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Women Contributing to Innovation & Smart Growth in Europe

25 Oct

A lot of exciting things have been happening for European women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics since our last post.  Please find out what we’ve been up to on my personal blog here, and on the website of our foundation, greenlight for girls.

In the meantime, I have been honored by the European chemical industry council, Cefic*, to organize an event in Brussels on 23 November, which showcases the contribution of women to innovation and smart growth in Europe, especially linked to science.  Please see an outline of the event below, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or feedback on this wonderful initiative, and of course, to register.

“European Women: Innovating for Smart, Sustainable & Inclusive Growth” is a high-level panel discussion, hosted by Cefic, on the contribution of women leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists to achieving the Europe 2020 vision, where speakers, panelists and audience members will contribute to a moderated discussion addressing the following topics:

  • Challenges to achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe;
  • Contributions to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and lessons learned by leading women in science and innovation in Europe; and
  • Opportunities for increasing women’s role in achieving the Europe 2020 vision through science and innovation.

Speakers and panelists will include high-level representatives from Europe’s public sector; leaders from private industry, enterprise, and the non-profit sector; as well as policy and media experts in gender, science and innovation. Confirmed speakers to date, include:

Ms. Luisa Pista, European Commission Head of Unit for Green Technology, and former Head of Unit for Women in Science and Innovation

Dr. Ellen de Brabander, Member of the Governing Board of the European Institute for Innovation & Technology, and Chief Scientific Officer and Global Head of R&D for Merial Ltd.

The following is the schedule for the event:

14:00 – Keynote Speech
14:20 – Panelist Briefings
14:50 – Coffee Pause
15:00 – Panelist Briefings
15:20 – Moderated Discussion with Audience Contribution
15:45 – Summary Statement & Closing Keynote
16:00 – End

Attendance at the event is free, but pre-registration is necessary.

This panel discussion is part of a three-day “Tomorrow starts with Chemistry” event celebrating the International Year of Chemistry in 2011, hosted by Cefic, the European chemical industry council, at the Palais des Academies in Brussels.

Registration closes on Monday 21 November 2011.

*Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, represents an industry which makes an invaluable contribution to the welfare and quality of life of European citizens. The European chemical industry is a key contributor to the sustainable development of our society, ideally equipped to provide solutions to global challenges such as climate change.


“Women for Smart Growth” Goes Live!

17 Jun

Today was the big day!  We tackled the eight focus areas of the Gender Action Plan for the Digital Agenda, and are now ready to make our concrete recommendations to the European Commission on how to actively take our shared agendas forward!

The link to all the presentations is here.

And a link to the final version of our presentation on “Women Role Models” is below.  Click on the image, which is an ode to YOU!  All you amazing women are also our inspiration, motivation… and role models!

Thank you for your collaboration!  And watch this space to see what happens next!

Female Role Model Survey – Report #1

29 Apr

Data is rolling in on our first Women Role Model Survey. Thank you for your incredible feedback — keep it coming! Meantime, please check out what kinds of female role models our respondents have!

Sith Lady Lumiya, A Role Model for the Digital Age - from

In response to the question “Please tell us what kind of female role models you have,” of 32 respondents so far, the answers broke down as follows:

Percent – Response
1. 75.00% – Family Member (Mother, Aunt, Sister, etc.)
2. 68.80% – Personal Friend or Acquaintance
3. 59.40% – Public Figure or Celebrity (Politician, Athlete, TV/Music/Movies Star, etc.)
4. 31.30% – School Figure (Teacher, Professor, School Counselor, etc.)
5. 31.30% – Mentor (Professional or Other)
6, 28.10% – Other/Comment(*)
7. 25.00% – Virtual Friend or Acquaintance (Someone you mostly have contact with online)
8. 21.90% – Fictional Character (From a TV Show, Movie, Video Game, Book, etc.)
9. 18.80% – Religious or Civic Community Figure
10. 6.30% – Sport or Other Social Club Member

(*)Of people who said “Other”, the comments included: “Female writers,” “Ada Byron,” “Colleagues,” “authors, politicians or trade unionists,” “many role models in Albanian society,” “I followed my own path,” “a man” and… “a Sith”!

I must confess that the last comment came from a personal role model very near and dear to my own heart. 🙂

Stay tuned, as we’ll be putting more of your answers (and more questions for you to answer ;-)) online every day. And if you haven’t yet had time to fill out the quick, five-minute survey, please be sure to do so!

And, of course, THANK YOU all for your awesome input! The more you share, the more we learn about this very important topic!

Let your voice be heard!

29 Apr

As an outcome of the “Women in Science, Innovation and Technology in the Digital Age” conference held in Budapest on 6-8 March 2011, a Gender Action Plan for the Digital Agenda with eight focus areas was drawn up.

In this context, Commissioner Neelie Kroes has decided to include a “Women for Smart Growth” workshop at the Digital Agenda Assembly in Brussels on 16-17 June, at which the Gender Action Plan focus areas will be discussed.

Lady Kate: A Female Role Model for a New Generation

To explore the Gender Action Plan topic “Creating positive images through role models, awareness campaigns, TV programmes, video games & the World Expo 2015 in Milan,” we have started a virtual working group — and have launched the first in a series of short surveys on “Female Role Models” — and would like to encourage your participation.

Please join our social network (links below), take the first survey on “Media & Women Role Models,” and join in the discussion!


Your comments are welcome, so please let your voice be heard!

Ladies Launching

25 Apr

As an outcome of the “Women in Science, Innovation & Technology” conference held in Budapest on 6-8 March 2011, a Gender Action Plan, linked to the Digital Agenda for Europe, was drawn up which sets out eight focus areas for women in STEM in Europe.  To discuss this plan and propose a roadmap to implement it, a workshop on “Women for Smart Growth” will be carried out at the first-ever Digital Agenda Assembly, in Brussels, on 16-17 June 2011.

The EU Women “Women Role Models in the Digital Age” blog was started as part of a virtual working group to address the GAP focus area of “Creating positive images through role models, awareness campaigns, TV programmes, video games & the World Expo 2015 in Milan,” for which we are still collecting feedback via a very short survey which we welcome you to fill out!

In the meantime, our mission has broadened to include all the eight topic areas of the Gender Action Plan, as noted below, and about which you can get more background here.

  • Flexible academic structures and pathways for new gender relations and scientific careers
  • Integration of gender in research and innovation
  • Targets for Member States for female entrepreneurship
  • Careers in industry: mentorship, internship, recruitment, transparency
  • Creative positive images through role models, awareness campaigns, TV programmes, videogames World Expo 2015 – Milan
  • Global collaboration project(s)
  • European multi-stakeholder based GAP partnership and platform
  • European-level benchmarking and monitoring

If you would like to contribute to the discussion heading up to the “Women for Smart Growth” workshop at the Digital Agenda Assembly, please feel free to subscribe to this blog, and join our other social networks:
Twitter @euwomen  Hashtag:  #daa11women

For questions and inquiries on this initiative, please contact us, and thank you for letting your voice be heard!