This 2 day event was attended by mainly women of all ages, but sadly very few men. The guests came from institutions, academia, private and public sectors from across Europe and the US. The event was sponsored by the leading global tech companies and supported women in
- pursuing computer careers
- meeting successful technical women and men who built their global careers
- learning about the latest progress in the technology sector and how to apply for research funding
- promoting the value of women in technology
I gave a presentation on behalf of the EESC about the action of women at a local level which had an impact at the global level and how technology was an enabler of achieving such goals and driving change. I covered the EESC work in gender, discrimination, inclusion, entrepreneurship and leadership/management.
There were over 50 workshops and 350 delegates, awards ceremonies and celebrations of women and ICT. The award celebration honoured the Ada Lovelace legacy, the first woman in computer programming discovered in the late 50’s, but who is still not appreciated in equal terms with male accomplishments in the field
Mrs Heinisch attended several workshops also making recommendations from EESC opinions and expressing how both young and old should work better together without making assumptions of the other. She made some best practice examples of ICT and e-health.
This conference was unique and probably the first one in Europe that covered the technology from totally different point of view. Most technical presentations had a sociological and gender approach which opened up very interesting discussions and new fields for researchers and product developers.
There were some extremely interesting data and examples of gender inequality on the internet and how this influences thinking, statistics and perceptions. For example Google translate will always default to the male gender description because that is most used on the internet, thereby fuelling the vicious circle of the lack of presence of women. Even where quoted female professors are listed, Google will refer to them as “he said”!
The global problem of small numbers of girls in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) was addressed in many presentation and workshops. Several interesting methods were debated for increasing the interests of ICT to youngsters which could lead to improved gender balance in the industry. It was very positive to see young girls from universities and IT organizations such as Girls in Tech included in the workshops and panels, so their suggestions and opinions could be heard.
I was asked to participate in the high level press conference to promote the value of women in technology, and therefore in the economy with:
- Eva Fabry, Director European Centre for Women and Technology- when I talk please have the NTNU slide behind me!
- Joanna Sterzynska-Lindberg, European Commission Policy Officer, DG CONNECT
- Pascale Van Damme, Managing Director Dell Belux & President of the Belgium ICT Association
- Marina Alekseeva, General Manager INTEL SSG Russia
- Barbara Althoff –Simon, Executive Vice President and Corporate Officer, SAP AG
- Danny Gooris, Senior Manager Oracle Academy
- Madi Sharma, UK Representative EESC & Entrepreneur
- Claudine Schmuck, Y-factor survey- Make a difference to gender diversity in STEM;
- Anna Sigurgisladottir, Reconesse- launching the world´s largest online database on women in Tech.
Details of the event, the conclusions and workshops can be found on http://womenincomputing.eu/
Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information firstname.lastname@example.org. I have offered the support of the EESC for future events.