the list of people that matter, speak to them, reach out, and then just get your next step. You are not alone at all.

I love that. And speaking of labels, you know, the first thing he said was move from aerospace and get into space. That’s not something that I never did. And part of the reason was because I didn’t think I was cool enough. And I think quite a few people shy away from moving from mainstream aerospace into space, because they don’t think they’re cool enough. So, boost that level for us.

Oh, yeah, that is true, it’s true. Which is strange. I think everything has to do with not on grounds. But I mean, everything that has to do with technology is great. But I’m maybe biased here thinking that aerospace in space is the next type of human evolution. So, if we all want to contribute to that next type of our evolutionary spaces, we should get a feel of what it looks like or what it is going to look like. And everybody from every industry can join us. So, I think it’s true, there isn’t really a label, I don’t think any in the future, there will be a label for aerospace space or aviation. Everything is just going to be, you know, the next evolutionary technology for humankind. I hope that’s going to happen. So that we don’t have to just box ourselves into an industry or the other one. We’re all working together to make our life better on Earth and beyond. So, everybody’s working for space.

Oh, I like that. I like that. What a good answer. Well, Bianca, Matt, it’s been a real pleasure, a real pleasure. And I can’t wait for this podcast to go live. I just want to thank you for your vulnerability, your advice, just being you and showing up with you and inspiring women and men around the world with what you’re doing, Bianca.

Yes, Thank you Bianca

Thanks to you for this platform.



About Bianca

Bianca Cefalo is the Director of International Business Development at Carbice Corporation, an Atlanta-based deep tech start-up. Former Space Systems Thermal Product Manager at Airbus Defence and Space UK, leading disruptive innovation roadmaps for Next Gen Telecommunication Spacecraft. Graduated in Aerospace and Astronautical Engineering at the University ‘Federico II’ of Naples, Italy – with focus on Spacecraft Systems, Hypersonic Aerodynamics, Microgravity and SAR. To date, Bianca has spent a decade between Berlin and London, driving development and qualification of space systems thermal management solutions, and contributing to the delivery of multiple interplanetary science missions and commercial spacecraft platforms sponsored by NASA, ESA, DLR, UKSA and EU – including the HP3 instrument onboard the NASA/JPL InSight Mars Mission, landed on mars in 2018. A Space Scicommer, Consultant, and Public Speaker – in July ’20 Bianca founded Cosmica Space Consulting Ltd, pursuing her mission to inspire and empower the next generation of STEM leaders through creative sci-pop & scicomm projects. And in January ’21 she co-founded, and is running stealth-mode-CEO, her New Space venture ‘Space DOTS® Ltd’. Bianca also serves as committee member of the Women’s Engineering Society in London and UK Artemis Adviser at Lunargistics US.