Support Women Tech Entrepreneurs

*The Move It Forward event originally scheduled for 28-29 November 2015 has been rescheduled for 23-24 January 2016!  More time for you to join us and help support this great initiative!

There’s a serious shortage of women tech entrepreneurs in Europe.  How serious?  We don’t really know.  There isn’t a lot of data available but unofficial numbers in Belgium, for example, put the percentage of female tech founders at three percent.  Three percent.  And although we know the following to be true, there exists no concerted effort on a Belgian or European level to engage girls and women in tech startup:

  1. Girls and women are underrepresented in the tech industry, academia and in startup;
  2. Growth in the number of women-led startups in Europe is outstripping that of startups led by men;
  3. Girls and women thrive in tech and startup initiatives that specifically target them; and
  4. The untapped economic potential of getting more women engaged in the tech sector is huge.

Despite the foregoing, there are no public- or private-supported initiatives that promote startup and innovation in Europe which explicitly address under-representation of girls and women in this area.  Talk about “innovation”:  This is a situation ripe for something new.

On 23-24 January 2015,* the Digital Leadership Institute will launch “Move It Forward,” a female digital starter weekend that aims to tackle the under-representation of women in tech startup in Europe.  The initiative — NOT a hackathon, NOT a startup weekend, but actually both of these with a twist — is an event for female, tech and startup beginners that gives girls and women digital and entrepreneurial skills, along with a social challenge they need to address using these skills.

With the pilot version of Move It Forward, DLI and the Brussels Capital Region have given girls and women from the greater Brussels area the mission to develop projects that promote online safety for girls and women, and tackle cyberviolence.  Participants will receive training and coaching in website and smart app development, data visualisation and in launching digital enterprises.  With these skills they will develop projects and initiatives that they will present for prizes, resources and further development on DLI’s inQube – female digital accelerator – platform.

We are still looking for coaches, jury-members, sponsors and partners for the Move It Forward Brussels event — which aims to reach teen and adult women in the greater Brussels region, and create a footprint for future MIF events on topics like media, health, migration, etc., in other cities in Belgium and across Europe.

Does the idea of getting more women in tech entrepreneurship interest you?  Would you like to support the Move It Forward project of DLI and its partners — Dell, Amazon Web Services, Tableau, et al.?  Please contact us and let us know how you would like to help!  🙂

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Move It Forward is supported by the

Ministry of Equal Opportunity of the Brussels Capital Region.

2015 European Ada Award-winners

On 14 December in Luxembourg, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners – the Council for European Professional Informatics Societies, DIGITALEUROPE, the European Centre for Women and Technology, and European SchoolNetannounced winners of the 2015 European Ada Awards, recognising outstanding girls and women in digital studies and careers in Europe, and the organisations who support them.  The 2015 Ada Awards ceremony took place at the opening for a high-level eskills and entrepreneurship event as part of the Luxembourg presidency of the Council of the European Union.

2015 European Ada Award winners and finalists were recognised in the following categories:

NiamhScanlonWinner – 13 years old:  Niamh from Ireland

Niamh, 13, learned to code at CoderDojo when she was nine and she loves to build websites and apps that help people. When she was 11 she developed an award-winning app to help the drivers of electric cars. For three years Niamh has mentored at CoderDojo in Dublin City University, where she helps other young people – and particularly girls – to learn how to create with technology. She is a member of the Digital Youth Council in Ireland and she would like to see more coding and technology taught in schools.

YasminWinner – 14 years old:  Yasmin from England

Yasmin is a fourteen year old who has been programming for six years. She regularly builds projects with the Raspberry Pi computer, and volunteers to run workshops for young people to learn how to code using the Pi. As well as this, she runs a programming club during her school lunch breaks for younger pupils, to hopefully increase the uptake of Computer Science at her school.

Winner:  Janneke Niessen, Improve Digital, from the NetherlandsFoto janneke niessen

Janneke is a female serial technology entrepreneur who, next to her role of Chief Innovation Officer at Improve Digital, also makes big efforts to help other entrepreneurs and is a strong advocate for women in tech. She is mentor for startups, angel investor and regularly speaks at events to share her experience in building a high-growth international technology company. She is co-initiator of Inspiring Fifty, that makes female role models in technology more visible. She recently published a novel for young girls (10-14) to create a role model for them and show them how great and fun technology is and how many possibilities it offers.

First Runner-Up:  Monique Morrow, Cisco, from SwitzerlandMonique Morrow

Monique Morrow is the Chief Technology Officer for New Frontiers at Cisco that uniquely focuses on empowering women through the intersection of research, economics and technology execution.  Her current focus is spearheading an Internet of Women movement as an opportunity for women worldwide to collectively shape the future of the Internet powered by a SHE (Supercritical Human Elevated) technology platform.

Second Runner-Up:  Nicole Wajer, Cisco, from the NetherlandsNWajer

In her work, Nicole supports account teams and partners that need her technical expertise.  She is passionate about the Internet of Things (IoT), IPv6 and Security, and is currently playing with new technology e.g Sensors in her own home.  Nicole is a Champion of Change for her passionate work in the Industrial Automation space, and is a frequent blogger and attendee at the four annual Dutch Hacker Conferences.

vhtograbWinner:  VHTO, The Netherlands:
VHTO, the Dutch national expert organisation on girls/women and science/technology, makes an effort in many different ways to increase the involvement of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Every year VHTO organises the Dutch Girlsday together with 300 IT and technical companies. In 2015, 9,525 girls participated! To increase the participation of girls in Computer Science specifically, VHTO created the Digivita program for girls (age 8-18) which took place in in six cities in 2014, and carried out the Digivita Summer Camp in 2015. In 2014 VHTO reached 55,210 Dutch children through projects in primary and secondary education.

TravisFoundation-1 Runner-Up:  Travis FoundationRailsgirls Summer of Code, Germany: 

Travis Foundation runs Rails Girls Summer of Code for the third year in a row now – providing stipends for women all over the world to work on Open Source projects. The grassroots initiative is a hands-on solution for the problem of women being underrepresented in Open Source and Tech in general. With Rails Girls Summer of Code we are not only changing women’s careers, diversifying Tech Communities and building safer environments for women in Tech – we are also creating the much-needed role models in IT, so that future generations can follow suit.

Congratulations to all the 2015 European Ada Awards nominees, finalists and winners in every category, and thank you to our Award Partners and supporters of the 2015 European Ada AwardsAmazon Web Services, Facebook, Google, HP and SAP!  Please contact us with questions or inquiries on how to  support the Ada Awards and the larger mission of the Digital Leadership Institute.

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©2013-2015 Digital Leadership Institute, asbl/vzw
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1040 Brussels, Belgium

DLI Update – October 2015

October 2015 welcomed another record-breaking European Code Week, to which DLI contributed with two “Girls and the Future Internet” workshops exploring the internet of things and its impact on our daily lives. This month also took us to ICT2015, Europe’s largest ICT event, where DLI organised a stand on “Women in ICT” and carried out a “speed mentoring” session — with high school girls and adult women in tech — that celebrated 200 years of women in ICT leadership, starting with our beloved Ada Lovelace. Speaking of Ada, DLI also partnered with Euroforum to launch the first-ever Ada Lovelace Festival in Europe, where DLI Founder Cheryl Miller had the honor of delivering a keynote address, and she and DLI Cofounder, Rosanna Kurrer, organised two popular workshops on 3D printing and wearable technology. Find out more about our other October 2015 activities below.

The DLI Board and Executive Team are actively involved in initiatives with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women. Find out below about our work in September 2015, learn here about future activities we are involved in, and visit our calendar for upcoming events that DLI is organising. *entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics


mastercard8 October – MasterCard Women in Leadership Panel (Brussels): On 8 October in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a MasterCard panel on women in leadership hosted at Vlerick business school.


SWlogo9-11 October – FinTech Startup Weekend Brussels – (Brussels): On 9-11 October, Brussels hosted its first-ever FinTech Startup Weekend, and Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined the event jury to choose the next revolutionary idea in banking and finance.


codeweek-badge10-18 October – European Code Week (Belgium): With the generous support of Google, DLI organised two workshops on “Girls and the Future Internet” as part Europe Code Week 2015. As Code Week Ambassador for Belgium, DLI Founder Cheryl Miller was active in promoting EU Code Week events in Belgium and beyond, which reached a record 7,000 events across Europe in 2015.


ff14 October – Failing Forward – (Brussels): On 14 October in Brussels, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, delivered a keynote speech at Failing Forward, Belgium’s flagship event that aims to “break through the stigma associated with failure,” organised by Startups.be.


CoR15 October – Open Days Workshop on “Inclusive Entrepreneurship” at the Committe of the Regions – (Brussels): As part of 2015 Open Days at the European Committee of the Regions, DLI Cofounder, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, contributed to a workshop on “European Entrepreneurial Regions promoting inclusive entrepreneurship” taking place at the CoR offices in Brussels.


transmit16 October – Transmit at the Signal Festival – (Prague): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, spoke on “Ada 200: The future of feminine, creative digital expression” at Transmit, the educational platform for digital culture, art and technology, at the annual Signal Festival in Prague.


bxldigweek17 October – Women in Tech Night at Brussels Digital Week – (Brussels): On 17 October, as part of European Code Week and Brussels Digital Week, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, moderated a Women in Tech Night panel discussion on participation of girls and women in digital society, with top women from the Belgian tech sector.


ict_2015_lisbon20-22 October – ICT2015 (Lisbon): DLI led an “Ada200″ networking session on “Girls & Women in Tech” and hosted a Women in ICT booth at ICT2015, Europe’s largest ICT event, which took place 20-22 October in Lisbon, Portugal. At the networking session — celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace — DLI launched its newest policy initiative, Europe5050, host a handful of lightening talks by ICT luminaries, and facilitate a “speed-mentoring” event between teenage girls and women in tech.


adalovelacelogo27-28 October – Ada Lovelace Festival (Berlin): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, gave a keynote speech at the first-ever Ada Lovelace Festival, an initiative of Euroforum DE, on 27-28 October in Berlin. Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Digital Literacy Lead, Ms. Miller and Ms. Norma Carr from Dimension Alley also led two popular workshops on 3D Printing and Wearable Technology.


Be sure to visit our Calendar, Upcoming Activities page, and sign up for the DLI Newsletter in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!

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DLI Update – September 2015

Brussels Awards DLI Cyberviolence Project

The Ministry of Equal Opportunity of the Brussels Capital Region has selected DLI to lead a seminal campaign engaging Brussels adult and teenage women* in addressing cyberviolence in their communities. In Fall 2015, DLI will carry out several inQube – female digital accelerator workshops to build awareness about the growing problem of online violence, bullying and hate speech, and provide girls and women with skills and resources for tackling this problem. Six workshops will be held at DLI headquarters in Brussels from September through November 2015, culminating in the 28-29 November global launch of a Move It Forward digital starter event for girls and women focusing on Cyberviolence.

Move It Forward
Move It Forward

The events of the Move It Forward project are open to the public, and carried out in English, French and Dutch.  Attendance is free but space is limited so registration at the noted links is required.

To partner with us or sponsor the DLI “Move it Forward” Cyberviolence campaign, roundtable or digital starter event, please contact us!

The 2015 Move It Forward project on Cyberviolence is supported by the Ministry of Equal Opportunity of the Brussels Capital Region.

*anyone who identifies as a girl or woman

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DLI Promotes Girls in Tech at ICT2015

On 20-22 October 2015, more than 4500 people will converge on Lisbon to attend ICT2015, Europe’s largest ICT event. DLI board members, Ms. Cheryl Miller and Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, will host the Women in ICT booth at ICT2015, and DLI will organize “Ada200,” a special networking session to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace — the first computer programmer in the world, a woman and a European.  DLI and its partners will showcase European women role models in ICT and carry out a speed-mentoring activity to encourage young girls toward digital studies and careers.

ECThe program for the Ada200 Networking Session at ICT2015 is as follows:

To participate in, partner or sponsor the Ada200 Networking Session at ICT2015, please contact us!

httpv://vimeo.com/126954305

 

 

 

 

Successful Atlantic "Ada 200" Meeting

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace – namesake of the DLI Ada Awards and credited with being the world’s first computer-programmer – on 1 July in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute hosted its third best practices roundtable of 2015 on getting more girls and women into digital studies and careers. At this first-ever transatlantic “Ada 200” meeting, attended by Brussels decision-makers in technology and policy fields, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI founder, and Ms. Teresa Carlson, Vice President Worldwide Public Sector at Amazon Web Services, facilitated a discussion that emphasized a need for the following:

  • sharing of best-practices between U.S. and European ICT organizations to increase global tech leadership by women;
  • driving girl- and women-focused digital skills and entrepreneurship initiatives; and
  • promoting “disruptive recruitment practices” that break industry stereotypes and “business-as-usual” hiring practices by ICT organizations.

AWS

Following the roundtable, Ms. Carlson spoke of her experience as a woman leader in technology in an inspiring talk to young participants of a g-Hive “3D Jewelry Design & Printing” workshop sponsored by AWS.  “You are leaders,” Ms. Carlson told the teenage girls assembled.  “The skills you’re learning will help you get into good schools, and if you keep at it,” she promised, “I will come back here to recruit you.”

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Ms. Carlson underscored the commitment of Amazon Web Services to getting more women into digital studies and careers worldwide, and engaged her organization to support the work of the Digital Leadership Institute. As a start, AWS pledged sponsorship to the 2015 Ada Awards, a DLI initiative that recognizes outstanding girls and women in technology and the organizations that support them around the world.

Photos from the event may be found on the DLI Facebook page here (Album: Atlantic Ada 2015).

Ms. Teresa Carlson is vice president of worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services where she is responsible for operations, strategy, sales and business development. She was previously vice president of federal government business at Microsoft, among several other positions, and worldwide vice president of marketing and business development for Lexign Incorporated. Before moving into IT, Carlson spent nearly 15 years in healthcare. Among her many honors is the March of Dimes Heroines in Technology Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also one of the Washingtonian’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

 

 

 

DLI Update – June 2015

The DLI Board and Executive Team are actively involved in initiatives with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM (entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) leadership by girls and women. Find out below about our work in June 2015, learn here about future activities we are involved in, and visit our calendar for upcoming events that DLI is organising.

KET1-2 June – Digital & Key Enabling Technologies Skills Conference (Brussels): On 2 June, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a high-level panel on the subject “towards an e-Leadership ecosystem” at the first annual Digital and Key Enabling Technologies Skills Conference in Brussels.


bxl smart city3 June – Brussels Smart Cities Summit (Brussels): On 3 June, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, delivered a keynote address on the topic of “Smart People: Education and raising citizens’ awareness of new technologies” as part of a Smart City Summit presented by Mrs. Bianca Debaets, Brussels Capital Region Secretary of State for Regional and Community Informatics and Digital Transition, and hosted by the Brussels Regional Informatics Centre (BRIC).


SKFlogo4 June – SKF Belgium: On 4 June, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, visited SKF Belgium to facilitate the second meeting of the SKF Women Work group.


ladiescircle9 June – Ladies Circle (Brussels): On 9 June, the Ladies Circle of Asse & Grimbergen enjoyed a special evening of wine, discussion and 3D Design & Printing facilitated by DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, at the DLI inQube space in Brussels.

 


unhrc17 June – 29th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (Geneva): As part of the 29th Session of the UN Human Rights Council taking place in Geneva on 17 June, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a Global Alliance on Media And Gender Europe panel on “Issues and challenges facing women in media“.


29 June – Visit of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO (Brussels):Facebook & DLI Meeting On 29 June 2015 in Brussels, DLI board members, Ms. Cheryl Miller, and Ms. Janine de Keersmaeker, joined Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.org, and a small group of Brussels policy-makers to discuss increasing participation of girls and women in technological sectors.

 


Be sure to visit our Calendar, Upcoming Activities page, and sign up for the DLI Newsletter in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!

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DLI Meets Sheryl Sandberg on Women in Tech

Facebook & DLI Meeting
Sandberg Meeting in Brussels: Tessa Lyons, Erika Mann, Nicola Mendelsohn, Janine de Keersmaecker, Sheryl Sandberg, Kristen Jorna, Cheryl Miller, Ann Mettler, Renate Nikolay, Anne Hoerée, Nadia Calvino, Julia Harrison, & Ditte Juul Joergensen

On 29 June 2015 in Brussels, DLI board members, Ms. Cheryl Miller and Ms. Janine de Keersmaeker, joined Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.org, and a small group of Brussels policy-makers to discuss increasing participation of girls and women in technological sectors.  In her remarks, Ms. Sandberg underscored Facebook’s engagement in Europe where it employs 1500 people and provides a platform for businesses that creates another 140,000 jobs.  “In Europe, less than 1 in 3 tech workers —  and less than 1 in 5 tech graduates — are women,” said Sandberg. “This isn’t a European problem,” she said. “It’s an everywhere problem.”

Facebook is a long-standing sponsor of the Ada Awards – an initiative of the Digital Leadership Institute which recognises outstanding girls and women in digital studies and careers, and the organisations who support them.  The European Ada Awards were launched in 2013 under patronage of then-European Commission Vice President responsible for the Digital Agenda, Ms. Neelie Kroes, as a pledge to the Grand Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs in Europe.

Transatlantic Dialogue on Women in Tech

On 1 July in Brussels the Digital Leadership Institute, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services, is thrilled to host the third Ada 200 best practices roundtable of 2015 on getting more girls and women into digital studies and careers.   In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace, who is credited with being the world’s first computer-programmer, Ms. Cheryl Miller, Digital Leadership Institute founder, and Ms. Teresa Carlson, Vice President Worldwide Public Sector at Amazon Web Services, will co-host a high-level luncheon to explore this important question from a trans-Atlantic perspective, with focus on the following topics:

  • Rallying corporate and policy organisations around the question of getting more girls and women into digital studies and careers;
  • Encouraging an ongoing transatlantic dialogue on the issue; and
  • Identifying concrete actions for driving this issue up the policy agenda.

The luncheon will be followed by a 3D Jewelry Design & Printing workshop for girls generously sponsored by Amazon Web Services.  For outcomes and follow up activities, please stay tuned here!

Ms. Teresa Carlson is vice president of worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services where she is responsible for operations, strategy, sales and business development. She was previously vice president of federal government business at Microsoft, among several other positions, and worldwide vice president of marketing and business development for Lexign Incorporated. Before moving into IT, Carlson spent nearly 15 years in healthcare. Among her many honors is the March of Dimes Heroines in Technology Lifetime Achievement Award.  She is also one of the Washingtonian’s 100 Most Powerful Women.