DLI Celebrates Top Women in Tech

On 30 November 2017 at BeCentral in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners welcomed over two hundred key stakeholders and community members to celebrate the fifth edition of the European Ada Awards and to share the success stories of the 2017 Digital Brusselles project with support from the Digital Belgium Skills Fund. The Ada Awards are a long-standing pledge to the European Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition that recognise top European girls and women in tech and the organisations that support them.

Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, opened the evening with a warm thank you to DLI supporters, followed by keynote presentations from Ms. Céline Vanderborght, Brussels Region Smart City Manager and Ms. Andrea Almeida Cordero, Member of Cabinet for Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market. Both speakers committed their support and that of their stakeholders to active engagement of girls and women for fulfilling the vision of an inclusive digital Europe.  A subsequent tweet about the event by Commissioner Gabriel was very well received on Twitter.

Opening presentations were succeeded by graduation of over sixty participants from the 2017 Digital Muse After School program with Ms. Valentina Cala DLI Digital Creative Manager, and from the first-ever cohort of the CYPRO “First Steps” program with Ms. Mai Ensmann, DLI CYPRO Coordinator.

Ms. Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, then recognised 200-plus participants of the 2017 “Female Digital Starters” training program, followed by an inQube / Digital Brusselles project pitching session hosted by Ms. Lama Jaghjougha, a recent Syrian refugee to Belgium and founder of Move Women Refugees Forward. Initiatives presented included those launched in the context of inQube Move It Forward events over the past two years, including:

  • Brussely – a platform by/for/about Brussels Generation Y-ers, presented by Ms. Safia Bihmehdn
  • MESS – a gamified concert-going platform for Brussels citizens, presented by Ms. Alexandra Pykacz & Ms. Edith Euan
  • MIA – a virtual innovation space for Brussels citizens, presented by Ms. Muna Ibrahim
  • African Gist – an African tech internship program, presented by Ms. Cynthia Mukendy
  • Tabadoul – a professional mentorship program for women refugees led by ENoWM and DAW, presented by Ms. Sinem Yilmaz

A particularly moving moment of the evening came about when, as part of her pitch for the Brussely platform, Ms. Safia Bihmehdn read a poem she composed about her participation in the Move It Forward for Women in Media event, which as the poem describes, inspired her toward a whole new direction in digital entrepreneurship and in celebrating the youth and diversity of Brussels.

The final highlight of the evening was the 2017 European Ada Awards, launched with inspiring keynote presentations by Ms. Dinah Barret, Senior Solutions Architect for EMEA at Amazon Web Services, and Ms. Gabriela M. Juric, 2016 European Digital Girl of the Year, and co-hosted by Ms. Miller and Ms. Loredana Bucseneanu, DLI Strategy Officer.

2017 European Ada Award trophies were presented by Ms. Simone Hume of Amazon Web Services in the following categories and announced by noted Ada Award partner representatives:
1. Ms. Pascale Van Damme, Vice President and General Manager at Dell EMC Commercial Belux, is 2017 European Digital Woman of the Year, as announced by Ms. Austeja Trikunaite, Secretary General of CEPIS.

2. 2017 European Digital Girl of the Year honours were awarded in the following age categories:

15-17 Year Old Category, as announced by Ms. Kiki Walravens, GSMA:
Maeve Galvin (Ireland)

11-14 Year Old Category, as announced by Mr. Laurent Roux, Impact Officer at European Institute of Technology:

  • Aoibheann Mangan (Ireland)
  • Charlotte Johnson (United Kingdom)

10 Years and Under Category, as announced by Ms. Tomislava Recheva of European Schoolnet:

  • Helena Staple (United Kingdom)
  • Zara Ilyas (Ireland)
  • Ruby Scott Kenny (Ireland)

3. Teen-Turn of Ireland is 2017 European Digital Impact Organisation of the Year Award, as announced by Ms. Michela Palladino, Director of European Policy at Developers Alliance.

The 2017 European Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration concluded with a reception catered by From Syria With Love, an organisation led by recent Syrian women refugees to Belgium that Digital Brusselles is honoured to support.

The Digital Leadership Institute and Digital Brusselles would like to thank the speakers, judges, partners and sponsors of the 2017 European Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration, including the Digital Belgium Skills Fund, Amazon Web Services, European Institute of Technology, CEPIS, European Schoolnet, Edosoft, GSMA, Developers Alliance and BeCentral.

Congratulations to all the girls and women recognised by this year’s Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration. We are looking forward to welcoming even more of you again next year!

DLI Launches Europe’s First Female Tech Incubator

On 25 October in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute launched Digital Brusselles, Europe’s first female tech incubator, with the mission of promoting inclusive digital transformation by increasing leadership of girls and women in the digital society. The launch event, which took place as part of the first Open Door Day at BeCentral, was supported by the Digital Belgium Skills Fund and dozens of DLI partners, and attended by hundreds of DLI community members.

Ms. Saskia Van Uffelen, CEO of Ericsson Belux and Digital Champion of Belgium, provided a keynote to kick off the launch event and was joined in a panel on “The Heart of Inclusive Digital Transformation,” moderated by Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, by luminaries from the Belgian and European technology ecosystem noted below:

The opening panel was followed with inspiring talks by Ms. Manon Van Hoorebeke, 2014 Digital Girl of the Year, and Ms. Christine Gerpheide, Senior Cloud Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services. Over the course of the afternoon, Ms. Sandrine Droubaix — DJ Sand — and Ms. Valentina Càla, DLI Digital Creative Officer, led hands-on digital music composition workshops for participants of the Digital Muse After School program and BeCentral’s Open Door Day .

DLI Update – September-October 2017

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.  This month, DLI was selected as one of the Best 100 Startups in Belgium, and DLI team members joined Digital First on 19 October to celebrate.  Also, as part of DLI activities supported by the Digital Belgium Skills Fund, on 25 October in Brussels we launched Digital Brusselles, Europe’s first female tech incubator.  See the article about our recognition here and a video about the Digital Brussels launch below.

*Entrepreneurship & Arts powered by Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics


6 September – Women in Tech.Brussels Breakfast (Brussels): On 6 September, Ms. Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, joined a Women in Tech.Brussels breakfast meeting to contribute to coordinating upcoming initiatives that promote women in technology in Brussels.


13 September – EIB Gender Action Plan Expert Engagement Meeting (Brussels): On 13 September in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to an expert meeting on the Gender Action Plan of the European Investment Bank.


15 September – Creative Ring Brussels “Women in Innovation” Meeting (Brussels): On 15 September at the BOZAR Lab in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a Creative Ring meeting on the topic of Women in Innovation.


19 September – Women in Business.Brussels Platform Meeting (Brussels): Ms. Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, and Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined the 19 September meeting of the Brussels Women in Business platform.


26 September – WISE4ALL Launch Event: Women Contributing to Innovation (Brussels): On 26 September, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  joined the WISE4ALL launch event at the European Parliament, in collaboration of MEP Pina Picierno and with support from the S&D Group, as part of a pan-European consortium promoting diversity in innovation. On the same occasion, Ms. Miller contributed to a round-table on Digital Manufacturing and New Innovation Processes.


28 September – First Meeting of the Governing Board of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  joined the meeting of the first Governing Board of the European Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition on 28 September at the European Commission in Brussels. Ms. Miller was recently selected to the inaugural 12-member governing body of the DSJC.


4 October – Grand Opening of BeCentral (Brussels): On 4 October in Brussels, the DLI Team will join the grand opening of BeCentral, a community space in the heart of Brussels dedicated to closing the digital skills gap and accelerating Belgium’s digital transformation.


9 October – Women Code Festival 2017 Launch (Brussels): On 9 October at Co.Station in Brussels, Ms. Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, will contribute to a panel discussion as part of the launch of Brussel’s first-ever Women Code Festival.


19 October – Digital First 2017 (Brussels)DLI was selected among the Best 100 Startups in Belgium in 2017 by a jury organised by media company Digimedia. Ms. Valentina Calà, DLI Digital Creative Officer, and Ms. Katrien Geraedts, DLI Marketing & Communications Manager, were on hand at Digital First 2017 on 19 October, at Tour & Taxis  in Brussels, to celebrate.


11 October – InnovIris Women in STEM Panel (Brussels): As part of the Brussels Women Code Festival and European Code Week, on 11 October Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, will provide a keynote presentation on Digital Brusselles: The Heart of Inclusive Transformation and contribute to a Women in STEM panel organised by InnovIris, the Brussels agency for scientific research.


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!

DLI.jpg

DLI Update – June-August 2017

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.  As part of our activities in Summer 2017, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, contributed to the Entrepreneurship Summer School in Brussels, whose outcomes are shared in the video below. 

Find out below about our other work in Summer 2017, learn here about future activities in which we are involved, and visit our calendar for upcoming events organised by DLI.

*entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics


1 June – Digital Festival (Brussels): DLI partnered for the second edition of the Digital Festival, that took place on 1 June in Brussels which aims to celebrate technology, ideas and global innovation. Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to an invitation-only luncheon panel on the topic of “Redesigning Work to Unlock Human Potential.”


8-9 June – Gender Equality in STEM Conference (Berlin): On 9 June, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, moderated a day-long session exploring Gender Equality in STEM as part of a first-time event on this subject that took place 8-9 June in Berlin.


11 June – In Conversation with Gloria Steinem at Google (Brussels): In collaboration with the European Women’s Lobby, Google Belgium welcomed Ms. Gloria Steinem in Brussels for an invite-only luncheon attended by Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder. The event was followed by a panel at Brussels Town Hall and a march to end violence against girls and women.


14 June – SciChallenge Contest: On 14 June, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, joined the jury of the 2017 SciChallenge contest, in which 487 teams from across Europe participated. The twelve top projects were awarded on 20-21 July in Vienna.


14-15 June – 2017 Digital Assembly (Valletta, Malta): 14-15 June in Valletta, Malta, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined hundreds of European and global stakeholders promoting “Digital Europe: Investing in the Future,” as part of the Maltese presidency of the Council of the European Union.


21 June – KAGIDER “Women in the Workforce” Session at European Parliament: On 21 June at the European Parliament in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined a high-level roundtable hosted by MEP Kati Piri and KAGIDER on the the topic of participation of women in the workforce in Turkey and Europe.


29 June – “Women in Tech” Platform Launch (Brussels): On 20 June, DLI joined in celebrating the launch of the Brussels “Women in Tech” platform whose aim is to promote greater participation of girls and women in digital studies and careers in Brussels. The initiative, to which DLI is a partner, is part of the Women In Business platform supported by Impulse Brussels


10-11 July – Chatham House International Policy Forum (London): 10-11 July, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, joined an invitation-only International Policy Forum on the topic of “Smart and Fair: Recognizing Women’s Role in Our Economic Future,” organised by the Chatham House in London.


10-16 July – Entrepreneurship School Brussels: 10-14 July, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, gave a talk to dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs gathered in Brussels to take part in the Think Young Entrepreneurship School 2017. Ms. Miller provided advice and mentorship based on her experience as an entrepreneur and contributed to judging the final presentations at Google in Brussels on 14 July. Top projects by women-led teams were awarded incubation with inQube, DLI’s female tech incubator.


28-30 August – UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum (Bangkok): 28-30 August in Bangkok, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, spoke on the topic of “Best practices to increase participation of girls and women in ESTEAM,” as part of the UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum on Cracking the Code: Education for Girls in STEM.


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!

DLI.jpg

Coding Brings Confidence Say Europe's Women

In May 2017, the Digital Leadership Institute team met in Croatia with its WOW Code2Confidence partners, a project funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission. The project organisations explored how learning to code can lead to more confidence for women during studies and in the job market.

During the meeting, results from a pan-European survey on the interest of European women in coding were presented. Key findings of the survey, which was carried out by WOW Code2Confidence partners across Belgium, Croatia, England, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Romania, are below:

  • 53% of European women surveyed expressed an interest in learning to code;
  • Most women surveyed rate their current coding skills as Beginner, and 85% of women surveyed noted that coding activities give them confidence.
  • The main reason for women’s interest in coding is because coding skills are required for studies/work and due to an expressed desire to become more familiar with technical terms and jobs.
  • The survey also revealed that the main reason for those surveyed having never tried coding is due to a lack of suitable training resources.

Read the full results of the survey in our most recent WOW Code2Confidence newsletter, and for more information about the project, or about other DLI work promoting women in coding, please contact us.

On 5-6 October in Brussels, DLI will host the Fall 2017 meeting of the WOW Code2Confidence Project whose focus will be how women can leverage coding skills to improve their opportunities in the job market.  Stay tuned!

 

Girl Coding Power at Salesforce Essentials

On 1 June in Louvain-La-Neuve, girls and women from across Belgium joined an all-female Android coding workshop organized by the Digital Leadership Institute in the context of Salesforce Essentials, a large-scale event reaching over 600 Salesforce enthusiasts. The workshop, carried out as part of our Digital Muse initiative in collaboration with Salesforce Belux and Salesforce.org, attracted participants ranging in age from ten to fifty-five, who benefited from hands-on coding lessons using MIT App Inventor and inspiring talks by Salesforce employees.

Ms. Cécile Kempeneers is a role model with plenty of role models!

Ms. Cécile Kempeneers, a Salesforce Belux Senior Account Executive who also co-organized a workshop at the most recent Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017, shared with participants about her own role models and people who inspired her to enter a career in tech — including her grandfather, but also Elon Musk, Michelle Obama, Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai.  Ms. Carmina Coenen, Salesforce Manager for Solution Engineering, also captured everyone’s imagination with a promise that coding and working with Salesforce would give them more options for an exciting and rewarding career.

Ms. Carmina Coenen inspires the Digital Muses

Workshop attendees showed a clear talent for developing their own Android smartphone application that translates speech from one language into spoken output in another language.  The talks by Ms. Coenen and Ms. Kempeneer also piqued their interest in career opportunities with Salesforce.

“We are excited to build on this interest by offering our community more curriculum on smartphone app-development and on becoming certified Salesforce CRM experts,” commented Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder.  “We look forward to pursuing this collaboration going forward, for the benefit of both Salesforce and for these amazing girls of all ages!”

DigitalMuse.org & Salesforce Selfie

 

DLI Update – April-May 2017

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 April and May 2017, learn here about future activities in which we are involved, and visit our calendar for upcoming events organised by DLI.

*entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics


14 April – Alma Radio “Digital Kids” Show (Brussels): On 14 April, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined Ms. Claire-Marie Healy from Alma Radio for a broadcast on the subject of “Digital Kids,” in the lead up to all-day Alma Radio coverage of the 2017 Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest organised by DLI on 29 April 2017.


10 May – Chatham House “Women in Trade” at European Parliament (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a 10 May meeting at the European Parliament on the topic of “Women in Trade” with contribution from Chatham House experts and members of European Parliament, which preceded an 11 May hearing on Gender Equality in EU Trade Agreements.


11 May – Trefpunt – Sterke Onderneemsters (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined a Trefpunt event, panel and speed-dating exercise, hosted by the “Sterke Onderneemsters” project, aimed a promoting women-led entrepreneurship, on 11 May in Brussels.


19 May – Digital Skills Fair at BeCentral (Brussels): On 9 June, Ms. Maria Alfonso, DLI Development Coordinator, showcased DLI activities at an all-day event promoting Belgian digital skills initiatives that took place at BeCentral in Brussels.


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!

DLI.jpg

FREE Android Training Toolkit

In the context of the Coding for Young People project, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners have developed a FREE Android App Training Toolkit for use and sharing by individuals and organisations interested in teaching Android using the MIT App Inventor platform.


In order to fully benefit from the Toolkit, please be sure to:

  1. Download the ‘Talk2Me” training presentation and watch the 50-minute “Talk2Me” training video. Use these to teach Android to your students, and feel free to share them with others!
  2. Download the training guidelines that include links to resources in English, Italian and Spanish!
  3. Fill out the Survey about your experience to let us know if we’re on the right track!
  4. Join the Coding for Young People Community to benefit from future resources from the project and its partners!
  5. Don’t hesitate to contact us if we can support you in any way in your mission to teach coding to young people!

Happy coding!

Featured Image: PC Magazine

DLI Update – March 2017

March is always a busy month at the Digital Leadership Institute.  This year was no exception.  On International Women’s Day 2017, we had the special privilege of visiting European Commissioner for Justice, Ms. Vera Jourova with a group of young girls active in STEM areas.  The girls shared with Commission Jourova about their vision, challenges and hopes for a future with girls leading in STEM, or what we call “ESTEAM” sectors.  You can find out about the visit here, about our other activities in March 2017 below, future activities in which we are involved, and visit our calendar for upcoming events organised by DLI.

*entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics


logo_Women4Tech27 February-1 March – Women4Tech Summit at Mobile World Congress (Barcelona): In collaboration with the European Commission, the Digital Leadership Institute led a mission to the 2017 Women4Tech Summit and 4YFN startup event which took place as part of Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, moderated a 28 February panel on Reducing the Gender Gap in the Startup Ecosystem at the Women4Tech Summit, and both Ms.Miller and DLI received honours as finalists for the 2017 Mobile Global Awards in the Mobile Industry Leadership category.


european parliament 7-8 March – European Parliament International Women’s Day Media Conference on Economic Empowerment for Women (Brussels): In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, moderated a 2-day conference for media hosted by the European Parliament on the topic of Women’s Economic Empowerment in Europe.


(LeftAligned)InternationalWomensDay_RGB8 March – Amazon Web Services Celebration of International Women’s Day 2017 (Dublin, Ireland): On 8 March in Dublin, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, gave a lightening talk on the subject of “Be Bold for Change” at the Amazon Web Services European headquarters in Dublin, in celebration of International Women’s Day 2017.


13-17 March – Semaine Entreprendre (Brussels): On 14 March, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, contributed as “godmother” to an event promoting women-led entrepreneurship as part of a week of activities by EFP, the largest entrepreneurship education institution in Brussels.  On 15 March, Ms. Miller also provided a keynote for the week’s flagship conference on the topic of “digital transformation and entrepreneurship.”


8 March – DLI “Girls in STEM” Visit with Justice Commissioner Jourova (Brussels)In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, DLI led a “girls in STEM” visit with European Commissioner for Justice, Ms. Vera Jourova, and hosted a mission of young girls including Ms. Manon Van Hoorebeke, 2014 European Digital Girl of the Year.


22 March – GSMA Mobile Meeting Series Breakfast (Brussels): On 22 March, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, and Ms. Maria Alfonso, DLI Development Manager, joined a GSMA Mobile Meeting series breakfast on “Fostering women inclusion in the tech sector” at the GSMA Europe headquarters in Brussels.


23 March – AmCham (Brussels) Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, joined a 23 March gathering hosted by the American Chamber to the European Union on the subject of “Women and Entrepreneurship: Fueling social change through economic growth“.


28 March – Entreprendre 2017 (Brussels): On 28 March, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, joined Ms. Loubna Azghoud, leader of the Brussels Women in Business Platform, to host a workshop and networking lunch on women-led entrepreneurship, entitled “They did it, so why can’t you?“, as part of 2017 Entreprendre/Ondernemen, the largest annual entrepreneurship event in Brussels.


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!

DLI.jpg

Volunteer for Girl Tech Fest 2017!

In honor of International Girls in ICT Day 2017, on 29 April at European School IV in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute will organize the second annual Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest — an event that aims to encourage girls aged 11-15 to pursue studies in ESTEAM* through a day filled with fun, hands-on workshops and inspiring encounters with women role models in technology.  Past GTF events have included workshops on: “The Tech of DJ-ing, “3D Jewelry Design & Printing” and “The Future of Fashion.” Activities will also include a Digital Muse Lab where participants get to experience cutting-edge tech gadgets and interact with STEM mentors.  Interested participants can register here.

Volunteer!
To carry out an event of this kind requires a dedicated team of volunteers for promotion, registration, coordination and workshop and DM Lab leadership.  So please get involved!

Promote the Girl Tech Fest in your Communities:
Be sure to get all the girls in your school and work communities involved in our event by printing and sharing GTF2017 posters in the following languages:

Why volunteer for the Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017?

  • Social encouragement is 28.1% and career perception is 27.5% of the explainable factors influencing a young women’s wanting to pursue a computing related degree; and
  • If women held digital jobs as frequently as men, the gain for the European GDP each year would be around 9 billion euros!!!

If you’re interested in inspiring girls with STEM skills, check out the volunteer registration page! We do strive to showcase female mentors but men are of course very welcome to volunteer!

*STEM plus Entrepreneurship and Arts