DLI Update Summer 2020

The DLI Board are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women. Find out more about our outreach activities of Summer 2020 below, and please visit our calendar for events organised by DLI, many of which are still going forward, if with a slight delay, online.

*STEM powered by Entrepreneurship and Arts


28 May – AWS Cloud Ambassador Quarterly Meeting (Online): On 28 May, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined an online meeting of the 2020 global cohort of AWS Cloud Ambassadors.


28 May – “Women and Tech: Key Solutions Beyond the Crisis” at Brussels Women Code Festival (Online): On 28 May, Loredana Bucseneanu, DLI Development Director, and Katja Legisa, DLI Entrepreneurship Director, joined an online panel discussion on “Women and Tech: Key Solutions Beyond the Crisis,” as part of the third annual Brussels Women Code Festival. In the meeting, they also presented DLI’s new Cloud Angels study group for “women starters in the cloud,” launching Summer 2020.


28 May – “Women Leading in the Digital Age” with IE Law School  (Online):   At the invitation of the IE Law School Compliance Club in Madrid, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, presented the subject of “Women Leading in the Digital Age” – addressing risks related to low participation of women in digital sectors, areas that require urgent action, and effective approaches for improving the situation on 28 May at 18:00CET online.


8 June – Digital SME Live: Women in Cybersecurity (Online): On 8 June at 14:00CET, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined an online panel discussing “Untapped Potential: Women in Cybersecurity,” hosted by the European Digital SME Alliance.


22-23 June – Italian Tech Week (Online):   At the invitation of the Turin Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Committee, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, participated in an online fireside chat with Carla Bertuzzi on the subject of “digital skills for girls.” The discussion took place in the context of several activities promoting Girls in STEM and women-led entrepreneurship as part of Italian Tech Week on 22 and 23 June.


6-8 July – Chatham House Gender & Growth Forum (London):  DLI Founding Director, Che Miller Van Dÿck, joined the Chatham House Gender & Growth Forum in London on 6-7 July, followed by a one-day round-table hosted by the W20 Saudi Arabia 2020 Secretariat to the G20 2020 meetings


8 July – Virtual Café on “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs to Drive Economic Growth”: On 8 July, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined a Virtual Café hosted by the UN Women WE EMPOWER programme, in order to connect with women’s business associations across the G7 and EU. The information shared will be used to inform an advocacy tool on women’s entrepreneurship.


10 July – Digital Economy & E-commerce Solutions (Online): As part of a week-long WE EMPOWER program on “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs to Drive Economic Growth,” Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, facilitated an online discussion on “Digital Economy and E-commerce Solutions” at 12:00 EST on 10 July.


16 July – WE EMPOWER (UN Women & G7) “Skills Development amid COVID-19: Have Your Say” Panel (Online): In celebration of World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined an online panel hosted by the WE EMPOWER program of UN Women and G7, that showcased public and private sectors’ roles in facilitating young and prospective employees’ access to the skills required in the digital economy.


8 August – Project CS GIRLS 2020 Gala Panel (Online): On 8 August, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined an online “Women in Tech” panel celebrating the 2020 cohort of the ProjectCSGIRLS Competition for Middle School Girls, the oldest and largest computer science competition for middle school girls in the United States.


Be sure to visit our Calendar and Outreach Activities page to keep up with DLI events and activities! You can also and sign up for the DLI Newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

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Women Power Code Skills Week

The Women Power Code project aims to celebrate the art of creating with code, to motivate young and adult women to start developing tech skills, and to connect individuals with organisations keen to support women in the digital society. In order to showcase achievements in the project, WPC partners from across Europe are organising Women Power Code Skills Week, a series of events addressing disruptive technologies and career opportunities arising in the tech sector. Join us for interesting discussions and practical workshops by registering at the links below, and join the Women Power Code Social Learning Community to meet like-minded peers.

14 July 18:00 CEST: Introduction to the Internet of Things: ”Build your first mobile app” – online workshop organised by Digital Leadership Institute in collaboration with CIVIC. Exploring the Internet of Things, this online workshop will focus on practical skills as we will be creating our first mobile app with MIT App Inventor.

16 July 18:00 CEST: Introduction to 3D Printing: ”Design your first 3D object” – online workshop organised by Digital Leadership Institute. Examining development of the 3D printing market in recent years, during this workshop we will learn the first steps to create a 3D object and discuss the opportunities for developing new skills and competences in this field. 

21 July 18:00 CEST: Women Power Code Final Conference: ”New skills for the digital age” – online conference organised by the Digital Leadership Institute. During this event, we will discuss the results of the Women Power Code project, focusing on the most relevant skills for the digital age and opportunities in technological fields for women who want to enter or shift to digital careers.

We look forward to welcoming you at these exciting events taking place as part of Women Power Code Skills Week!

DLI Update Spring 2020

2020 has been an extraordinary year for everyone, and the DLI team is no exception. The year started off routinely enough, but then activity around the world halted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. When we started  to regain our bearings, the DLI Executive Team decided to tackle the present challenge in the same way in which we believe every challenge facing society should be tackled: By giving girls and women the community, skills, support and mission to address the challenge themselves.

From this vision, the world’s first global #WomenVsCOVID19 event was born! On 24-26 April, DLI and its partners organized “Move It Forward for Women versus COVID19” as part of the #EUvsVirus hackathon, and in celebration of Girls in ICT Day 2020. As we learned from this experience, the future of our species, fellow creatures and planet is safe in the hands of our girls and women.  In the words of European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, our shared “solidarity, creativity and determination” will permit us to emerge together–stronger and better –from the current crisis. In the meantime, our profound love and sincerest wishes for continued health, hope and safety are with you, our dear DLI community!

The DLI Board are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women. Find out more about our outreach activities of early 2020 below, and please visit our calendar for events organised by DLI, many of which are still going forward, if with a slight delay, online.

*STEM powered by Entrepreneurship and Arts


22 January 2020 – Uber “Diversity & Inclusion in a Changing World of Work” Luncheon Roundtable (Brussels): Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a 22 January luncheon roundtable in Brussels on “Diversity & Inclusion in a Changing World of Work,” hosted by Mr. Tony West, Chief Legal Officer, of Uber.


22 January 2020 – ESBA “New Brand. New Direction” Reception (Brussels): On 22 January in Brussels, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director joined a reception for organisations and individuals interested in “helping entrepreneurs and promoting a culture of enterprise across Europe,” hosted by the European Small Business Alliance.


23 January 2020 – Women Political Leaders “Rejkjavik Index for Leadership” Breakfast (Davos): Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  was invited to a 23 January breakfast on the “Rejkjavik Index for Leadership,” which revealed that everyday beliefs and behaviours influence participation of women in boardrooms and differences in the wages between men and women. The event was hosted by Women Political Leaders in Davos, Switzerland.


27-28 January – W20 Saudi Arabia 2020 Launch (Riyadh): In the capacity of EU Delegation member, DLI Founding Director, Che Miller Van Dÿck  was invited to the 27-28 January inception and launch of the W20 Saudi Arabia 2020 meetings, taking place in Riyadh as part of the G20 Saudi Arabia 2020 process.


4 February – EIB Annual Board of Directors Seminar with Civil Society 2020 (Luxembourg): On 4 February, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, was invited to the European Investment Bank annual Board of Directors seminar with civil society 2020 in Luxembourg. The two themes for the meeting this year were “The European Green Deal and the EU Climate Bank: addressing the critical decade ahead” and “Supporting development through quality employment.”


5 February – Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board Meeting (Brussels): On 5 February, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the semi-annual meeting of the Governing Board of the European Commission’s Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, of which Van Dÿck has been a member since 2017.


11 February – Women in Science Day 2020 (Ghent, Belgium): Katja Legisa, DLI Entrepreneurship Director,  joined a panel on Climbing the Gender-Balance Ladder in STEM as part of the Women in Science Day 2020 celebrations organised by Be4Diversity and the Faculty of Bio-Science Engineering at Ghent University. DLI also hosted a stand showcasing #womeninSTEM work by DLI and the R&I PEERs Project.


17-18 February – Global Women’s Forum Dubai, We-Fi MENA Summit (Dubai, UAE): On 16-17 February in Dubai, UAE, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  was invited to the Global Women’s Forum Dubai and We-Fi (Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative) MENA Summit, an initiative of the World Bank for advancing initiatives and policies that tackle finance and market obstacles faced by women entrepreneurs.


24-27 February – GSMA Mobile World Congress Women4Tech Summit (Barcelona): On 24-27 February, Che Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  was invited to attend the Ministerial Programme and speak at the Connected Women and Women4Tech events taking place as part of the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  These events were subsequently cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


6 March – EuroNEXT Bell-ringing & Women in Finance Roundtable (Brussels): In celebration of International Women’s Day 2020, on 6 March in Brussels, the DLI Executive Team had planned to joined a Bell-ringing Ceremony at EuroNEXT stock exchange as guests of Bank of New York Mellon and the Association of Women in Finance. The ceremony was to be followed by a round table discussion on Women in Finance, but the entire event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


13-14 March – 64th Commission on the Status of Women – Beijing+25 (New York, New York): Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  planned to join the 13 March W20 engagement group side-event of the 64th Commission on the Status of Women – Beijing+25 and 14 March round-table hosted by the W20 Saudi Arabia 2020 Secretariat to the G20 2020 meetings. The CSW meetings were scaled down significantly and the G20 meeting took place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


23 March – SHERPA Stakeholder Board Meeting (Brussels): On 23 March in Brussels, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  had planned to join the stakeholder board meeting of the SHERPA, an EU project exploring ethics in AI and big data, for which she is an advisor. The event took place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


23 April – Brussels Region Digital Strategy Launch (Brussels): On 23 April, the DLI Executive Team  joined the launch of the new Digital Strategy of the Brussels Region at the Google Atelier in Brussels.

Be sure to visit our Calendar and Outreach Activities page to keep up with DLI events and activities! You can also and sign up for the DLI Newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

World’s First #WomenVsCOVID19 Hackathon

On 24-26 April, as part of the #EUvsVirus event attracting 20,000 participants from around the world, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners hosted the first-ever global #WomenVsCovid19 hackathon tackling the unique challenges facing girls and women from COVID-19 .  With 160 participants, ranging from 16 to 70 years of age and representing over 25 countries, the three-day “Move It Forward” event brought together policy-makers and private sector actors to support teen and adult women in driving solutions to the address the coronavirus pandemic.

Move It Forward for #WomenVsCOVID19 participants enjoyed interventions from European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Ms. Julie Linn Teigland, Global Director for Women Fast Forward at EY, Ms. Anna Falth of UN Women, Ms. Pirkko Mahlamäki from European Women’s Lobby, and Ms. Bernadette Gemmell of the European Institute for Gender Equality.  Miss Alai Miranda Blanco Lascurain, recipient of DLI’s 2019  European Digital Girl of the Year award, also inspired participants by sharing about her own 3D-printed invention supporting frontline healthworkers in Spain, vast majority of whom are women.

During the event, Move It Forward project teams also benefited from expert mentorship and digital skills trainings–including website development, smartphone app coding, and data visualization–in order to develop initiatives that tackle economic and social challenges impacting the world’s girls and women as a result of COVID-19.

Top #WomenVsCOVID19 projects, recognised by a world class jury including Ms. Charlene Lambert from Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform, Ms. Wendy Diamond of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization, Ms. Jaya Jiwatram, of UN Women, Ms. Anne Ravanona of Global InvestHer, and Ms. Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck from DLI, were the following:

  1. All-Around Award:  WAVEA smartphone application tackling psychological abuse and delivering pan-European emergency-response for victims of violence against women and girls
  2. Innovation AwardExit Tales – An animated documentary of COVID-19 stories from the perspective of migrant children
  3. Impact AwardArt Time with GrandmaAn inter-generational art-making project promoting women artists and connecting kids and elderly women in order to combat isolation during COVID-19

DLI and partner Global InvestHer will support winning #WomenVsCOVID19 projects with incubation, mentorship, and training, and projects are also eligible for further support from the wider #EUvsVirus event that announced prizes for the top projects among over 1500 delivered.

Event partners also committed to supporting recognized projects and to continuing the #WomenVsCOVID19 movement in other geographies in the coming weeks. The first #MoveItForward for #WomenVsCOVID19 event was live-streamed on the DLI Facebook page, and links to the separate sessions may be found below.

Thank you to all of our amazing partners who made this event such a success!  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us to support future editions of #MoveItForward for #WomenVsCOVID19!

Move It Forward for Women vs. COVID19

The Digital Leadership Institute, Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform and their partners are proud to announce a Move It Forward – female digital starters event for Women versus COVID19taking place online on 24-26 April 2020 (all times CET, GMT+2), in support of the #EUvsVirus hackathon organised by the European Commission, and in celebration of Girls in ICT Day 2020!

Move It Forward female digital starters events are an initiative of inQube, DLI’s female digital accelerator, and are supported by top technology companies, non-profit organisations, and youth and women’s networks and communities. Their objective is to give teen and adult women* the skills to become digital entrepreneurs and leaders, and to support them in driving positive change in their communities and society-at-large.

Participants:  If you are a teen or adult woman* interested in building your tech and entrepreneurship skills while addressing challenges for Women during the COVID19 crisis, please sign up for this FREE event!

Coaches/Volunteers/Partners:  Please contact us if you would like to support this event. Opportunities exist for Move It Forward volunteers, interpreters, coaches, jury members, content and media partners, prize contributors and sponsors.

*Anyone who identifies as a woman

 

Draft Programme:
Day One – 24 April (Friday – All Times CET, GMT+2):
  • 11:30-12:30 – Orientation Webinar 2:  Orient Yourself for the Move It Forward Workshop Webinars
  • 12:30-15:00 – Workshop Webinar 1: Build & Launch Your WordPress Website in the Cloud with Amazon Web Services
  • 15:00-17:00 – Brainstorming, Project Ideation & Team Grouping
  • 17:00-18:00 – #EUvsVirus Opening Session

Day Two – 25 April (Saturday – All Times CET, GMT+2):

Day Three – 26 April (Sunday – All Times CET, GMT+2):

  • 09:00-09:30 – Check-in & Virtual Coffee
  • 09:30-12:00 – Workshop Webinar 3: Build a Smartphone App with MIT App Inventor for Android
  • 12:00-15:00 – Project Work with Coaches
  • 15:00-16:00 – Project Submissions to #EUvsVirus (optional)
  • 16:00-19:00 – Closing Session (open to the Public): Project Pitches for “Women versus COVID19”

  • 19:00-20:00 – Virtual Reception with #EUvsVirus
**Awards:  Prizes will be handed out for the top three projects presented at the Closing Session:
  • Overall Best: 6-month Virtual inQubation at DLI; 10 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; and free access to Crowdfunding 100 online course ($197 value) care of event partner Global InvestHer
  • Most Impact: 4-month Virtual inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching
  • Most Innovative: 4-month Virtual inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching

DLI Update – Winter 2019

Happy new year from the Digital Leadership Institute!

The DLI team closed out a fabulous 2019 in Berlin at an Internet Governance Forum award ceremony where we received UN recognition for our global leadership in promoting greater participation of girls and women in digital sectors around the world! 

Our Board and Executive Team are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women. Find out more about our outreach activities of Winter 2019 below, and please visit our calendar for events organised by DLI.

*STEM powered by Entrepreneurship and Arts


24 September 2019 – Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media Global Symposium (New York): Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a 24 September Global Symposium organised by the Geena Davis Institute on the Status of Equity and Inclusion in Children’s Television at Google in New York. DLI is a long-time advocate for Equity in Media, and member of the Global Alliance on Media and Gender and the Geena Davis Institute.


25 September 2019 – Financial Inclusion for Development: Building on 10 years of Progress (New York): On 25 September at UN Headquarters in New York, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined an official side-event of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, on invite of Queen Màxima of Holland, in recognition of her successes over the past ten years in advancing financial inclusion around the world, and its role in achieving the 2030 Agenda. Contributing to the event were UN Secretary General António Guterres, Ms. Melinda Gates, and the CEOs of Paypal and Microsoft, among others.


7-14 October 2019 – Women Code Festival (Brussels): The Third Annual Women Code Festival, organized by WomenInTech.brussels, took place 7-14 October in Brussels. Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  moderated the Festival opening event on 7 October, and the 6th Annual European Ada Awards ceremony, that took place at the Google Atelier in Brussels on 16 October, was an official side-event of the Festival.


14-15 October 2019 – INNOVEIT 2019 Conference (Budapest): On 14-15 October in Budapest,Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, contributed to the 2019 edition of the INNOVEIT conference, organized by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, as guest of honor and jury member for the EIT Woman Award 2019.


23 October 2019 – Mobile World Congress – Women4Tech Summit (Los Angeles): On 23 October at the Mobile World Congress Los Angeles, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a Women4Tech Summit panel on increasing diversity in STEM careers, including AI, big data and cyber security


15-16 November 2019 – Women’s Entrepreneurship Day: DLI  joined global celebrations of 2019 Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, that took place around the world with flagship summit in New York City on 15-16 November. Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, has been Women’s Entrepreneurship Ambassador for Belgium since 2016.


21-22 November 2019 – 4IR Conference (Madrid): On 21-22 November in Madrid, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  contributed to a conference on “Ethics and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (“4IR”), with a talk on “Inclusive Digital Transformation.”


22 November 2019 – SheDIDIT Closing Event (Ghent, Belgium): Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the closing event of the #SheDIDIT campaign promoting Belgian women entrepreneurs from diverse origins, for which she has been a role model and mentor for the past year.


27 November 2019 – UN EQUALS Award Ceremony at Internet Governance Forum 2019 (Berlin)As part of the 2019 Internet Governance Forum in Berlin, the DLI Team had the honour of joining a 27 November UN EQUALS ceremony recognising initiatives around the world that promote greater participation of girls and women in digital sectors.  DLI was recognised in the global Leadership category by the UN EQUALS partnership which includes the UN ITU, UN Women, GSMA and EY.


25-27 November 2019 – SME Assembly (Helsinki): Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, was invited to join to the annual SME Assembly for Europe as a delegate promoting women-led (tech) startup. The SME Assembly is the flagship event of European SME Week, an event of the 2019 Finnish Presidency of the EU Council.


2 December 2019 – Work-Life Balance Conference (Brussels): Ms. Loredana Bucseneanu, DLI Development Director,  joined a panel on “digitalisation and work-life balance” at the Work-Life Balance Conference taking place on 2 December in Brussels, organized by the Global Wo.Men Hub, of which DLI is a member.


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

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Europe Recognises Top Girls and Women in Digital Fields

“We are girls! We are women! We are strong!” – European Commissioner Gabriel to winners of the 2019 European Ada Awards recognising top female digital talent in Europe

“Take all challenges as opportunities,” advised Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, to a group of wide-eyed finalists at the sixth European Ada Awards ceremony organised on 16 October 2019 in Brussels as part of European Code Week and the WomenInTech.Brussels Women Code Festival. The Ada Awards, founded in 2012 by Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute, promote top girls and women in digital fields in Europe in an effort to increase their numbers, a long-term priority for Commissioner Gabriel that she will carry into her new mission as European Commissioner for Youth and Innovation starting next month.

Commissioner Gabriel officially opened this year’s celebration of the Ada Awards, affectionately named for Countess Ada Lovelace, the world’s first-ever computer programmer, with a message that technology is “a strategic tool for the empowerment of citizens—of women and of men—that we must continue to use to advance ourselves,” she said. The Commissioner counseled those present to spend less time on embellishments and to focus on taking action when a door is opened, saying she would both hold them to task, and committed to supporting them along the way. The Commissioner closed her message praising the hard work and talent demonstrated by the Ada Award finalists and winners, underscoring: “We are girls! We are women! We are strong!”

Following her remarks, Commissioner Gabriel and Ada Award partners from civil society and private sector recognised the 2019 European Ada Award-winners.

2019 European Digital Woman of the Year Award

The 2019 European Ada Award for Digital Woman of the Year was presented by Ms. Kelly Dorekens, CRM Director at Deloitte Belgium, who shared that “diversity in a group matters as much as ability and brainpower,” adding that Deloitte “actively encourages women to embrace science, technology, engineering and math through selected partnerships and events, like the Ada Awards.”

Ms. Dee Saigal, United Kingdom – 2019 European Digital Woman of the Year
Ms. Dee Saigal is Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Erase All Kittens, an adventure game designed to give girls the confidence to code, whilst teaching digital and 21st century skills. Dee’s goal is for EAK is to transform the way children perceive coding and engineering, and empower millions of girls worldwide with transferable, digital skills. Dee shared that her biggest challenge so far, aside from being a woman in tech, has been fundraising for research and development. Her message to other women and girls is to not think tech is for boys or that it is “geeky.” “There are so many amazing careers in tech that are both interesting and challenging,” says Saigal. Now that Erase All Kittens has 150,000 players, her next step is to raise investment in order to be able to build more educational and gamified version to launch globally. Her team is raising £500,000, and are already at twenty percent of that goal.

2019 European Digital Girl of the Year Award

“10 Years and Under” Category:
The 2019 European Ada Award for Digital Girl of the Year in the “10 Years and Under” category was presented by Ms. Afke Schaart, VP and Head of Europe, GSMA. Winner in this category was Tayra, from Bulgaria.

Tayra, from Bulgaria – 2019 European Digital Girl of the Year “10 Years and Under”
Tayra is ten years old and was born in Sofia. She loves coding, and most recently won a special prize at Softunjada Kids with her Scratch project “three bears fairytale,” using sign language for kids. Tayra says the projects she is most proud of are her webpage and her robots. In ten years, she hopes to be a programmer. Her message to other girls who are interested in tech is: “I believe that girls have a power, and the power of technology can change the world for the better, no matter who we are. It is never too late or too early to get involved in tech,” Tayra says.

“11-14 Years Old” Category:

The 2019 European Ada Award for Digital Girl of the Year in the “11-14 Years Old” category was presented by Ms. Christine Marlet, Board Member, Global Wo.Man Hub. Marlet expressed her awe of the candidates saying “the Ada Awards grant the participants the perfect opportunity to enhance their digital dreams. It encourages them to take risks along the way in order to achieve their digital goals because they believe that their objectives are attainable.” She added: “Belief in yourself stems from belief in your role models.” Winner in this category was Selin, from Turkey.

Selin, from Turkey – 2019 European Digital Girl of the Year “11-14 Years Old”
Selin is thirteen years old and loves building robots, coding, animals and travelling. She wants to study robotics and eventually build a humanoid. Selin shared that she was inspired to build her robot dog when her childhood dog passed away. She said “I knew that blind people especially have a strong connection with their dogs. I wanted to help them out, and felt like this was a great way of doing that.” She spends her free time on the weekends working on and improving her robotic guide dog. Looking forward, Selin says “I am currently developing the second version of my dog, and this one will be able to sit, lay down, bark, and it will even do ‘heart eyes’ towards my mom. Currently it’s only programmed to understand English, but I’m hoping for it to learn Chinese soon!”

“15-17 Years Old” Category:
The 2019 European Ada Award for Digital Girl of the Year in the “15-17 Years Old” category was presented by Ms. Viola Pinzi from European Schoolnet. There were two winner in this category: Anne, from Belgium, and Alai-Miranda, from Spain.

Anne, from Belgium – 2019 European Digital Girl of the Year “15-17 Years Old”
Anne is a fifteen-year-old girl who created Clinicoders, an initiative to bring technology and programming to children in hospitals. One of the goals of this project is to encourage children to create solutions for permanently disabled children. Anne said her next steps for Clinicoders are to bring it to a hospital in Antwerp, as it is only currently in Ghent, Belgium. “My dad wants to help bring it to other countries as well. So we’ll see where it goes,” she said. Over time, Clinicoders has developed from an application for children into something for adults too. “We shared this application called ‘Mindstorms’ to adult hospital animators, and it has been a real success.” In terms of her own future, Anne plans on studying law, but definitely wants to continue engaging hospital patients with Clinicoders.

Alai-Miranda from Spain – 2019 European Digital Girl of the Year “15-17 Years Old”
Alai-Miranda’s passion for STEM began when she was seven years old, and it has yet to fade. Most recently, she was invited to speak at the Amazon Web Services Summit in Madrid to discuss her experience as a girl in technology. Alai-Miranda shared about a new project she has begun to work on called “EsVuela.” A combination of the Spanish words “escuela” (school) and “volar” (to fly), the project will educate children on how to fly and program drones. As far as where Alai-Mirand sees herself in ten years, she says: “Hopefully I will have graduated from MIT and will be working in technology at a company, or maybe I will have even started my own company at that point. I hope to be either in the U.S., or maybe in Europe, maybe even still in Spain – somewhere!” As for her experience at the Ada Awards, she said that she feels “inspired to continue talking about and learning technology.”

 

“Gender-Equality and Europe: Fit for the Digital Era?” Panel

The 2019 European Ada Awards ceremony was preceded by a high-level panel on “Gender Equality and Europe: Fit for the Digital Era,” moderated by Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, and including panelists Miss Manon Van Hoorebeke, 2014-2015 Ada Award-winner for European Digital Girl of the Year, Mr. Christian Veske, Stakeholder Relations Coordinator at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), Ms. Annick Breton Elias, Partner of Deloitte Luxembourg, and Ms. Afke Schaart, Vice President and Head of Europe at GSMA, a global trade association for the mobile industry.

Christian Veske kicked off the panel with a discussion of EIGE’s 2019 Gender Equality Index released this week, the factors contributing to Europe’s score of 67 out of 100, and the increasing importance of promoting gender balance in digital fields. “Women won’t achieve equality until there is digital equality,” agreed Schaart from the GSMA. “Right now, women hold less than twenty percent of jobs in the tech industry, which is why GSMA expanded our Tech4Girls program this year.”

 

At sixteen, Manon Van Hoorebeke shared that winning the Digital Girl of the Year award at eleven years old has played a significant role in guiding her life choices since then, and that she is now studying Physics at university. Van Hoorebeke also admitted that a lack of confidence with technology is a barrier to getting more young women into the field, and even despite her accomplishements, that she sometimes faces self-doubt. Elias concurred that this patter appears in professional contexts as well for which reason, she said, Deloitte works to identfy high-potential women in digital fields and starts conversations with them on leadership. “Because it is often unlikely that women will initiate these discussions themselves,” she said.

 

Formal welcome for the 2019 European Ada Awards Ceremony was provided by Ms. Loubna Azhgoud, COO of Women in Business and WomenInTech.Brussels @1819 Hub, and by Ms. Audrey Scozzaro Ferrazzi, Senior European Policy Manager at Google. Azhgoud congratulated Ada Award finalists and highlighted the event in the context of the third-annual Women Code Festival organised by the Brussels Region, which succeeded this year in reaching 2300 participants, eighty percent female, to encourage them into digital fields. Scozzaro Ferrazzi also welcomed guests with a rousing speech expressing her awe and admiration for gathered laurates who, like her, are pursuing digital fields.

Following the ceremony, WomenInTech.Brussels provided a lovely reception for the finalists and winners of the 2019 European Ada Awards and all their friends, families and supporters.

Congratulations to the 2019 European Ada Award winners, finalists and nominees for their amazing leadership in digital fields across Europe!

Thank you to our Ada Awards sponsors and supporters!

You can find more pictures from the 2019 European Ada Awards ceremony here.

2019 European Ada Awards Finalists Announced

On behalf of the 2019 European Ada Awards jury and under the esteemed patronage of of Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners are thrilled to announce the finalists of the 2019 European Ada Awards !

2019 European Digital Woman of the Year™ Award Finalists:

Nadia Aimé (Belgium)

Once homeless and a school dropout herself, Nadia’s work focuses on improving the lives of vulnerable groups, through education and creating more interest and enthusiasm surrounding careers within entrepreneurship and the digital sector. Today, she is an avid technologist social/tech entrepreneur, educator, a single mom, and studying cyber-security who seeks to help people evolve in a fast-paced world of technology and business. Nadia’s passion for sharing knowledge and constant learning, most especially improving her tech skills which she hones, birthed She Leads Digital, which is a Brussels based tech organization, aims at providing programs and initiatives that foster enthusiasm and encourage women and youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

Dee Saigal (United Kingdom)

Dee Saigal is the Founder, CEO & Creative Director of Erase All Kittens – an adventure game designed to give girls the confidence to code, whilst teaching digital and 21st Century skills. Like many women, Dee grew up believing that careers in technology were more for boys, which is why it took her years to follow her dream of getting into game design – and why she founded EAK. She and her team spent 12 months interviewing hundreds of students before designing their product, in order to create a coding tool that girls genuinely love. EAK has 150,000 players in over 100 countries, and 95% of girls want to learn more about coding after playing. Dee’s goal is for EAK to transform the way that children perceive coding and engineering, and to empower millions of girls worldwide with transferable, digital skills.

Eva Meyer de Stadelhofen (France)

Eva is the 21 year old founder of GirlCode, an international nonprofit who aims to reduce the gender gap in the STEM industry by offering free coding lessons to girls of age 7 to 17 in their schools. She also created a mentorship program through which GirlCode students can meet entrepreneurs, scientists, and all-around girl bosses in order to help them find their STEM superstar. GirlCode, which started as a small club, has rapidly grown these last two years into a worldwide “sisterhood of nerds”, with 304 clubs in 25 different countries and an estimated impact of 81’345 girls as of September 2019. Thanks to her work with her organisation, Eva has recently been chosen by Global Changemakers and the Thomas Reuters Foundation to attend their summits as one of the best entrepreneurs worldwide.

2019 European Digital Girl of the Year™ Award Finalists:

Tayra from Bulgaria (10 year old and under category)

Tayra is 10 years old and was born and lives in Sofia. Besides the gift of learning foreign languages (at the age of 8 she speaks some German, English, Chinese and Turkish), Tayra has another talent in the field of modern computer technologies. At the age of 8 Tayra participated in the  IT Znayko award contest and won a prize for an original idea and, as a member of the Coder Dojo club, won an award from the Bulgarian version of Coolest Projects Sofia 2017. The great victory comes in Dublin, Ireland, at the international competition Coolest Project 2017 involving more than 1,000 children from 17 countries. She won in the Scratch category at Coolest Projects 2017, when she is only 8 years old with her awesome project ABCD Code, which is a Scratch game developed to help children learn about healthy eating and the benefits of fruit and vegetables with the help of Makey Makey. The Healthy Eating project in English and Bulgarian version also became involved in the kindergarten process. She personally organizes and participates in workshops. At the age of 9, on 25.03.2018 she won a special prize from the Softuniada Kids (organized by Software University in Sofia, Bulgaria) with an amazing project (scratch project- “Three bears farytail”with the sign language videos for deaf kids).

Selin from Turkey (11-14 year old category)

Selin  is 13 years old and loves building robots and coding also loves animals and travelling. She started coding when she was 8 years old. Selin won first prize in the Hardware category at Coderdojo’s Coolest Projects International in 2018 with iC4U, her robot guide dog for the visually impaired. She was also a finalist in the Open Innovation category of the European Youth Awards 2018. In 2019 she received a 100% educational scholarship and attended a Robotic and Engineering summer camp held at Stanford University. She is presently working on the second version of her robot guide dog, the Raspberry Pi version and on a robot that aims to make life easier in schools and hospitals. She is hoping that her robot will help to make children’s stay in hospital a little easier if only to make them smile. She codes in Python language.    She is working on integrating image processing, voice control and artificial intelligence assisted dialogue capabilities in her robot project.  her aim is to study robotics at MIT or Stanford University and to build a humanoid. Selin speaks English, Turkish and French, she is also learning Python, C++ and Java. She facilitates workshops, mentors her peers and gives presentations at technology related events in order to inspire others especially girls.  She lives in Istanbul, Turkey with her mum, dad and dog Bailey.

Anne from Belgium (15-17 year old category)

Anne Maelbrancke, 15 years old, student at the Bernardustechnicum Oudenaarde, Belgium. Anne has been a member of Coderdojo Belgium since 2014. In 2015 she was confronted with a friend who had to stay at the hospital for quite a long time. She proposed to start an initiative called Clinicoders (facebook.com/clinicoders) to bring technology and programming to children in the hospital. Monthly, together with friend, she animates children patients with programming and robots.
Clinicoders also donates resources to hospitals to educate technology and programming in their schools. This year a “Clinimakers” initiative has been started to trigger children to build solutions for disabled children.

Alai from Spain (15-17 year old category)

Alai’s passion for STEM began when she was 7 years old. She has experience coding in multiple code languages, and has attended STEM workshops from textile technology to designing and 3D prototyping. In 2019, she was invited to speak at the Amazon Web Services Summit in Madrid to discuss her experience as a girl in technology. Additionally, this past May she was invited by Google to Women TechMakers Alicante to discuss her experience and future projects.

 

Congratulations to the 2019 Ada Awards finalists and all our nominees for their amazing leadership in digital fields in Europe!

Please join us at the Google Digital Atelier in Brussels on 16 October 2019 for the sixth edition of the European Ada Awards ceremony, where we will announce winners of the 2019 awards, with a special opening address by Commissioner Gabriel and a closing reception. This event is open to the public on a strictly first-come-first-served basis, with pre-registration required.

DLI Update – Summer 2019

The Digital Leadership Institute Board and Executive Team are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women.  Find out more about our outreach activities of Summer 2019 below, and please visit our calendar for events organised by DLI.

*STEM powered by Entrepreneurship and Arts


5 July 2019 – G7 & UNESCO International Conference (Paris): On 5 July in Paris, in the attendance of Ms. Malala Yousufzai and French President Emanuel Macron, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, and Ms. Loredana Bucseneanu, DLI Development Director,  joined a G7 and UNESCO international conference on the topic of “Innovating for Girls’ and Women’s Education.”


10-11 July 2019 – IMAGINE: A Better World, a Global Education Conference (Seattle): On 10-11 July in Seattle, Washington, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined IMAGINE: A Better World, a global education conference hosted by Amazon Web Services, long-time supporters of the DLI mission promoting inclusive digital transformation.


24 July 2019 – Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Ambassadors Meeting (Global): On 24 July, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a meeting of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Global Ambassadors in preparation for the 2019 Women’s Entrepreneurship Day celebrations taking place on 15-16 November.


12-13 August 2019 – IMAGINE: A Better World, a Non Profit Conference (Seattle): On 13-14 August in Seattle, Washington, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined IMAGINE: A Better World, a global nonprofit conference hosted by Amazon Web Services, long-time supporters of the DLI mission promoting inclusive digital transformation.


29-31 August 2019 – World AI Conference (Shanghai): In Shanghai, China on 31 August, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, gave a talk on “Challenges Facing the Future of AI,” at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference.


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

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