April 2021 Female Tech Leaders Magazine

Page 1








2 0 2 1

1 8

FEMALE TECH LEADERS e M a g a z i n e |

w e b s i t e |

m e m b e r s h i p

c o m m u ni ty




We have been looking more and more into investment and female founders. The reality is the number of investment that goes to female founders is very low, in some countries, could be 2% of all investment. We are collaborating with a few organizations to bring this topic to the table. I hope you enjoy this edition and keep following us! Stay safe! Candyce Costa Founder and Disruptor


Be one of our Guests

To empower and nurture digital and tech women in business and life to achieve their true potential and connecting them to create a collaborative and powerful community.

OUR VISION To create the most collaborative and encouraging platform to accelerate the change of the role of women in business and in the modern society.


2 0 2 1


1 8

FEMALE TECH LEADERS e M a g a z i n e |

w e b s i t e |


m e m b e r s h i p


c o m m u ni ty









2 0 2 1


1 8

FEMALE TECH LEADERS e M a g a z i n e |

w e b s i t e |

m e m b e r s h i p

c o m m u ni ty

SPONSORED EVENTS(ONLINE AND OFFLINE) We are looking for companies and event organizations that are interested in raise their profile within our business community. Interested? Email us!

BUSINESS DIRECTORY We are looking for like minded business who wants to reach to our business community via our magazine, social media and website. Interested? Email us!

BUSINESS COLLABORATIONS We are looking for like minded business who aligned with our mission and community style to built business colaboration, Interested? Email us!

BUSINESS PROGRAM We are looking for like minded business that wants to implement a business program to retain and attract more diversity to their business. Interested? Email us!

Support our magazine collaborations EMMA@DIGITALBUSINESSWOMEN.COM


ALEXANDRA SANTOS COO Platform6 & Co-Founder Stream Startup Festival

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your career /business please? Alexandra is the COO of Platform6 - recently opened 4000m2 startup house in the heart of Tampere hosting the local startup ecosystem under the same roof, a community for startups with high growth potential and global ambition; and co-founder of Stream Startup Festival - a not-for-profit startup event in Tampere, Finland empowering local startup scene by bringing practical support and tools of growth for early stage startups. Over the last 3 years Alexandra has also been working in various roles in the local startup community Tribe Tampere pushing its startup scene forward! Previously worked in SW test management positions in Nokia and Microsoft. Alexandra is passionate about more inclusive technology and entrepreneurship, and advocate for empowering under-represented talents and founders. A day in your business life! Never the same day twice. Platform6 Startup House opened its door on October 2020 so we are only in 6 months of operations. As project is still in its very early days, I am juggling many different roles right now. Days are busy and jam-packed with different activities, ranging from high-level strategic work to daily operations. This means I am involved in all segments of our activities, from supporting our 35 resident startup members to strategic partnerships, ramping-up collaboration projects, hands-on on marketing and branding activities, finance, HR. There are many smaller tasks that need to be addressed to keep the business going. Days are long but filled with high motivation as we are helping to drive growth in our local startup and tech communities and beyond!

ALEXANDRA SANTOS Do you think there is a diversity issue in the tech sector? How the lack of women in technology has affected you? There is definitely a diversity problem in the tech industry, and its not only a gender issue. Age, ethical background, nationality, gender, disability. All these groups are underrepresented in the sector, and have access to unequal opportunities. Even though there have been efforts to help close the diversity gap, in all honesty the numbers have barely moved over the years and minorities are still severely underrepresented in tech. While Finland has more female entrepreneurs per capita than the European average, the share of female entrepreneurs here has remained at 30 per cent for the past decade. Personally I have been working in tech since 2003, and have experienced discrimination. From being paid 20% less for over a period of 1.5 years when compared with my male colleague with same role and job category as myself, to not being selected for promotions in leadership roles. As I started being more mature, I started addressing this and that was the changing point. Not resign but fight openly about equal job opportunities in my workplace. Technology is a male-dominated field. How could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? Representation has a major role in breaking down the barriers for women in the tech industry We need more female founders and tech leaders been given the deserved coverage in media and in the industry. The lack of visibility of other women in technology can act to discourage women from starting a career within the industry or even starting a business. Let’s demystify how founders and leaders look like and their journey! Are there any particular women in tech who have inspired you? All the female founders. What advice and tips would you give to women who want a career in tech? You can be anything. Get a mentor, someone that can empower and guide you in your journey and support you. Having a network behind you can really help you a lot with your professional and business challenges. What are your plans for the next five years? Platform6 and continuing building a sustainable impactful startup community empowering the local entrepreneurs to go further and faster to global markets. Giving them the tools to maximize impact and growth. And maybe start my own startup!


MARIA FÁTIMA LUCAS CEO and Co-Founder of Zymvol

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your career /business please? I’m Maria Fátima Lucas and I'm CEO and Co-Founder of Zymvol, a biotech company that designs and develops enzymes through computer simulations. After getting my B.sc. in Chemistry and M.sc. and PhD in Computational Chemistry in the University of Porto, I spent many years working as a researcher in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), where my work was focused on the development and application of molecular modeling techniques to the study of enzymes. I really loved working as a researcher and, for many years, didn’t imagine myself having my own company. Zymvol was born, in part, due to necessity, when my last contract ended and I was having trouble finding a new job in the city where I lived. Luckily, I still wasn’t out of options. I had met Emanuele Monza and Victor Gil (Zymvol’s cofounders) during our time working at the BCS and we discussed the idea of building our own company. We thought it would be really great to join our know-how and bring to the market a new, innovative solution. And thus, Zymvol was created. At Zymvol we use computer driven technologies to help us discover and optimize enzymes that can be implemented in industrial processes afterwards. Enzymes are a type of protein that can be found in all living organisms. They are biocatalysts, which means they have the ability to speed up chemical reactions. And the fun thing about them is that there are millions of them in Nature, many of which are still to be discovered. Currently, many industries use them to improve their products or have more sustainable production processes. However, is not that easy moving an enzyme from its natural environment to an industrial one. That’s where Zymvol comes in. By using computational methods, we can discover and optimize enzymes for very specific purposes in less time than by doing it with more traditional methods, therefore accelerating the enzyme development process. In just a few days the company will celebrate its 4 year anniversary and I’m really happy that we have come such a long way!

MARIA FÁTIMA LUCAS A day in your business life! As CEO, the business side of the job takes up most of the time: supervising the team, meeting with clients, attending events (on and off-line), setting up the next strategic steps, etc. However, I still very much enjoy the more research-focused parts of the job and try to be present as much as possible in all of the on-going projects we have at the moment. Running a company, especially when it’s a startup, takes an unimaginable amount of time and work. I’m lucky to count with an exceptional team which is able to bring value to the company and take the project further that I would have ever imagined. Do you think there is a diversity issue in the tech sector? How the lack of women in technology has affected you? Personally, I was very lucky that when I worked as a researcher for many years, I never encountered any discrimination for being a woman. However, once I started leading my own company, I did start to notice some differences in the business world. Regarding diversity in the tech sector, I think one of the main issues for many years has been the lack of representation. Now it’s easier to know about women scientists and engineers who made a difference, but for a long time, it seemed that there were no women being equally represented in textbooks or the media. For every woman who reached the spotlight, there were 50 men being praised for their tech capabilities. This, of course, can put girls off about pursuing these types of professions. However, I’m optimistic about the future. Lately, this trend is shifting and I’m seeing more women joining tech fields. Technology is a male-dominated field. How could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? On the one hand, by giving them visibility. I think that in the last few years there has been a lot of work done to give visibility to brilliant women who are role models in their respective fields (through awards, interviews, discussion panels, etc). The fact that other women or girls see that there are women out there thriving is already a big step. Also, by promoting work-life balance. Many women who have a family are still juggling two jobs: their career and raising their family. Until there’s no real work-life balance and women stop being “penalized” for wanting to start a family, no industry (be it technologic or other) can be truly inclusive. Did you encounter any problems returning to work following having children/maternity leave in terms of work/life balance, childcare, flexibility? Personally, I haven’t had children so I’ve not experienced any issues related to childcare and work flexibility. However, it’s a matter that I’m well aware of and that’s why at Zymvol we try to offer the maximum flexibility to improve our team’s work/life balance.

MARIA FÁTIMA LUCAS What are your suggestions to encourage more young women to pursue careers in Tech? I like most initiatives that encourage girls from a young age to start being interested in careers in tech. When they are still young and curious is the best time to show them all the different cool career paths and possibilities in tech that they might not know about yet. In their lives, they might just know about doctors, teachers or police officers because they are more “visible” in their everyday lives. But what if they got the chance to see what a software engineer does? And what if they end up liking it? That’s why I think it’s really important to let them know that there are hundreds of possibilities and one of them might just be their cup of tea. Are there any particular women in tech who have inspired you? Frances Arnold, Nobel Laureate for Chemistry in 2018. She was able to look at a biological problem from an engineer’s point of view. Not only has she changed the way biocatalysis can be applied in industrial processes, but she also showed the importance of multidisciplinarity if we really want to radically change the way things are done. What are some of the biggest challenges that women in the world of technology face today? I think that in more “male-dominated” areas, the biggest challenges for women are usually lack of representation, and, of course, difficulties in career building that are common to other professions (work/life balance, being passed on for promotions, etc). From an entrepreneurial perspective, I would say lack of support or funding. The tech world can change rapidly and really innovative tech can sometimes be daunting and high risk. If you add to this the common misconceptions about women in business – like thinking that they are less capable than their male counterparts, which of course is not true- these types of judgements can really put a stop to their business growth. What advice and tips would you give to women who want a career in tech? My suggestion would be to not be afraid and if they like tech, to just go for it. It is truly a wonderful field and there’s room for everyone. Tech is all about building the future, new cool innovations that end up shaping people’s lives. It’s a field that’s constantly changing, so it never becomes boring. You’ll meet people with the same interests and will discover thousands of applications for tech that you would never have imagined before. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?

What are your plans for the next five years? Our vision at ZYMVOL has always been to become a leading company in enzyme development throughout the World. We are carrying out an expansion strategy by opening our first office in Boston. We are also moving from a service-based business and selling our first enzyme products. Hopefully, this will bring us closer to our goal of reshaping the chemical industry to democratize green chemistry.



Tell us about you and your career, Martina! My name is Martina Åkerlund, I am 41 years old, and I am the CEO of Swedish sports tech company Triggy. I started at Triggy 6 months ago now and that was a big change in my career. Before Triggy I held various senior positions within banking and finance, such as management consultant, Head of Regulatory Reporting, and CMO to name some. Banking is a really stable and solid industry today, but a lot have happened during these 20 years, both from an industry and diversity perspective. All my roles have been really different from each other, there is a big difference between Regulatory Reporting and Chief Marketing Officer, ha-ha, but my strength have always been to deliver on goals by setting a structure and scalable processes together with a team. And that is exactly why I felt it was the perfect match when I met the founders of Triggy. I have always been impressed by entrepreneurs, and this was a great possibility to take part of building a company within an industry that is at its infancy, with amazing opportunities going forward. Triggy is a tech scale up, 16 amazing guys and me, and our tech is used to improve the user experience by using data in the best possible way, predominantly within sports betting. A day in your business life! No day is the same as the other at Triggy which is something I really enjoy; I get to learn new things every day! Currently we are focusing on finding capital to accelerate our expansion in the U.S., so I get to meet many interesting investors. We are also improving our product by adding more sports; we are live with soccer, American football and basketball; and right now working on baseball and ice-hockey to be live before the summer. A lot of great work by our excellent tech team! We are also expanding our business in the U.S., so I meet many interesting potential clients. As we are in the intersection between a start-up and a scale-up, I also water the plants at our office and a week ago I was doing goodie bags to all staff to celebrate that we went live with basketball. I love that my work includes so much, both smaller but also really big things together with a great team.

MARTINA ÅKERLUND Do you think there is a diversity issue in the tech sector? How the lack of women in technology has affected you? There is. It is really difficult to recruit women in tech. Both Triggy and me personally really want to impact diversity but most of our recruitments are developers as we are a tech company, and it is really difficult to find female developers. I think this will change in the coming years; we see a lot of women studying tech at the universities right now so it will only be better. If you are a woman with the right competence within tech, you are the future as so many companies, right now, want to improve diversity and hire women. I would not say that it affected me much, I have been fortunate to work with many wonderful men and women who have supported me through my career. But, also, I have been picky in choosing the right employer and manager with a mindset and company culture that is in line with my values. Technology is a male-dominated field. How could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? There’s a lot that can be done to be more inclusive. It starts by setting goals as a company being more diversified, then going over the recruitment process. How are ads written, how is selection of candidates made and how are interviews done and by whom. I don’t think we lack being inclusive because we want to, but we must become more aware of our, sometimes learnt, behaviour and thinking. Once the recruitment is made, it is all about company culture to make everyone feel like they belong and can be their best. I also support what you are doing right now, highlighting role models, and sharing inspiration for women in tech, that is important to attract more women to the tech industry and go after their career dreams. Did you encounter any problems returning to work following having children/maternity leave in terms of work/life balance, childcare, flexibility? In Sweden we have come a long way in this area. Here, most parents share their parental leave nowadays which makes it easier for everyone. But no matter what, it’s always tough coming back from parental leave, at this point you have both work and family to take care of. My best advice to achieve balance though would be to choose your partner wisely. A partner that thinks it is totally natural for both parents to have a work/life balance and to support each other in both life and work. What are your suggestions to encourage more young women to pursue careers in Tech? As a woman the future is yours within tech! I think all are aware of that tech is both the industry of the present and the future but also as I mentioned previously, all the best companies are working on diversity right now, so you are completely right in time if you both have the competence and are a woman. So go all you amazing women! Are there any particular women in tech who have inspired you? I am inspired by all women who are competent and do their best. If you are that, but also use your knowledge and competence to support and inspire others, then you are a amazing to me, no matter industry or role.

MARTINA ÅKERLUND What are some of the biggest challenges that women in the world of technology face today? I think we can be better in supporting and encourage each other, the way men always have. I have been fortunate to be supported by both amazing men and women but here I think all of us can make a difference - supporting and encouraging other women, in big and small! What advice and tips would you give to women who want a career in tech? Always do your best and make sure to deliver, that will give you possibilities. Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to tell people, and your manager, what you want. People are amazing, but we are not mind readers. Let people know what you want in combination with delivering well and you will be sure to achieve your goals. What are your plans for the next five years? I don’t know, ha-ha! I have always been jealous on people having long term goals, while I have always done what I enjoy and tried to do it well, and that has taken me to the next level. I am so happy right now having work/life balance, a combination of a wonderful family and a job that I love. And, of course, with a team that I admire. I want to build Triggy, and then continue my wonderful path in life. I am sure something new and challenging will appear when the time is right. What's your favourite quote? I cannot just choose one so I have to share two quotes:)” If someone offers you an amazing opportunity, but you are not sure you can do it, say yes and then learn how to do it later” by Richard Branson. If you live by this quote, you will automatically be pushed out of your comfort zone. The other one is by the famous Swedish childrens book author, Astrid Lindgren, and her character Pippi Longstocking ”I have never done this before so I’m sure I will be excellent at it”. Love it in the spirit of believing in yourself.

Check out our new website




Tell us about you and your career, Polina! I am a passionate environmental entrepreneur, with two master’s degrees in Chemistry and Renewable Energy. After a successful 14-year career in the oil and gas industry, I decided to make a fundamental career change and do something useful for the planet. As an active traveler who visited 68 countries and lived in 6 and a scuba-diver (100 m), I saw many beautiful places ruined by negative anthropogenic impacts, and based on my personal experience and internal feelings, I decided to change my career's path from "black" side of fossil fuel to "green" side of renewable energy. I left her rich, comfortable life and moved into renewable energy technologies without any doubts. Both my training and vast working experience led to me found HelioRec. company with a strong mission is producing clean energy. We are developers of the cost-effective floating solar technology with a circular economy approach to help people solve global warming and land scarcity. I am a winner of the Women in Green Tech International Award. Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do and how did you decide to go into it? From my childhood, I wanted to be an ecologist and help to Planet and animals, but Russian reality (as it is oil&gas country) turned me into the fossil fuel side, because of my family and it was a prestigious job. I worked in a big corporation for many years (I did cementing operations, I pumped cement when we built the wells), but I always felt that it is not my place and I have to do other activities and once I had a chance to turn on the “green side” and I did it. I know that I made the right choice and now I am at the right place. I always wanted to work in technology (hardware). In your opinion, what workplace/business?











1. Stereotypes in the society than technical profession is not for women. 2. Family issue - women should take care of the house and kids and in the same time build the career.

POLINA VASILENKO Do you notice a lack of women in technology? If so, why do you think that’s the case? When I worked in oil & gas company, we had very few women - engineers and managers; now I run my startup, hardware, cleantech and it is also very rare to find female founders. Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to pursue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it? Not really, I often know what I want and try to achieve it. I am doing my best to develop my skills and knowledge and be a professional in my field. I am a good leader and have a huge experience (more than 18 years), so I believe that I can be better than many others (men or women). Of course, I had a lot of difficult situations, but I think that it is a normal process, that you need to fight for something, it is a normal process for growing. What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before starting your career/business? It is super hard to work in oil&gas (physically and mentally), I am talking about the work in the middle of the Siberia, -45degC, no proper food, sleep, and you have to work with different people which do not think that you can do this type of work. But after these experience, you can do almost everything. My advice - do it. And if talk about running own startup - probably you will not get investment, because VC's money does not go to female founders (only 2% in the USA). So, think 100 times before open your company, it is very tough. Do it, if you have some savings and if you want to get a lot of new experience and skills, it is like a MBA, but in a real life. During the last 2 years I learned more than during 15 years working in a big company. Who are your role models for women in tech? Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress, inventor. She was part of 30 films in an acting career spanning 28 years, and co-invented an early version of frequency-hopping spread spectrum. What do you think companies can do to encourage more women to choose careers in tech and rectify the imbalance? 1) Advertisement of the tech roles; 2) Mentoring and coaching; 3)Offer workplace flexibility; 4)Work with higher education and other institutions and encourage to choose career in tech. How do you find inspiration in your life? It is my own success, if I could achieve something in my work, it gives me inspiration for the next step and I can continue moving to my goal/mission. To what do you attribute your success? My biggest success that I was not afraid of anything. I live a very happy life and I like to do what I do.


SASKIA LISTLE Digital Architect at SLKC

Tell us about you and your career, Saskia! My goal, my mission and my purpose is being a digital architect. I want that every person I work with feels empowered enough in their digital competencies so they feel at home in their digital houses. This vision challenges the reality that digital products on the market are mostly designed and build for the label “One Size Fits All”. The gap between feeling at home and conforming to “One Size Fits All”creates stress. This builds up resistance against using products, technologies and possible solutions. At the same time the digitalization has the potential to make the world a more equal, diverse and democratic place. We need to focus on using the potential, the empowerment that digital resources offer. This is where I come in: By participatory coaching and trainings I develop and nurture the connection of each one of my clients with digital opportunities. I encourage them to stay curious and to experience their digital possibilities for their unique situations. Each and every one of them gets the means to empower themselves and to become a better leader out of their own intrinsic curiosity-based motivation. Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to pursue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it? I did and I do see myself discouraged a lot of the times. The culture I originate from is a culture that depends heavily on straight career paths, degrees and a rigid patriarchal waterfall structure. I am German, after all. It is hard thriving in a culture like that as a young woman who is creating her unique professional trajectory. I also struggle with claiming my place at the table. I personally have grown a lot learning from an international circle of female mentors. They help me see situations from multiple angles so I can better adjust my actions. And they really help me with finding, seeing, defining my own value and how the value my personal experience can bring value to others.

SASKIA LISTLE Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do and how did you decide to go into it? I did not always work in a technological field or even know that I would end up here. However, digitalization has helped me to write my own story. It provided me with the tools that helped me learn so much about empowerment, flexibility and possibilities. I only wrote my first line of code four years ago. Since then,I gained such an incredible amount of knowledge which gave me the possibility to create my unique career path. Connecting with so many wonderful people, having this degree of freedom to pave my own way, having a career that fulfills me and inspires me every single day was the reason why I decided to stick to this path and engage with it even more. Do you notice a lack of women in technology? If so, why do you think that’s the case? The lack of women in technology is undeniable. Because there are biases in the programming workforce the general needs of marginalized groups are obviously not fully considered and therefore rarely met. Also, research shows that women’s technological skills are generally not as advanced as men’s. Digital skills are mostly built in the workplace and men’s necessity to work with digital tools is generally evaluated higher than those of women. Also, men on average, work more in positions that require digital skills. For example, an average nurse can live fairly well without a deep understanding of how to use a computer, while a broker might not. Another reason for the gender gap can be found in educational structures that still see math as a key resource to work in a technological field and combine that with the societal bias that “math is not for girls”. Girls and women who find themselves not being invited into math therefore do not see themselves learning the skills or even looking for their way into technology. Zero to nothing of educational tools are being designed for the natural collaborative propensity of women. It’s the male way, just in pink! Designing educational and training tools that include girls and women will create the interest in the desire to seek out and follow these exciting career paths. What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before starting your career/business? With more and more diverse people claiming their space in today's societies the "old boys' clubs" feel more and more threatened to lose power. Especially in my field of expertise consulting and training-that is traditionally filled with middle aged white men we will receive a lot of resistance when we claim our place at the table. My advice therefore is: Because we dare to even look at their power structures, let alone challenge them, don't back down. Because your sheer existence at the table makes them reflect their way of working, and that makes them uncomfortable, make them question their size at the table. And because they have to deal with the fact that maybe they need to buy a bigger table to include everyone and not just that small group they had to deal with until now, make them reflect their biases. And don't let yourself be discouraged by the challenge. Look for a nourishing and uplifting network, share your thoughts and fights and experiences and learn from the experiences and fights of others. And when you made the table bigger for your chair, help to add more chairs. To what do you attribute your success? My ability and willingness to question everything, my curiosity to learn and experience, and my capability to understand the core of other peoples' problems.

In your opinion, what workplace/business?












I think women try too hard to "fit in" to the business world that was created to give power to a small exclusive group, where the system was not designed at all to be inclusive. Yet still we still fight for our place at the same table within the old system. I think we should not fight to fit in, but to make the table bigger, more colorful, more inclusive. That means coming to the table just as you are. Everybody can contribute to the end result with their own unique set of skills, experiences, thoughts and reflections. We should cherish that and put an effort into building structures that encourage and support integration and diversity! What do you think companies can do to encourage more women to choose careers in tech and rectify the imbalance? Companies need to ask themselves if their product and services are currently in a “One Size Fits All” model. If yes, can they admit and acknowledge it? And do they even want to change? The companies that do, are more evolved. They can take steps to look for a more diverse workforce. That includes different genders and sexualities, backgrounds, cultures,career paths, co-parenting/family care etcetera. After that the law of attraction basically does the work for you. If women see that companies take the effort to look for other backgrounds than the stereotypical ones women will find their ways into these companies and job offers. And once more and more women are hired and represented as a part of the tech environment culture, other girls will follow. We need to lift the stereotypes of this "magical mystical logical" cover that lies on technology jobs. How do you find inspiration in your life? My mentor network and other entrepreneurial thinking friends. I myself am a person that likes to think a lot and turn concepts around. But I also question the building bricks of my concepts and ideas a lot. I can't do that without regular feedback from other people who poke holes in these ideas and who question them. For that I have created a net of people who like to think outside the box, who like to find solutions to problems, who do look behind the obvious curtain and whom I can trust to tell me their true thoughts about my ideas. This nurtures a lot of new ideas and concepts in my head which inspire me to do the things I do and to go the distance. Plus: Pain au Chocolat and Coffee. LOTS of Pain au Chocolat and Coffee! What's your favourite quote? "The unknown is one of the most powerful forces of inquiry to the scientist. We thrive in the unknown. We love the unknown. We like standing within the parameter of the circle that is known and staring out into an abyss and say 'Wow. I don’t understand what that is, let me get back to work” so there is a difference between not knowing something because the circle hasn’t expanded large enough to encompass it and declaring something is in principle unknowable. And the history of what it is to know stuff does not support the contention that there are things that are unknowable." -Neil deGrasse Tyson Who are your role models for women in tech? I personally loved to follow the life and work of Katherine Johnson. She achieved so much while still staying her own nerdy self. And I appreciate a lot the works and live of Sheryl Sandberg. She shows what you can bring to the table and how you can be perceived as a strong leader by bravely claiming the valuable evolution of our life experiments. You have learned a new fact, you reevaluated what you thought, and you now know how to lift others even better.



SARAH KOK CMO at Näktergal and Co-founder of WIFTN

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your career /business please? Tech, sustainability and startups have always fascinated me. It is the main reason I have been so strongly drawn to fintech’s. On the surface, fintech might not seem like the most incredible fit in the world for somebody that has a passion for sustainability. I am frequently asked how the two can even combine. Still, to make a big difference globally, we have to operate inside our existing paradigm. We need to endeavour to shift the financial imbalances that exist while we are tackling other sustainability issues. In all honesty, fintech didn’t appeal to me at first. I thought, yeah, it’s tech, but it’s also finance isn’t it lacking in diversity and filled with ideas that oppose my own. I was working at an impact-related tech startup. They asked me to write an article about the sustainable development goals and the responsibility that business needed to reach these goals. I started to read extensively on finance’s role in sustainability and its role in contributing to a more sustainable future. I began to realise that fintech could be an opportunity to contribute to reducing inequality. It clicked in me to make an impact and help people; fintech was a great option. This was where my passion for fintech was really borne. I constantly push companies and teams around me. I have a permanent need to try out new strategies and improve routines. So, challenges? Yes, please! I am passionate about FinTech and the impact it has on society. Moreover, my MSc in Sustainable Development gives me a unique perspective on the possibility fintech has to change the world. This is why in 2019, we launched WIFTN (Women in fintech network). We wanted to improve gender diversity in fintech.

A day in your business life!


I am the Chief Marketing Officer at Näktergal. We are replacing legacy banking tech and propelling mortgages into the age of the cloud. We provide banking and lending systems with beautiful consumer experiences and intelligent features to make lending efficient and straightforward for everyone. Our cloud-based end-to-end tech automates at every possible touchpoint. As CMO, I am responsible for ensuring every marketing aspect, including; brand development, go-to-market, integrated campaigns, product marketing, and everything in-between - from strategy to execution. A startup or scale-up culture requires a particular and unique personality -one with a large appetite for balancing multiple roles with the ability to thrive in a dynamic environment while relentlessly focusing on the company’s mission and current priorities. In this kind of fast-paced environment, priorities can shift on a daily basis, and this is part of the fun. Coming out the gate, fintech scale-ups often lack the essential marketing assets required to run a successful business: strong brand identity, established references, healthy customer base. There is an obvious resource obstacle of a limited marketing budget that hinders immediate growth. Despite these challenges, it is essential to continue to push forward and employ imagination and creative thinking to break into the market. The role of CMO in the scale-up fintech world is a big responsibility. The position demands a keen ability to liaise between the different departments of the company and the market. It requires extensive reading, from knowing what trends are occurring in the industry on social media to reading news articles about the latest regulatory developments or other relevant topics. It demands juggling multiple balls simultaneously and finding inspiration and alternative solutions at every opportunity. Do you think there is a diversity issue in the tech sector? How the lack of women in technology has affected you? Despite progress in recent years (a growing number of women in the sector), there is still a lack of diversity in fintech, both gender-related and otherwise. Gender inequality is a challenge that persists everywhere. In 2020, only 14 of the 350 largest companies in the UK were led by women, and 15% of the FTSE 350 had no female executives. Moreover, there are less than 30% of women in FinTech, and less than 5% of them are CEOs. Women are significantly underrepresented in the industry, which substantially hampers its development. As women and girls make up approximately half of the population to keep them out of any stage of the decision-making process, from product development to marketing can be detrimental to a company’s success. Research indicates that listed companies where at least one-third of the bosses are women have a profit margin more than 10 times bigger than those with no women in such roles. At Näktergal, we have almost 50% of women in the company, which is excellent. At the same time, I have often found myself the only woman in a room, which isn’t the most comfortable feeling. It can be a challenge to make myself heard, not apologise for things I don’t need to apologise for and justify choices even when I am the expert. Sometimes I even feel like being taken seriously as a young woman isn’t easy. This is why we started WIFTN. We are passionate about creating a more diverse fintech future. The ambition of WIFTN is to improve gender diversity in fintech, and the most powerful tool we have to contribute to this goal is our podcast. We interview successful and inspirational women in fintech about their careers. We talk about how they have reached the level they are at today and what advice they would give to other women starting in the industry.


Technology is a male-dominated field. How could the tech industry be more inclusive for women?

The solution to gender diversity needs to come from many different directions. I have always tried to find allies in my career in tech. People to fall back on, speak up for me, and help me reach new heights in my career. I hope I do this for them, too - recommending other women for speaking slots, seats on boards, or giving people whose opinions haven’t been heard the space to express themselves. It is important to step up for other women in the room, especially if they are struggling to be heard. In these situations, it is helpful to have allies to bring everyone into the conversation. Although I started working in FinTech around three years ago, it was never an industry I imagined myself enjoying working in, let alone loving. I held some stereotypes about it being a boys club, filled with arrogance and snobbery. I cannot even tell you where this prejudice came from. Still, I quickly discovered it is not like this everywhere. The reality has been that the vast majority are intelligent, interesting and pretty nerdy people. Yet, the stereotype still scares people away. WIFTN (women in fintech network) was founded in 2019 by Raiha Buchanan, Helena Samaras and myself. We launched WIFTN to provide a space for women to discuss opportunities, hurdles and grow their network in a safe and secure environment. Until very recently, all three of us worked in FinTech; I am a CMO at Näktergal, Raiha is a CEO at Gigapay and Helena was Project Coordinator at Mastercard’s Lighthouse Program. I am proud of all of us. WIFTN arose when we discussed feeling a little underrepresented despite having fantastic colleagues. We wanted to do something about it. Initially, we launched our first event on women’s day 2019, and we had planned it as a one-off, but when we spoke to the attendees, we realised how needed this kind of thing is. Many women came to let us know how grateful they were that we had put this together and needed something like this in their lives. So, realising that it wasn’t just us that felt we needed this in June, we rebranded and launched WIFTN - now we have our podcast and events. Now that you know more about WIFTN, you are so super welcome if you would like to join. You can do so on our website wiftn.com. What are your suggestions to encourage more young women to pursue careers in Tech? There are a few ways to encourage women to pursue a career in tech. Here are some that are fairly easy to get started with: Firstly, by highlighting women in tech that are great role models. These could be women that have worked at fortune 500 companies and with countless outstanding professional achievements, or that have been brave enough to switch careers later in life, have started their own company or are just doing things a bit differently. Providing examples and demonstrating to all of us that it is possible and others can do it too. Secondly, it is about making diversity a priority. Diversity is valuable for everyone. It is beneficial for countries. It is proven that the countries that rate most highly in happiness are also the countries that rate most highly for gender equality. It is profitable for companies. It is shown that more diverse teams have higher profits. And it is excellent for us as individuals. It is good for us to learn to work with all different people. Recognising this and making decisions that include diverse perspectives creates a safe environment for everyone. Finally, we can increase the numbers of women in tech by empowering women to feel comfortable pursuing a tech career. When girls are still in school, we can encourage them to study STEM subjects. Then, when they have started working, we can emphasise career paths in tech. We can highlight available opportunities and recommend our female colleagues for new opportunities that arise.

Are there any particular women in tech who have inspired you?


There are inspirational women in tech everywhere, from my colleagues, encouraging me through challenges, friends discussing career alternatives and even mentors advising me on the next steps. When I started doing the podcast with WIFTN I was often intimidated by some of the women we were interviewing, simply because of their achievements. What I have come to see, and it sounds pretty silly, is that we are all just people. It is speaking to these women and hearing their challenges that made me realise these women are all just like me. That said, from the WIFTN podcast, which is available on Spotify and on iTunes, the episodes that I found to be the most inspirational, were from Anette Tånneryd, Martina Åkerlund, Anna Maj, Aleksandra Gren, and Shefali Roy. I would strongly recommend giving these episodes a listen. What are your plans for the next five years? Currently I am working with lending tech, and I see a lot of challenges for people. People left out of being able to get mortgages and others that are struggling stuck in debt cycles. I would love to find some like minded people and start a company that is able to help some of these people.

WIFTN Women In FinTech provides a platform for women to share experience and knowledge and become even more successful in a homogenous industry. The vision is to go beyond just the Nordics and provide practical knowledge to women interest in FinTech all over the world.

Check out our news



SMRITI MISHRA Head of Artificial Intelligence at Earthbanc

Tell us about you and your career! I am an extroverted introvert, extremely curious to learn new things. Since I went to Sweden to do my bachelor thesis in Computational Neuroscience at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, I have been more inquisitive than ever to understand the human brain and unleash the true power of AI. I also am extremely passionate about mental health and how AI can be used as a tool to reduce the existing stigma around mental health. Also, encouraging young people (especially women) who are interested in the tech sector is a passion of mine. I like to convey through my linkedin that anyone can achieve anything they want with the right amount of smartness, hard work and of course, courage. I am the Head of AI at Earthbanc, and absolutely love my work. Earthbanc is a climate fintech & space-tech firm that enables individuals and organizations to offset their carbon footprint, with AI-driven satellite metrics to make better financial and climate mitigation decisions. Our mission is to make it easy for small landowners to get incentives for their carbon offset, to serve the community and mitigate against runaway climate change. Our vision is for the global economy and the banking and finance system to shift rapidly to 100% green, enabling a transition to a fully regenerative economy. My roles include implementing AI algorithms for remote sensing for verification of carbon sequestration. I work with data collection using GIS (Geographical Information Systems), data pre-processing and building & testing of predictive models using AI algorithms. I also absolutely believe in peer-to-peer learning and co-creations and I am working towards that through Airplane alliance, where I am the Content Curation and Community Engagement Lead.

A day in your business life!


This is difficult to answer, as no two days are the same for me. I will try and answer this in the best way possible. So currently, most of the team is working remotely due to the Pandemic. I try to construct my day in a way I can get the most work done. The amount of hours worked doesn’t really matter (that varies between 6-10 hours a day usually). So we try to have the more important team meetings in the earlier hours, when we have a fresh and clear mind. We usually have team meetings on Fridays, and rest is the need of the hour and we meet in a zoom room when needed. We basically try to keep meetings to the minimum, so that we get more time to do the actual work. So as the Head of AI, my day usually revolves a lot around data, research and programming. Since we are working towards innovation and creating sustainable models, a lot of research is required. Luckily, I am an avid reader, which helps when you have to read so many research papers. I usually do the research part generally for a couple of hours almost everyday. Another reason to keep researching is that we have to keep with the trend and be ahead of our competition. I do the actual coding usually at night, which I prefer as it’s calm and super quiet. We actively communicate with each other on our slack channel, where my colleagues and I share progress, tasks and updates. I also make sure to check my email and slack regularly. It’s sometimes unpredictable working in a startup, but I enjoy my life here everyday and absolutely adore how much I get to learn each and every day. Another super interesting part of my work in meeting with awesome people from all over the world, as we have projects in India, Peru, Kenya, Burkina Faso, etc. I’ve interacted with esteemed scientists and researchers from so many countries, as well as the people of the community who plant trees and work with us. It’s impossible to explain how much I have learnt from these interactions. Do you think there is a diversity issue in the tech sector? How the lack of women in technology has affected you? Diversity is undoubtedly an issue in the tech sector. We can see it almost everywhere, I did some research and all over the world there are only 25% of women who work in tech. When I saw that tech industries comprise just one quarter of women, it shocked me at first, but later I realised, wait, it gets worse - in the higher positions in the hierarchy the number of women is even lesser in tech - when you talk about manager, VP, director or CEO roles. Also, all female founder tech startups are way less likely to get fundings. Also the bias in AI, I recently came across a study that was 99% accurate in detecting male faces, but did not work so well with women. The reason is that 75% of the data used for training were men’s faces and 25% was women’s. This clearly shows the lack of women in tech. It makes me question, are we really discriminating between male and female working in tech in 2021? I was always the curious kid, who is interested in learning the latest technology trends, and during undergrad, or while doing research I often was the only woman in the room. Fortunately, I had amazing colleagues, very supportive and helping, everywhere I worked. However once, I was having a discussion with people and showed them a picture of when I was presenting at KTH as a changemaker entrepreneur, it was a zoom screenprint, and some people automatically assumed that I was the host and not the person who works in tech. This can be very insulting sometimes, knowing how hard I have worked to get here. Another way it has affected me is, I never really had a role model in tech who was a female, and people often told me tech is the field for men. Which never made sense to me, but it did lead to me questioning if I am in the right field sometimes. However, I am glad I stuck to my decision and listened to my intuition and trusted my skills instead of the background noise.

SMRITI MISHRA Technology is a male-dominated field. How could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? I personally have been fortunate enough to have amazing colleagues, even though I am mostly the only woman in the team. In my opinion it’s extremely important to make sure that we inspire young women who are interested in the tech industry. Initiatives like women in AI or Women in Tech help a lot in my opinion as we can use them to recognise people who are interested in technology and support them. We as women, should try and help other women out there who are struggling in a non-inclusive environment. Also I think Linkedin is a beautiful platform to encourage young women who aspire to join the tech industry, but it’s equally important to encourage them to stay. Creating a good network of women, where they are empowering other women, and a network which includes female role models in tech would be a very promising way to do it. Having a role can be extremely beneficial as it often shows young women that they can achieve more than they might think they are capable of. Also, many women face issues after their maternity leave, or discrimination due to age (if they are in an age that they might wanna have kids) - these topics are so important. I don’t think a man faces similar issues, and these are extremely normal processes of life. We need to support women when they are going through such situations and their colleagues and the corporates must be understanding of these as well. Another issue I came across on Linkedin was the gender pay gap - if a man and a woman does the same task, they must be paid the same. I think this might be a very big reason why women tend to leave the tech industry and this must stop in order to make the system more inclusive for women. Also, I see the corporate culture is more inclusive of women now, and this topic of inclusion (and diversity) is discussed more than ever. It’s good to see people take actions on it, but by looking at the stats I would say we still have a long way to go. What are some of the biggest challenges that women in the world of technology face today? One would absolutely be a lack of role models in technology, as having a role model is extremely empowering. It gives you the courage, to step out of your comfort zone and try new things, which leads to conquering fears, learning new things and growing both in personal and professional life. It’s a lot easier to practise this process when you see a role model who’s done it and succeeded. Another challenge is sometimes even when women are hired, they aren’t completely included, their voice not being heard, them not getting enough importance if they are the only female in the room. I’ve heard about it a lot, and noticed it happened to me a few times. Pay gap is another issue : "According to Women In The Workplace 2020 report by McKinsey, more than one in four women were contemplating downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce completely, as a result of a change of family dynamics both in the home and at the workplace during the pandemic. The report conducted by The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), shows that women today earn just 49% of the typical men’s dollar, they lose 39% of lifetime earnings after just one year out of the workforce, so the penalties of taking time out of the labor force are high and increasing, and strengthening women’s labor force attachment is critical to narrowing the gender wage gap."

SMRITI MISHRA What are your suggestions to encourage more young women to pursue careers in Tech? I would just ask them to go ahead and do it. I would suggest they find their real passion in tech, as there are so many different fields and types of work. And once they find their passion, there’s nothing left other than acting on it, right? To the young women out there interested in tech - “Work hard to achieve your goals. It is absolutely fine to not get the perfect results all the time, or not having all the answers (that becomes a part of life when you start working for tech). It’s all about understanding the problems, analysing it and solving it, and it’s completely fine to ask for help whenever you need. You might fail sometimes, I did, everyone does, it’s no big deal. Learn from those failures, and grow professionally. Also, if you come across a place where your opinions are not valued, or the culture is not inclusive there are a lot of opportunities out there. Always remember you do not have to put up with anything that demeans you. Also, the tech field belongs to you as much it belongs to me or as much it belongs to a young man. There’s no such thing like a woman can not be successful in technology. If someone’s trying to pull you down, ignore them and always follow your passion. In the end all that matters is your passion and your happiness, your sense of fulfillment with what you are doing. Be your biggest cheerleader. Have courage, listen to your intuition and follow your passion. You can be successful in anything you want, there’s a world full of opportunities waiting for you.” Are there any particular women in tech who have inspired you? Unfortunately, I do not have a role model in tech to be specific. But someone I consider my role model is Carol Dweck. She was a psychologist at Stanford University, and among her many inspiring works, her mindset theory has a very strong impression on my mind. According to Dweck’s research a mindset is a self-perception or self-reflection that people hold about themselves. Her research marks a distinction between “fixed” and “growth” mindsets. According to Dweck, “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits.

Alternatively, in a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work —brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment." This has a strong impression on me, and I realised how malleable our brain is. I love learning something new each day and try to practice and learn new tech skills as well. This led me to think that a person really can achieve anything they really want to, I just had to try. Try smart and try hard. I learnt the importance of courage and resilience, how important it is to overcome your fears and try. And if you try hard enough, nothing really is impossible. To me achieving anything starts with courage, continues with perseverance and ends with confidence. And that’s it. Did you encounter any problems returning to work following having children/maternity leave in terms of work/life balance, childcare, flexibility? As I mentioned, everywhere I’ve worked, I have been blessed with amazing colleagues. At Earthbanc, I have never had any issue of work-life balance or with flexibility. Although we work in different time zones, we make sure the timings for meetings work for everyone, and each and every person in the team is willing to adjust when required. A few weeks back, on March 27, 2021, I lost some relatives who were in a car crash, and there was a lot going on in the company, a lot of deadlines were near. In Spite of everything they asked me to take all the time I need and then come back when I feel like I am ready. Everyone was so empathic and showed such compassion, it was overwhelming. I am extremely glad to work with such an amazing bunch of people. Also, I have complete flexibility to work at the time that suits me, and anyday I am feeling okay I can just take some rest. It’s more like a family now, where people actually care about each other and understand each other. The work culture is extremely transparent and flat hierarchy as well. Everyone’s heard, and each opinion matters.

SMRITI MISHRA What advice and tips would you give to women who want a career in tech? Some advice or tips would be: - Be yourself, follow your passion and do not be intimidated by anything. If you are passionate and curious, you will definitely be successful. - There are a lot of opportunities in tech, explore and find your niche skill, and then you will see an ocean of opportunities in front of you. - Do not ever hesitate to ask what you think you deserve. - Learn new things everyday, it becomes important as tech is advancing at such a fast pace. - Ask for help anytime you think you need it, everybody needs help at some point, and it’s completely alright. - Seek positive figures and role models who inspire you to improve your technical skills, worklife balance or your personal life - Network and connect with people, you never know you can be a role model for someone else :) - Do not ever underestimate your technical skills, be confident, no one knows all the tech, you can always learn. - And you find yourself alone, or need any help from me, please contact me via LinkedIn, and I will do all I can. What are your plans for the next five years? I aim to make valuable contributions in the field of climate change and use my knowledge of AI to help save our planet, as we are all aware of the climate crisis. At Earthbanc, I am working towards the 1.5 degree Paris agreement goal, as well as uplifting the lives of the people from developing economies who are the most hit due to climate change, but also are in the best position to reverse it. Using AI, I am trying to reduce the cost of carbon verification, so that more incentives could be given to those communities, who can plant and protect trees. Also, using AI my team and I want to make this technology more accessible and reliable. I also wish to work towards computational neuroscience / AI in mental health and work on some advanced neuroscience tools which provide better diagnosis of mental health disorders and reduce the stigma surrounding it. I also want to work on a system that predicts suicidal behaviors and alerts their emergency contacts if it gets bad. I also am working towards creating a more open and inclusive AI community, and would work more on it, co-collaborate, create and share knowledge. I also want this to be a platform where young people can collaborate with people working in this field for years, which would help the younger people get more exposure and work on real time problems.



Tell us about you and your career, Zunaira! I am a software engineer with a creative spark, that no amount of assembly language could kill. So I ventured into digital marketing - which allowed me to experience the best of both worlds. I have worked on a multitude of local and international projects which has given me a diversified experience and helped me develop a unique skill set and best practices. I have designed and implemented marketing and digital transformation strategies for B2B and B2C models. My passion led me to co-found an inbound marketing company called the SquarePeg, through which we aim to bring international best practices, here in Pakistan. We think of ourselves as storytellers, once it comes to digital marketing - one size does not fit all, hence we handcraft unique stories for all of our clients. Ours is a labour of love and passion with no halfhearted measures in between! Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do and how did you decide to go into Software Engineering? Back in 2005, technology was still considered a somewhat “new” field. I wanted to be a lawyer but was encouraged by my parents to explore the field of technology. But once I got hooked, there was no turning back. Do you notice a lack of women in technology? If so, why do you think that’s the case? Not so much now was back when I graduated in 2005. I still remember the male/female ratio was very high. However, women as entrepreneurs and CEOs are still met with a little bit of resistance in a patriarchal society such as Pakistan. 4. Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to pursue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it? Not exactly discouraged, but work-life balance is hard to achieve and usually one or the other party involved ends up complaining. Also, as mentioned above - the idea of female CEOs is still catching up.

ZUNAIRA OMAR What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before starting your career/business? I would say - do what you feel passionate about. The digital revolution has opened up so many sub- fields that were not there before. Find something you enjoy, develop your skills money will follow. Who are your role models for women in tech? Faiza Yusuf, Sheryl Sandberg, Bushra Anjum What do you think companies can do to encourage more women to choose careers in tech and rectify the imbalance? Equal pay, flexible working hours, the choice of wfh In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle for women to succeed in the workplace/business? Prejudice, Narrow sightedness How do you find inspiration in your life? By trying to find a positive angle to anything that doesn’t go according to my plans. To what do you attribute your success? My parents and the stellar work ethics they instilled in me What's your favourite quote? THOSE WHO MIND DON’T MATTER AND THOSE WHO MATTER, DON’T MIND



DAWN NORDENBLANK Startup Sweden Project Manager

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your career /business please? I am a Project Manager at Startup Sweden. I have a marketing background in tourism, telecommunications and financial services where I've held management roles for organisations such as the Hong Kong Tourism Board, AT&T and American Express. I moved to Sweden from the United Arab Emirates in 2015 and have since been active in the startup ecosystem in Stockholm. Former roles include Marketing & Community Manager at the startup Lunchcube, Event Manager at Startup People of Sweden and Head of Marketing at The Innovation Growhouse Stockholm. Please tell us about the MENA StartUp Bootcamp. The Access MENA program is a market access program for scaleups looking to secure customers and or partners in the Middle East North African region. The accelerator program will take place in Dubai in October and is part of the Expo2020 activities from Sweden. The week includes market intelligence sessions, investor matchmaking and 1:1 meetings for the startups with potential customers and or partners. The program is free and includes access to the largest tech event in the region GITEX where large corporates and government bodies from the region will be represented. What are the requirements to apply for the program? The program is open to female founders of tech startups. The company needs to either have received series A funding or earning 6M SEK or equivalent in annual revenue. The product or service needs to have launched and the company needs to demonstrate traction.

DAWN NORDENBLANK What are the benefits to be part of the program? Opportunity to secure customers and/or partners, network with startups from across the globe, receive market intelligence and be coached by local mentors, meet local investors and access both GITEX and Expo2020. Can you give us more details about the MENA region and the potential growth for scaleup startups? Total goods and services purchased in MENA totals $1.8trillion and only 2% of that is online compared to 15-20% in developed countries. So there is a huge opportunity for digital products and services. The population of 578 million is predominantly young, over half under the age of 25 years. They are also techsavvy. Startups within e-commerce, fintech, healthtech, logistics, education and food and beverage are currently receiving consistent and increased investment. Who are the partners and what kind of support they are giving and how important is to focus on female founders? Our partners in the program are the Swedish Institute, Astrolabs, Business Sweden and the Swedish Embassy in the UAE. Each of these organisations are contributing in different ways. To summarise I would highlight their market knowledge, expertise and network are invaluable in the organisation of this program. Sweden has one of the most gender-equal countries in the world - mandating paid maternity leave, legalizing birth control and abortions and increasing women's representation in parliament have all contribute to this success. On the other hand, the Nordic countries all-female startup founding teams received just 1.3% of the available capital in 2019. What kind of programs your organization offers to support more female founders (a part of this Bootcamp)? We have/are running bootcamps for female founders. Previously we've organised a FemTech bootcamp in Stockholm and the market access program to Dubai is open for female entrepreneurs. Anyone interested, what they should do to access this information? https://www.startupsweden.com/bootcamps/access-mena

Click here

HOW TO CREATE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION ALLIES AND ADVOCATES This article was written by Marissa Ellis, Founder and CEO of Diversity and was originally published in www.diversily.com blog as part of a 6-part Inclusive Leadership series. In Part 1 I shared why knowing yourself is the first step to becoming an inclusive leader. In, this article, Part 2 we’ll ask, why now? In this article Part 3, we’ll explore the inclusion awakening.

We have never lived in a truly equal world. We have a deep and complex history of inequality, injustice and discrimination. However, societal norms are shifting and organisations are recognising the importance of diversity and inclusion as a business imperative. As individuals, organisations, eco systems and societies, we are all on a journey. Attitudes, mindsets and behaviours are shifting as we shape a new reality of a future equal state.

“When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” Michele Obama As an inclusive leader you are a role model. Your job is not just to support those around you and take inclusive action but to inspire others to take a step forward to become more inclusive themselves. It is important to recognise that we are all in a different place in this journey. You need to meet people where they are and tailor your approach accordingly.

During Diversily Inclusive Leadership sessions we often look at ‘The Inclusion Awakening’ which shows the 5 steps along the journey to becoming an inclusion advocate. 1. Apposed — Against change to encourage more diversity and inclusion. 2. Unaware — Hasn’t really been on my radar. 3. Aware — Building my knowledge & understanding. 4. Ally — Taking action to help others. 5. Advocate — Changing mindsets and systems and galvanising others to take action. Everyone one of us is at a different stage. We may also be at different stages for different aspects of diversity. For example, you may be an advocate for gender equality but still building your awareness around racial equality. The ‘inclusion awakening’ is a useful tool for self-reflection. Here are some important questions you can ask yourself… · Where are you on your journey? · How does this vary for different aspects of diversity? · What specific things will you do to take a step forward? · Where are the people around you? · How can you support them to take a step forward? For me, allyship is always facing forward but reaching back to help support the one that led you to this point, appreciating every person beyond their caste, creed, race or relationship status. As an Inclusion & Diversity advocate, my key role is first to accept and then illustrate that bias can arise in both expected and unexpected ways. It is in each of us to make a difference. Priya Guliani, Head of Operations, GBA-UK and WBAF Senator-UK

To understand how to support others and inspire them to move forward in their own personal journey, it is important to meet people where they are. Here are some tips on different strategies you can use, depending on the stage they are at. 1. Apposed — Build trust. Listen & understand. Use their perspectives, which you may not agree with, to strengthen arguments for change. Always use kindness and empathy to keep everyone involved. 2. Unaware — Raise awareness. Share stories, data and research. Explore their constraints & pressures (e.g. masculinity) to help them better understand and empathise with others. 3. Aware — Inspire them to make a personal difference. Deepen their understanding of different people’s perspectives. Encourage them to use their voice to help others. 4. Ally — Encourage them to develop & share their ‘diversity’ stories & use these for positive effect. Encourage them to start using their influence & thinking at the ‘system’ level. 5. Advocate — Encourage them to celebrate success, support other advocates and sustain their own energy & commitment.

In Part 2 of this series we talked about the fact that being neutral is no longer enough. We talked about ‘hope’ and ‘fear’ drivers for change and the need to encourage as many people as possible to become allies and advocates for change. This can be a very challenging path, as it could involve people changing their fundamental beliefs, challenging their pre-conceptions and unlearning previous behaviour which may have brought them success in the past. For many people becoming a diversity and inclusion ally is simple. They instinctively feel it is the right thing to do. They need guidance around specific things they can do to make a difference. We’ll talk more about this in future articles. However, there are large numbers of people who need to be won over. They need to be persuaded that this is something that affects them, something they should care about and something they should act upon. For people in this category creating inclusion allies and advocates is about influence and persuasion. I have learned a lot about influence and persuasion over the years. So, I wanted to share some insights. What follows are some general insights that you will be able to apply in many areas of your life, however my hope is that you will use this to inspire more positive conversations that encourage more people to be become diversity and inclusion allies & advocates. 1. People like to be listened to — not talked at. a. Conversations become collaborative when you listen to each other. b. Restating someone’s views in your own words helps to show you are listening. It also builds your understanding of their perspective, and helps them to confirm their position. c. Listing what you have learned from someone, makes them feel valuable, respected and like their opinion matters. It also encourages them to think about what they have learned from you. 2. People will only be moved to act differently, if their beliefs change. a. People do not change their beliefs, simply by you telling them they are wrong. b. A conversation is an opportunity to enable someone to reconsider a belief that may influence the way they choose to act. c. People are more likely to be persuaded to change their minds by someone they have a connection with. 3. It is easier to have difficult conversations and disagree when you build rapport. a. Rapport comes when relationships are trusting, respectful and non-judgemental. b. Strong connections give you courage to embrace uncomfortable and difficult conversations. c. Strong connections are made when people find common ground and similarity. Creating a foundation of the points you agree on gives you a stronger platform to explore where your views diverge. E.g. Do we all agree that everyone should be given an equal opportunity to succeed? 4. To change someone’s mind you have to plant a seed of doubt. a. Often people form opinions based on limited knowledge. If you can expose gaps in their knowledge, you start to plant seeds of doubt. b. Uncovering contradictions or inconsistencies forces new thinking. For example, if someone says “I am not racist” and also, “I believe the workplace is a meritocracy where the best talent will rise to the top.” This gives you an opportunity to dig deeper and challenge their thinking. c. Sometimes reason and evidence are not enough. People need to feel it in their heart as well as know it in their head.

5. When you role model good behaviour others will follow. a. Showing an openness to change your views, helps others to do the same. b. When you listen respectfully, others don’t just hear you, they also listen. c. When you show respect and a desire to collaborate, others are more likely to also steer away from being argumentative, disrespectful or competitive. 6. It needs to be ok to change your mind. a. We will find our collective path forward by creating more heroes, not villains of the past. b. You have to offer a graceful exit. In the world of hostage negotiations this is called the golden bridge. This is a dignified path forward they will want to take. c. People may have invested, time money or energy into their belief so changing their mind may have consequences. Sometimes the blocker to change is the fear of overcoming these consequences not the matter at hand itself. Give people the support, the data and the stories to help them shift their hearts and minds. Persuasion and influence are needed to create allies and advocates. The more allies and advocates we mobilise, the faster we can drive meaningful progress, together. Often the greatest allies are those who have been ‘won over’. Someone who has seen the error of their ways or filled their blind spots, will be uniquely positioned to convince others to also change. This is because they will be able to more easily build rapport with those who share their old beliefs. We all need to be courageous enough to be wrong and willing to question our fundamental assumptions. We simply cannot move forward if we are not all brave enough to challenge our deeply held views and beliefs. If we all refuse to see the gaps, hear the criticism or take the time to understand alternative views we will never find common ground. Instead of thinking my truth is the only truth, and everybody else is wrong, we can listen, really listen with compassion and understanding. Check yourself next time you walk down the street and make an assumption about someone, just because they have a tattoo, are wearing certain clothes or look a certain way. Check yourself, and ask yourself, ‘what am I wrong about?’. Shifting the needle on diversity and inclusion will undoubtably take uncomfortable and difficult conversations. Acknowledging your own privileges, biases and false truths is hard. Meaningful change that tackles systemic injustice requires bravery, courage and not doing what we have always done. When we actually listen to people, stop lecturing them, and learn to voice our disagreements respectfully, we can start changing each other’s minds and reevaluating our own beliefs. Allyship is a journey and not a destination. Priya Guliani, Head of Operations, GBA-UK and WBAF Senator-UK I hope you will join me on this journey! Marisa Ellis is an advisor, strategist, speaker and best selling author. She is the founder of www.diversily.com and the creator of The Change Canvas, and other visual, business frameworks that are used around the world by global brands and start ups alike to drive positive change. She helps business leaders, entrepreneurs and change makers do better business; business that is purpose-led, humancentred with diversity and inclusion at the core. Her highly rated strategic management methodology, uses The Change Canvas to connect strategy to execution and empowers high performing, inclusive teams that deliver continuous value. She has over 20 years of experience driving transformational change in the tech sector, from well-known names such as Reuters, Barclays, lastminute.com to high growth start-ups and accelerators.

NAVIGATING A CAREER PATH IN TECH. THE IMPORTANCE OF FEMALE ROLE MODELS. On the occasion of International Women's Day I joined a special event to discuss my career path in tech and lessons from creating Femme Lead Podcast. The conversation was hosted by Noa Segre, Corporate Transformation Senior Strategist at Talent Garden, who shared insights from her experience in technology and innovation from startups and over ten years of experience in one of Israel's leading Venture Capital funds. Below you can find the full session on Youtube, but here are some key takeaways from my presentation: Your worth is not attached to a job: this is a dangerous game to play. Remind yourself you are enough. I encourage you all to take the time to reflect on your worth from a personal perspective and not identify yourself to a company but rather to a mission. Ask yourself: What is the mission that I want to work towards? Set your own pace. It is never too late or too early. Often times in our career path, we feel that we are not there yet and that we should have been. It's also important to understand that you have your own pace and that you perform best regardless of the timing of others. You do not need to hurry if you are not ready.

Advice: Just take the first step, start and see where that takes you. Don't compare your chapter 1 with someone else's chapter 10. If you are in your first years in a career path or the first months in a new job, but you compare your results with the results of someone who has done years of training, well, things will look differently for you. Advice: Be conscious of this idea & focus on your plan. Choose your battles. This one is about picking what you decide to move forward in a professional or personal setup: it's important to make a decision and choose what you want to be invested in versus what you do not mind letting be. Advice: Recognize that we cannot win on all fronts. Take responsibility for your life. Often times we give away our power. We think that everything that happens needs to come from the outside when in reality, we decide how we react to a situation. Advice: Ask for exactly what you want. Do not give your power away. What are your experiences of navigating your career in tech? About Alexandra Ciobotaru Alexandra is a Product Management Professional and Podcast Host. Copenhagen based Alexandra, crafted a credible reputation for herself as a business thought leader in the start-up ecosystem in Copenhagen. Right now, she’s the Product Manager for Novorésumé – a nifty online résumé builder that aims to showcase your skills and professional attributes in the best light possible. Alexandra launched and created Femme Lead last year with the main purpose of empowering women by showcasing the stories of female role models in business. Alexandra interviews leaders from around the world, seeking out those whose achievements will inspire generations to come. Aiming to create a dialogue around how to navigate the professional world, the women Alexandra hosts offer sage advice from their own lived experiences. You can listen to the podcast on all major platforms and on https://www.femmeleadpodcast.com/ You can follow Alexandra on https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandraciobotaru/


Running a business is more than just a lifestyle, a career, or a source of livelihood. Running a business is a journey. And just like life, it is filled with the unexpected, excitement, horrors, struggles, and achievements. It needs your full commitment. If you want to experience the best of the business world, you have to throw yourself fully into it. No buts, no ifs, no halfhearted tries. There are two types of newbie entrepreneurs, those who are testing waters with one foot, and those who dive into the water heedlessly. The first group will slowly get the feel of the water – its depth, its temperature, its safety. They will learn and will slowly move forward. The second group will flounder for a bit. There will be surprises – the water is too deep, too cold, or a sting from something. But they will learn fast and will soon be on their way swimming across the water. It is the first group thatwill turn around at the first sign of trouble. The second one already conquered it when they took the leap of faith. But then, you’ve only just started. The real challenge is keeping your focus and commitment to the life you’ve chosen. It is tooeasy to get sidetracked, too many distractions, too easy to give up. How does one keep their commitment strong and their goals clear?

It is very common for entrepreneurs to want to quit. There will be a lot of days when you’ll feel lost and wonder about the purpose of your endeavors. There will be nights when you’ll be too tired to even think of the next day. There will be weeks on end that you’ll just be coping with the tasks, you’ll wonder if what you’re doing have anything to do with your goals in life. How does one keep sane when your drowning of things to do? When the pressure gets too much, how does one keep grounded and focused? How do you keep fighting when you don’t know the adversary? How does one keep on swimming? Here are some techniques that helped me through the most trying times of my business journey. I practice most of it, just to keep my balance. I hope these can help better whatever situation you’re in;

Don’t stop doing the things you love – Many entrepreneurs will give up a hobby or a passion when things get too hectic in the business. They will stop doing the things they love so they can spend more time in the business. They might miss out on their child’s birthday because they have an important meeting to go to. They will forget about gardening or ‘postpone’ travel because they are too time-consuming. There will be endless ‘must-do’ tasks, but do not forsake the things that you love and enjoy. You will never feel successful if you can’t enjoy and spend life as you like it. Prioritize self-care – Your mental and physical health is key to your success. You will need a healthy body and a sound mind to run a business. One cannot work or make good decisions if one is physically and mentally challenged. You will never be able to focus on your goals if you have health issues. A healthy diet, regular exercise, enough rest and sleep, and frequent downtimes will give your body and mind the rest it needs. Loving yourself will make you happier and keeps you motivated. Keep in touch with your inner circle – Keep your inner circle of friends and family close. Go out with your girlfriends every nowand then, talk to your mom more often, spend quality time with your children, go out on dates with your significant other. The closest people are often the first to blur out of our priorities.Ironically, they are also the reason you want to succeed. Keep them close, they are the anchor who will keep you steady and safe during storms and rough waters. Don’t sweat the small things – Forget perfection. Nothing is perfect. Do not wait for the perfect product to launch, for the flawless website to unveil, or for the impeccable business plan. You will get nowhere when you’re aiming for perfect. It will only leave your stressed and distracted from your real goals. Launch that product, publish that website, and dive into that business soon, now. There will always be time for tweaks and improvements and upgrades. Besides, I can imagine life to be so boring after perfection – no more room for improvements, no more growth, no more challenges. Create a vision board – This is a fun project which you can make alone or with the important people in your life. A vision board is a reminder of all your goals and dreams. Usually done yearly, you can add images of things you want to achieve for the next twelvmonths, figures or amounts you want to earn, andgoal statements. You can display your board in your office to motivate you to work and to remind you of the reasons for working. You can also put it in your bedroom where you can reflect on it and gives you a boost in the morning. Pay it forward – Show your gratitude by paying it forward. My favorite maxim says, “Receivers eat better, givers sleep better.” You may be helping other people, animals in need, or the environment, but you are also helping yourself. Giving is an effective stress reliever, a happy pill, and a great reminder of all the blessings you enjoy. I like to think of acts of kindness as a great way of building good karma. And it is! When you feel good, you’re also motivated, happy, and content. About Susanne Birgersdotter Susanne is a Swedish self made entrepreneur and investor, has gone from designing her first app from her kitchen table to becoming one of the most influential entrepreneurs and brand builder within 7 years. Susanne’s strong instincts and intuition has helped her grow her companies including designing a #1 ranked app and founding IGOTCHA, SthlmAppLab, SBDM & Birgersdotter Innovate. Susannes biggest passion in life when she's not building business is Female Entrepreneurship, Health, Fashion - Tech and food.


ANNA WNUKBLAZEJCZYK Head of Community of European Women in VC

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your career /business please? I am an International Relations Studies graduate, grew up in Norway. My first real job was an extreme opportunity since right after university I became the Head of the Office of a former President of Poland. That 6 years of experience gave me an opportunity to combine all disciplines and grow as a professional. Before I joined venture capital family, I led many projects including restructurisation of medical clinics, medical brands as well as major public health promotion events. I have learned how businesses function when joining PAGED S.A. supporting the headquarters in inter alia companies acquisition, exit from stock exchange, fiscal residence changes etc. and finally 1,5 year ago I found my way to venture capital ecosystem and became Investor Relations Mangers exploring the venture world from company value building to fundraising and becoming Head of European Women in VC (a community of almost 5k members across all senior positions in venture firms), there is nothing else to be asked from getting started in venture. What drew you to venture capital (or investment) and working with startups? The venture capital ecosystem is for multitaskers! Following my career path I knew that acquiring skills from so many sectors has to finally found its use. I like to be needed and like to make use of my knowledge, therefore where to share it better than with startups which need guidance. That ecosystems show that we can exists in it only being mutual, sharing and experiencing everything together. Without investors' smart money and skills that are there within the venture teams startups will not grow, without brilliant minds of founders, their courage, ideas and amazing solutions investors will be left with piles of cash to be invested and now satisfaction or growth! I guess this is why we call the venture market ecosystem, everything is dependent and this is what I cannot get excited about enough. Covid pandemic expressed vividly how much we need tech solutions in everyday functioning that is why seeing all of that I could not be anywhere else but in VC!

ANNA WNUK-BLAZEJCZYK Could you shortly tell us the story behind the CEE Region report and how were you involved in the project? As representatives of that ecosystem, we always used general European data on diversity. That is why in order to improve our understanding of how the funding landscape in Central Europe is evolving, Unconventional Ventures & Experior VC pursuing the European Women in VC agenda and together with mission-aligned partners, we realized the report analyzing the funding of startups and in Venture Capital across the CEE region, increasing the transparency around how the funds invest, how they are organized, their fundraising experience and ultimately how much firepower the funds have - all through the lens of gender diversity. The results are saddening in 2020, women-founded startups raised just 1% of investment in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). 5% went to mixed-gender founding teams, while all-men teams raised 94% and moreover VC funds with all-men General Partner (GP) teams have 5X the firepower (AUM) to invest in companies compared to all women GPs of venture funds. We have intentionally gathered many prominent and influential supporters and partners to change the facts into action together with them. What do you think are the main challenges and opportunities for the next generation of female leaders in the CEE region? The problem is that we have to constantly prove that we are good! that female founders are serious players on the market and they are worth the capital! We measured the performance in capital productivity and women-founded startups generate more revenue per Euro invested. Women-led businesses outperform in capital productivity by 96%. The pandemic, on one hand, worsen the situation of females in venture but showed that we need many projects covering health and education sector and it turns out female founders can deliver that! Are there any particular female founders who have inspired you and you want to share with us? We can only recommend looking at the few success stories we have in the CEE region: Hanna Kokczyńska (tylko.com) one of 4 founders, Kasia Dorsey (yosh.ai) Kinga Jentetics (PublishDrive), Dalia Lasaite (CGTrader) and a few more. What advice would you give to startups thinking of raising funds? Build a network with powerful female leaders and male supporters in the ecosystem, because network is everything! Do you see any long-term changes or shifts on the horizon in the next 5 years for the region? I wish to see but many studies prove that the situation of women in the venture capital ecosystem hasn't changed much over the last 5 years. What's your favourite quote? “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh


KINGA STANISLAWSKA Founder, GP of EXPERIOR VC, Founder of European Women in VC, member of investment committee at EIC Fund Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your career /business please? I am a co-founder and general partner at Experior VC, the first European VC founded and managed by women. My 20 years of experience in investments and finance led me to focus on investing in scale-ups providing growth capital to software start ups with strong ML/AI in SaaS, including software deep tech, ecommerce, big data driven companies across many verticals, with a particular interest in start ups with a Central European nexus. Recently for 5 years I was the management board member of Polish VC Association. Presently, I am independent Investment Committee member at EIC Fund and advisor to European Innovation Council. In 2017, I established the European Women in VC platform with the aim of increasing the number of female partners at venture funds across Europe from the current low single digit percentage number it is today. I am doing my best to actively support women-led companies as mentor and investor. EU Startups put me on the list of TOP 50 of Europe’s most influential women in the start-up and venture capital space. Also Forbes named me as one of top 50 women in tech in Europe. What drew you to venture capital (or investment) and working with startups? The opportunity to work with innovative companies and founders that lead the disruptive innovation wave. Their energy and passion push me up and leave the feeling I have a positive impact on people’s lives. Which investment spaces are you most excited about? Responsible investments excite me most. Sustainability, diversity and transparency across all sectors of VC investments drive my actions and keep motivated. What's your favourite quote? You might find my favorite quote in the report: “Private equity and venture capital pride themselves on superior performance. This report’s finding that women-founded firms outperform male-founded firms by 96% when it comes revenue-to-funding tell us much about where the real firepower lies”. (Thierry Baudon, Chairman of Invest Europe)

KINGA STANISLAWSKA What advice would you give to startups thinking of raising funds? To get early feedback and do not stop till you succeed in your plans. Could you shortly tell us the story behind the CEE Region report and how were you involved in the project? Nearly year ago I started doing a series of European Women in VC podcasts (http://evf.com.pl/en/european-women-vc). Every week I interview the top players in VC in Europe who are female and discuss their path to VC, investment thesis and portfolio structure. In the middle of November, I had a pleasure to talk to Thea Messel. She is a founder and Managing Partner of Unconventional Ventures investing in purpose driven early stage tech startups founded by underrepresented founders in the Nordics. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbOfGaICwQ0&t=24s). So in fact we met online during the pandemic. We spoke about The Nordic Report -through the lens of diversity, gender and the impact that Thea and her partner Nora made twice for the Nordics. That interview inspired me to do a similar report for the CEE region. In early December, we discussed doing a similar report for Central Europe together. What do you think are the main challenges and opportunities for the next generation of female leaders in the CEE region? Firstly, raising funds as a female is most challenging since VC and start up ecosystem is probably one of the least diverse ecosystems. It still suffers from 'investor homophily'. Investors invest in what is similar to them and what they can easily relate to and understand. Building relationships/ partnerships with many large corporates is also challenging since they are willing to cooperate with all-men teams due to already existing inequalities in this ecosystem. Besides these, there are still opportunities for women. Female founders are creating companies which address the needs of half the population! They understand these needs best! Those needs are generally yet to be met. Offering solutions to issues as well as challenges faced by women with technology innovation gives a huge investment opportunity to investors and huge potential for innovation and changing the status quo as well as financial upside to founders. Are there any particular female founders who have inspired you and you want to share with us? There are many of them. But when it comes to choosing, I would say: Corine Vigreux who is a founder of TomTom. Anne Boden. She is the founder and CEO of Starling Bank. Cristina Fonseca, a Portuguese Angel Investor (unicorn) and co-founded of Talkdesk. Last but not least, Janneke Niessen who founded and sold a couple of companies, and in the meantime set up Dutch VC fund CapitalT. Do you see any long-term changes or shifts on the horizon in the next 5 years for the region? CEE is one of the least invested areas of Europe. Yet it is one with huge software development skill pool, many amazing technology entrepreneurs. The region has brought some 18 unicorns and now is bringing the highest returns for VC funds with companies like UI Path which is the most valued private European tech company (now preparing for IPO). CEE is speeding up growth and many more opportunities will emerge from this region. In terms of female presence in the VC and start up sector there is huge work to be done. Today only 1% of VC money raised went to female led startups while only 3% of VC funds in the region is managed by women. Moreover female led VC funds have much less 'fire power'. They have less investible capital than the male led counterparts that managed 5x more AUM. This then trickles down to the types of startups that get funded Europe as a whole needs clear leader to invest in female led VCs.


The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the European economic and social structures, threatening to aggravate existing inequalities. The CEE Region (Central and Eastern Europe) encompass the countries in Central Europe, the Baltics, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Europe, including the following countries Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia.

In this region, all women founded companies received only 1% of the capital, while 5% went to mixed founding and 94% to all male teams and over the last five years women have received 2.2% out of the total EUR 2.47B invested into CEE Startups with Estonia leading the way for creating venture -backed startups founded by women.

In 2020, startups with all-men founding teams raised 94.2% of capital in Central and Eastern Europe. Mixed-gender founding teams raised 4.8% and allwomen just 1.0% of all Venture Capital in CEE.

Investors sign smaller cheques for women. To raise the same sized funding round, all-women teams would need to involve more investors than mixed and all-men teams. Interestingly mixed-gender teams raise more per investor at later stage funding rounds.

The Baltics and the Balkans have produced a higher percentage of women founded and cofounded startups than many established European tech ecosystems. Estonia in particular has a higher percentage of women-founded and mixed teams than any European country apart from the UK. Poland represents the biggest opportunity for improvement in the CEE region.

The report also reviews that the lack of diversity is also among the investors as well. In the startup scene, only 16% are women and VC investment, only 15% of investors are women, and become even worse at senior level: 27% of junior-level investment roles at VCs active are held by women, and just 7% at Partner level.

TOP 8 FINDINGS In 2020, women-founded startups raised just 1% of investment in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). 5% went to mixed-gender founding teams, while all-men teams raised 94%. 2020 was not an outlier. Since 2016, all-women founding teams have received on average 2% of startup investment. Progress is flat. Investors sign bigger cheques for men. Average round sizes at Seed and Series A are smaller for all-women teams in CEE than for mixed and all-men teams. Women-founded startups generate more revenue per Euro invested. Women-led businesses outperform in capital productivity by 96%. Funders and decision makers are predominantly men. Of funds active in CEE, 85% of Venture Capital (VC) investment roles are held by men, rising to 93% at Partner level. VC funds with all-men General Partner (GP) teams have 5X the firepower (AUM) to invest in companies compared to all women GPs of venture funds. 92% of the GPs are rarely asked about their fund's diversity and inclusion strategy when fundraising from Limited Partners (LPs). Only 2% of VC funds meet women LPs as frequently as men LPs, when fundraising.

to read the full report

click here


ANDRESSA FREIRES Cientista de Dados e Representante de Cultura, Inclusão e Diversidade no PicPay

Conte-nos sobre você e sua carreira. Sou cientista de dados, representando do grupo de inclusão e diversidade do grupo de cultura na PicPay. Sou coordenadora administrativa da Uneafro, que oferece cursinhos populares a jovens negros e de baixa renda. Faço parte de movimentos inclusivos em tech, como AfroPython, PyLadies e AI Girls. Sou mentora em Dados na BOSS. Também já fiz pesquisa científica em Neurociência Computacional na USP. Produzo conteúdo digital sobre ciência de dados, inclusão e diversidade. Conta pra gente como é um dia na sua vida profissional! Meu dia a dia costuma ser bem agitado. Ao longo do dia, me divido em tarefas de ciência de dados, diversidade e cultura. No âmbito de ciência de dados, faço estudos, POC de bureaus, modelos e books de variáveis relacionados a crédito. Já em diversidade, ajudo a promover palestras, podcasts, rodas de conversa e também participo de discussões que tragam ações que beneficiem os grupos de afinidade. Em cultura, dou suporte na significação e promoção dos valores pilares da empresa, monitoramento da aprovação e adesão aos nossos valores atuais, promoção de eventos que disseminem a cultura, além de entrevistas de fit cultural com candidatos que estão entrando na empresa. Todos os três itens são conectados com a estratégia da empresa, então são experiências muito agregadoras, apesar de diferentes. O sector de tecnologia ainda é um campo dominado pelos homens. Qual seriam os seus conselhos e dicas para as mulheres superarem os obstáculos enfrentados? O setor de tecnologia é dominado pelos homens pois há um afastamento da mulher desde a infância a atividades ou gostos que são consideradas 'de menino'. Essa divisão, considerada natural por muitos, reflete estereótipos de gênero e delegam às garotas desde cedo tarefas e interesses relacionados à esfera do cuidado, por exemplo. Tal divisão influencia escolhas futuras, inclusive as profissionais. É incomum ver meninas que se identifiquem desde cedo com as carreiras tecnológicas e das ciências exatas. Já para os homens, é um caminho que se apresenta como natural. Meu conselho é que as mulheres busquem iniciativas que as acolham, as empondere e as incentive a estarem em tecnologia, além de as ensinarem a como lidar com os obstáculos causados pelo machismo estrutural sem ceder. Procurem sempre aliados que te ajudem nesse caminho.

ANDRESSA FREIRES O problema de diversidade (não somente o baixo número de mulheres) no setor de tecnologia existe, fato. Você poderia compartilhar a sua jornada pessoal com a gente? Entrei no ramo da tecnologia bem cedo. Comecei a programar aos 14 anos, num curso técnico de desenvolvimento de sistemas. Por conta disso, comecei a sentir os obstáculos causados pela falta de diversidade bem cedo. Tive pouco incentivo para seguir na área desde essa época. Pensei por muitas vezes em desistir pela pressão que sofria, mas decidi seguir firmemente. Entrei na USP, no curso de Física Computacional e por lá a realidade não foi diferente. Era comum ouvir piadas e comentários dizendo que meu lugar não era ali. Foi difícil ter resiliência para permanecer naquilo que eu amava. Lá, comecei a trabalhar com pesquisa científica em Neurociência Comportamental, mas lembro que também foi difícil achar um grupo de pesquisa que me achasse boa o suficiente. Por razões familiares, tive que voltar à minha cidade natal e precisei arranjar um trabalho já que bolsas de pesquisa não nos pagam bem. Acabei iniciando um estágio no Itaú, numa área de modelagem voltada a risco de crédito. Foi ali que conheci a ciência de dados e me apaixonei. Mas confesso que era difícil me enxergar ali, pois não tinha mais ninguém como eu. Havia poucas mulheres e poucas pessoas negras. Passei um ano por lá e fui para uma fintech achando que ia ser diferente e que iam olhar para diversidade com mais carinho. Porém os problemas continuavam os mesmos. Eu não me enxergava. E em muitas situações de toda a minha vida acadêmica e profissional eu sentia que não era levada a sério. O grande problema que isso pode causar - e causa - em nós mulheres, é a famosa 'síndrome da impostora'. Nunca achamos que somos suficientes para o que queremos fazer, ainda mais quando as áreas onde queremos estar são majoritariamente masculinas. Esse sentimento de desânimo e de insuficiência pode nos acompanhar por muito tempo caso não tenhamos apoio. Hoje, felizmente, eu tenho. Estou num lugar onde tenho muita voz e onde confiam no meu trabalho. Sinto que a síndrome de impostora está a cada dia mais distante. Segundo Maria Klawe (Presidente do Harvey Mudd College) existem 3 motivos alegados pelas próprias mulheres para que elas não entrem no mercado de tecnologia: falta de interesse, não acreditarem serem boas em tecnologia e não acharem que irão trabalhar com pessoas com as quais se sentiriam confortáveis ou felizes. O que podemos fazer para inverter esta realidade? Esses sentimentos são, infelizmente, muito comuns. Isso pois sempre tentam ao máximo afastar as mulheres de carreiras na tecnologia ao longo da vida. É difícil ver mulheres que tiveram algum incentivo para estar nessas áreas. Por muita resiliência e garra, temos mulheres que estão nessas carreiras e fazem o que podem para encorajar outras mulheres a fazer o mesmo: ensinando, dando mentorias, criando materiais. Existem hoje diversas iniciativas que promovem a inclusão de mulheres na tecnologia, como: PyLadies, AI Girls, InfoPreta, Reprograma, WoMakersCode, Programaria e várias outras. Eu participo de várias comunidades e fico cada vez mais emponderada e confiante. Outro fator que é essencial, é o olhar das empresas na inclusão de diversidade. Algumas empresas já começaram movimentos muito fortes nesse quesito, fazendo coisas como: promover vagas específicas, realizar cursos de capacitação com contratação no final, procurar pessoas diversas com mais afinco na hora de recrutar, estabelecer metas empresariais voltadas à contratação de diversidade. Essas iniciativas e movimentos estão crescendo e ganhando muita visibilidade. Tenho esperança de que num futuro próximo já possamos ver mais diversidade - principalmente em tecnologia!

ANDRESSA FREIRES Quais são os maiores desafios que as mulheres que desejam se aventurar no mundo da tecnologia enfrentam hoje? Quem segue em empresas de tecnologia se depara com o machismo desde sempre. A diferença salarial entre os gêneros é um dos primeiros baques. Digo porque já sofri com isso. Além disso, as políticas das empresas podem aumentar ou destruir as ambições das mulheres dependendo do modo como a empresa é movida e se olha ou não com carinho para diversidade. As mulheres tendem também a ser afastadas dos cargos mais técnicos e acabam ocupando vagas onde se exige comunicação e conciliação de conflitos, que são papéis associados ao feminino. Além disso, há também o machismo velado, que mora nas pequenas coisas do dia a dia: comentários, piadas, assédios... O mercado ainda não está preparado para receber as mulheres do devido modo. Mas essa história está começando a mudar. O que as empresas podem e devem fazer para atrair mais mulheres para o sector de tech e para posições de liderança (não somente na atração de talentos mas também na retenção destes talentos)? Hoje em dia começamos a ver muitas empresas com o olhar voltado para a diversidade. E muitas delas estão se movimentando para fazer isso acontecer. Indico que as empresas promovam vagas específicas para mulheres, realizem cursos de capacitação e, acima de tudo, estabeleçam OKRs ligadas à contratação de diversidade. Mas claro que de nada adianta contratarmos diversidade se não temos um ambiente preparado para recebê-la. Então é muito necessário que haja um processo de educação dentro das empresas, mostrando, por exemplo, quais são as lutas e desafios das mulheres para criar empatia e respeito no ambiente interno. Do contrário, não haverá retenção e seguiremos prejudicando as mulheres por não criarmos um ambiente seguro para elas. Há alguma pessoa específica em tecnologia que te inspira? Atualmente, sou muito inspirada pela Joy Buolamwini. Ela é uma pesquisadora do MIT que tem o trabalho ligado a tornar as IAs mais justas e inclusivas, além de propagar muito conhecimento sobre esse tema tão nobre. Ela é uma mulher incrível. Qual seria sua mensagem para as mulheres que estão tentando entrar na tecnologia? Se é o que você quer fazer, jamais desista! Não pense que não é para você, não pense que você é incapaz. Você pode fazer tudo aquilo que quiser. Busque apoio de outras mulheres que possam te ajudar nessa jornada e se dedique muito. Não se deixe intimidar pela realidade como ela é hoje. Precisamos fazer essa realidade mudar. E por que não juntas? O que você acha que devemos fazer para encorajar mais meninas a considerarem uma carreira em tecnologia? O encorajamento deve vir desde cedo: deixem as meninas brincarem, estudarem e trabalharem com o que tiverem vontade. Mostrem que elas são capazes de estarem onde quiserem. Dêem as opções e as deixem escolher. Acima de tudo, incentivem-as a fazerem o que amam. Tenho certeza que existem milhões de mulheres por aí que seriam apaixonadas por tecnologia caso tivessem a oportunidade de ter esse contato mais profundo. Incentivem as mulheres a participarem de cursos, grupos e fóruns que discutam tecnologia e suas amplas gamas. Mostrem a elas a beleza que a tecnologia tem. A paixão vem naturalmente.

ANDRESSA FREIRES Qual é a sua frase favorita? Seria um poema 'Ainda assim eu me levanto', da Maya Angelou: Minha presença o incomoda? Por que meu brilho o intimida? Porque eu caminho como quem possui Riquezas dignas do grego Midas. Como a lua e como o sol no céu, com a certeza da onda no mar, como a esperança emergindo na desgraça, assim eu vou me levantar. Você não queria me ver quebrada? Cabeça curvada e olhos para o chão? Ombros caídos como as lágrimas, minh’alma enfraquecida pela solidão? Meu orgulho o ofende? Tenho certeza que sim porque eu rio como quem possui ouros escondidos em mim. Pode me atirar palavras afiadas, dilacerar-me com seu olhar,você pode me matar em nome do ódio, mas ainda assim, como o ar, eu vou me levantar.




FLAVIA BRITO CEO da BidWeb e líder da WOMCY Nordeste

Conte-nos sobre você e sua carreira. Empreendo desde cedo, quando há quase vinte anos, criei uma empresa de tecnologia em meio a um competitivo mercado no Nordeste, quando nem se falava de tecnologia, imagina segurança da informação. A Bidweb Security IT foi fundada em abril de 2002, no Porto Digital de Pernambuco. Hoje, temos um centro de monitoramento, gestão e resposta a incidentes, utilizamos uma inteligência artificial desenvolvida por nossa própria equipe, estamos na vanguarda apoiando a violência contra a mulher no projeto Posso Provar, sou líder nordeste da WOMCY LATAM Capítulo Brasil, vice-presidente da ABES Pernambuco. E ainda conquistamos recentemente a certificação ISO 27001 em toda a empresa. “Ao longo desses anos, temos reinvestindo todo o nosso ganho para tornar a Bidweb Security IT uma empresa que cresce baseada em gestão de processos e governança, ano passado também formos selecionados para o programa de aceleração ScaleUp da Endeavor foi uma experiência maravilhosa. Porque crescer dói muito e tem momentos em que a gente precisa de um olhar de fora para melhorar ainda mais quem somos e é justamente isso que a Endeavor nos proporcionou através dos nossos mentores no programa. Nos últimos três anos, a Bidweb Security IT assistiu um grande salto, com crescimento de 100%, o que resultou em grandes conquistas: o programa de Aceleração da Endeavor, a conquista da ISO 27001 e o prêmio Top Women in Cybersecurity LATAM, onde fiquei entre 50 mulheres na América Latina e no Brasil foram apenas 08 mulheres de destaque reconhecido pela WOMCY LATAM – Women in Cybersecurity LATAM – e a WISECRA, dos Estados Unidos. Há alguma pessoa específica em tecnologia que te inspira? Sim, conheci ele logo no ínicio da empresa, quando abrimos a BIDWEB, ele sempre foi um entusiasta e nos apoiou muito, hoje mora em Dallas, mas foi uma peça chave no quebra cabeça para o crescimento da BIDWEB, é um argentino, que tem filhos brasileiros e se chama Hernan Armbruster é executivo da Trend Micro nos EUA.

Conta pra gente como é um dia na sua vida profissional!


Sou muito colaborativa e dinâmica. Sempre gostei de me engajar em projetos com propósito. Por isso, participo das discussões da OAB Pernambuco, sou vice-presidente da ABES Pernambuco, líder Nordeste da WOMCY LATAM Capítulo Brasil. No ano passado recebi o prêmio Top Women in Cybersecurity LATAM, realizado pela WOMCY LATAM – Women in Cybersecurity LATAM – e a WISECRA, dos Estados Unidos. E este ano escrevi um capítulo do livro Mulheres incríveis e suas histórias de superação, recém-lançado. Hoje, a Bidweb atua em pen test, utilizamos o conceito zero trust para proteger e atuar em uma nova abordagem em segurança de dados, desenvolvimento de políticas de segurança, blindagem de datacenters, proteção de dados, segurança e boas práticas de nuvem, tencologias SASE controle de acesso e identidade, criptografia, detecção de intrusos (Ids e IPs), filtro de conteúdo (tradicional e na nuvem), virtualização de servidores, de aplicações e de desktops, políticas de compliance, armazenamento e backup, redes sem fio inteligentes, serviço gerenciado de segurança (Managed Security Services-MSS), monitoração de segurança (Monitor Security Management-MSM), resposta a incidentes e tomadas de ações inteligentes (Security Orchestration, Automation And Response - SOAR). Uma das minhas paixões é a inovação. Acredito muito em tecnologias capazes de contribuir para a sociedade. Por isso, o portal possoprovar.org – baseado em tecnologia blockchain, em parceria com a OriginalMy, reflete esse engajamento na busca de defender as mulheres que sofrem com a violência, para garantir validade jurídica nas provas digitais. Adicionalmente, a Bidweb acaba de criar a cadeira de diretoria de inovação, com a contratação de Carlos Sampaio, que foi CIO do CESAR. Na ABES Pernambuco também há um objetivo social. Estamos apoiando muito o projeto Recitech – de reciclagem de dispositivos eletrônicos e, naturalmente, defender o meio ambiente. Quais são os maiores desafios que as mulheres que desejam se aventurar no mundo da tecnologia enfrentam hoje? Vencer o próprio preconceito e auto sabotagem, achar que não são capazes, ou que esta área é apenas para homens, estou aqui empreendendo há quase 20 anos e sou prova viva que acreditar num propósito te levará ao sucesso. O que as empresas podem e devem fazer para atrair mais mulheres para o sector de tech e para posições de liderança (não somente na atração de talentos mas também na retenção destes talentos)? Acredito que criar programas de incentivo a entrada de mais mulheres no mercado de tecnologia, nas áreas de segurança, desenvolvimento de software e as empresas já estão atentas aos vários tipos de assédio ou qualquer tipo de violência no ambiente de trabalho. Além disso, várias empresas de tecnologia já possuem programas especiais para contratação feminina. Qual seria sua mensagem para as mulheres que estão tentando entrar na tecnologia? Busquem conversar com mulheres em tecnologia. Conheçam nosso universo de TI. Visitem ambientes de desenvolvimento de tecnologias, startups, conheça histórias de outras mulheres. Busquem inspirações, tirem dúvidas, perguntem tudo, descubram um novo mundo para atuar. Tenho certeza que irão se apaixonar!

FLAVIA BRITO O sector de tecnologia ainda é um campo dominado pelos homens. Qual seriam os seus conselhos e dicas para as mulheres superarem os obstáculos enfrentados? Acredite. Acredite. Acredite. Não se desista nunca, porque ao contrário que muitos dizem sobre ser mulher no mundo da tecnologia é um grande diferencial. Nós, mulheres, temos qualidades e trazemos em nosso DNA o empenho, a dedicação, a força de vencer, o traquejo para lidar com diversas situações e muitas vezes revezes, mas nos mantemos em pé. Iniciei meus estudos em tecnologia num tempo em que já era muito restrita a presença feminina e não satisfeita decidi empreender, ter uma empresa de tecnologia. Imagina só se eu tivesse desistido. Já participei de reuniões só com homens, mas mantive meu posicionamento e mostrei o meu profissionalismo. Por isso, tenho muito orgulho de ter recebido um prêmio tão importante, estar entre as 50 mulheres mais atuantes em cibersegurança concorrendo com mais de 150 candidatas da América Latina foi o resultado da minha persistência. E agora, recentemente, escrever um capítulo de um livro dividindo com outras personalidades femininas, foi uma grande honra. Isso é prova de uma carreira baseada em dedicação sem me deixar abater pelo universo masculino da profissão. O problema de diversidade (não somente o baixo número de mulheres) no setor de tecnologia existe, fato. Você poderia compartilhar a sua jornada pessoal com a gente? Apesar o número ainda em desequilíbrio, o mercado abre oportunidades para contratações de mulheres e minha luta é atrair menina para a área de segurança, já relatei algumas vezes que propósito, persistência e resiliência, fizeram parte da minha jornada, mas hoje nós temos muitas portas abertas para as mulheres, inclusive em cargos de liderança. É sabido que o maior desafio para este equilíbrio de gêneros, é a falta de mão de obra qualificada, por isso, precisamos incentivar e inspirar garotas para que sejam atraídas e optem por ingressar na carreira de cibersegurança. Segundo Maria Klawe (Presidente do Harvey Mudd College) existem 3 motivos alegados pelas próprias mulheres para que elas não entrem no mercado de tecnologia: falta de interesse, não acreditarem serem boas em tecnologia e não acharem que irão trabalhar com pessoas com as quais se sentiriam confortáveis ou felizes. O que podemos fazer para inverter esta realidade? Abram suas mentes. Não deixem que sua família, a sociedade as façam acreditar em nada disso. Experimentem, busquem saber o que é trabalhar com tecnologia. Hoje em dia, com a transformação digital, há tantas oportunidades, inclusive, multidisciplinaridade. Descontruir uma ideia pré-concebida deve ser essencial desde o ensino fundamental. Infelizmente, a educação básica ainda é orientada para condicionais que criam gatilhos mentais nas meninas e as impedem de “ir até marte”, ou seja, ousar, arriscar o novo, sair fora da caixa. Tanto que muitas mulheres atualmente estão fazendo transição de carreira, as 40 +, para a tecnologia. Mas isso pode começar desde cedo. Hoje, a informação está disponível em todos os lugares. O que você acha que devemos fazer para encorajar mais meninas a considerarem uma carreira em tecnologia? Em minha opinião, criar mecanismos já no ensino básico, programas no ensino médio também, nas universidades e polos de tecnologia e até as empresas de tecnologia, que incentivem as meninas, desde cedo, a conhecerem esse universo. As iniciativas sociais, a exemplo da própria WOMCY LATAM, com programas que despertam o conhecimento de jovens meninas sobre tecnologia e segurança da informação.


LAURA DAMACENO DE ALMEIDA Cientista de dados na IBM & Co-founder da AI Girls

Conte-nos sobre você e sua carreira. Sou bacharelada em ciências da computação, engajada em comunidades que visam a equidade e igualdade na área de tecnologia. Cientista de dados na IBM e colunista na revista Female Tech Leaders. Sou cofundadora da comunidade AI Girls que visam a inserção das mulheres na área de IA e ciência de dados. Já participei de diversas comunidades que visam a inclusão da diversidade nas áreas de tecnologia, como pyladies, DevAI Women, Femme It, AI Brasil, etc.. Por conta dos meus ideais participo do time de diversidade da IBM, que visa proporcionar através de eventos um ambiente representativo e plural! Gosto de escrever blogs, palestrar e organizar eventos sobre IA e ciência de dados para desmistifica-las e produzir conteúdo em português para que todos os brasileiros(as) possam ter acesso. Conta pra gente como é um dia na sua vida profissional! Atualmente sou consultora na área de ciência de dados, e no meu dia a dia eu busco analisar dados que o meu cliente passa pro meu time, encontrar insights importantes e criar algoritmos de machine learning que consigam auxiliar na tomada de decisão dos usuários. E toda semana eu realizo reuniões de report para passar pro cliente os status das minhas atividades. Além disso na IBM, participo de alguns times de diversidade, então ajudo na organização e divulgação dos eventos internos. Há alguma pessoa específica em tecnologia que te inspira? Joy Buolamwini, mulher negra e cientista da computação e fundadora do Algorithmic Justice League, que luta contra os viés nos softwares e soluções de inteligência artificial. Além disso me inspiro bastante na Mary Jackson, mulher negra e primeira engenheira aeroespacial da Nasa, eu acho incrível a forma como ela lutou pelo seu espaço no mercado e também como ela não deixou de dar a mão para outras mulheres, em especial a ascensão profissional de outras mulheres negras.

LAURA DAMACENO DE ALMEIDA O sector de tecnologia ainda é um campo dominado pelos homens. Qual seriam os seus conselhos e dicas para as mulheres superarem os obstaculos enfrentados? Não duvidem de si mesmas, nós mulheres nos cobramos demais e muitas vezes nos sentimos sozinhas no mercado de trabalho, por sermos minoria, então muitas vezes duvidamos muito de nós mesmas, deixando de acreditar no nosso potencial e muitas vezes nos questionamos se esse é de fato nosso lugar e assim podemos perder muitas oportunidades na nossa carreira profissional. As vezes a gente precisa se permitir mais e enfrentar mais desafios, buscarmos mais a coragem do que a perfeição. O problema de diversidade (não somente o baixo número de mulheres) no setor de tecnologia existe, fato. Você poderia compartilhar a sua jornada pessoal com a gente? Bom, sou uma mulher negra paulistana, geminiana arretada, filha de um mineiro e uma baiana super ativistas. Devido à esses movimentos ativistas que meus pais e meus familiares se envolviam eu sempre tive muito contato com a luta das minorias pelo seu espaço no mercado e na sociedade. Durante o ensino médio eu achava que sabia o que queria ser quando crescer, no caso: engenharia química (pois eu amava matemática), mas meu irmão se formou em tecnologia e minha mãe viu que o mercado de TI é bem forte no Brasil, existe muitas oportunidades e ela me convenceu a fazer algumas provas pra entrar em algumas faculdades de TI. E foi a partir deste ponto que me envolvi com tecnologia, infelizmente minha história não é o que as pessoas esperavam, muitas acreditam que pessoas que trabalham com tecnologia sempre “desde criança adorava computador e robôs”, eu acabo fugindo desse padrão pois eu adorava ler e compartilhar meus conhecimentos (como uma boa geminiana) quando criança. Acabei conhecendo sobre códigos e computadores só durante a faculdade, não vou dizer que foi um caminho simples e fácil pois foi bem o inverso disso, eu tive muita dificuldade no inicio da faculdade minhas notas não eram uma das melhores, sofria para entender os conceitos de programação e me comparava bastante com meus colegas de classe. E foi durante a faculdade que eu tive um estalo que mudou minha visão do que eu queria trabalhar, foi quase por acaso que um professor muito querido me apresentou algoritmos genéticos (uma área da inteligência artificial) que me fez ficar apaixonada pela área de IA, foi como se naquele momento eu tivesse me conectado com a minha essência. Foi a partir deste ponto que eu comecei a estudar mais sobre a área, e foi uma jornada de auto conhecimento muito incrível, até hoje depois de formada estou me conhecendo e buscando cada vez mais me aprofundar neste tema. Segundo Maria Klawe (Presidente do Harvey Mudd College) existem 3 motivos alegados pelas próprias mulheres para que elas não entrem no mercado de tecnologia: falta de interesse, não acreditarem serem boas em tecnologia e não acharem que irão trabalhar com pessoas com as quais se sentiriam confortáveis ou felizes. O que podemos fazer para inverter esta realidade? Acredito que podemos colocar as meninas em contato com a tecnologia e robótico desde a fase da escolar, então mostrar pra elas que é possível elas trabalhem com isso e que elas podem ser incríveis nessa área. Já para mulheres adultas acredito que elas podem participar de redes de apoio femininas, como por exemplo comunidades femininas de tecnologia, e assim verem que há mulheres sensacionais na área e poderem se arriscar mais, no espaço confortável que essas comunidades fornecem.

LAURA DAMACENO DE ALMEIDA Quais são os maiores desafios que as mulheres que desejam se aventurar no mundo da tecnologia enfrentam hoje? Um dos grandes desafios é priorização, vejo muitas mulheres que estão iniciando na área sendo “bombardeadas” por diversos cursos e vídeos sobre qual melhor caminho seguir para entrar na área X e muitas delas acabam se perdendo ou achando que não sabem o suficiente. Então o que eu indico é priorizar as coisas, estude primeiro o básico (lógica de programação, rode seus primeiros códigos) e vai indo aos poucos. Outra coisa importante é você ir no seu tempo, não cobre demais e não queira ir no tempo dos outros, respeite seu tempo. O que as empresas podem e devem fazer para atrair mais mulheres para o sector de tech e para posições de liderança (não somente na atração de talentos mas também na retenção destes talentos)? Acredito que priorizar curriculos de mulheres, ou até mesmo abrir processo seletivo focado em trazer mais diversidade para a empresa: LGBTQI+, Mulheres, negros, etc.. Trazer mais programas de retorno das mulheres que são mães ou que estavam paradas a muito tempo no mercado e facilitar o retorno delas, dando treinamento de formação. E além disso incentivar uma cultura de diversidade nos times, ter projetos dentro da empresa que mostrem o quão importante é a diversidade. Qual seria sua mensagem para as mulheres que estão tentando entrar na tecnologia? Sejam corajosas, não tenham medo de errar pois o erro nos faz mais fortes e é a essência da ciência. Não se compare com outras pessoas, vai no seu tempo, prioriza as coisas que você acha importante conhecer. Conecte-se com profissionais que trabalham na área para você se inspirar e não se sentir sozinha. Busque mentoras, existem comunidades que oferecem mentoras ou chega em uma pessoa que você admira e faz o convite. O que você acha que devemos fazer para encorajar mais meninas a considerarem uma carreira em tecnologia? Tentar levar as informações para outras mulheres de forma mais fácil e desmistificada, eu por exemplo sempre escrevo artigos básicos sobre tecnologia, eu dou palestras básicas. Pois a gente não quer apenas dar informação pras pessoas que já estão na área, queremos mais mudanças nos times trazendo mais diversidade então precisamos levar as informações básicas pra mulheres que ainda não estão na área. Levar a informação de forma mais fácil, mais básica e o mais acessível possível para que todos possam entender. Além disso podemos propor através de comunidades femininas ou até mesmo na empresa ou no meio acadêmico, um ambiente confortável e de incentivo para todas. Sempre que possível indicar mulheres pra vagas, pra mulheres que tem mais experiência na área podem: fornecer mentoras e fortalecer as comunidades femininas de tecnologia. E eu acho que meu papel e o papel das meninas é mostrar que as mulheres podem fazer o que elas quiserem e serem o que quiserem, e além disso esperamos que essa luta que a gente está fazendo agora (abrir mais espaço pra mulheres, incentivar a vinda delas, trazer de uma forma mais fácil a tecnologia, quebrar os estereótipos que a sociedade tem atualmente), facilite a vinda delas e das nossas filhas e as filhas dela. Pois o intuito é uma geração alcançar ou até mesmo superar a outra e no que puder ajudar ou facilitar esse processo eu estou pronta.


TAMIRES MARTINS REZENDE Doutoranda em Engenharia Elétrica (UFMG) & Pesquisadora associada na Gaia, Solutions on Demand

Conte-nos sobre você e sua carreira. Sou uma entusiasta de Machine Learning e Visão Computacional com ambição de resolver os problemas que envolvem o reconhecimento automático de Libras. Engenheira de Controle e Automação por formação, me aventuro desde 2014 na área de Engenharia Elétrica para resolver problemas de Inteligência Computacional com ênfase, claro, na Língua Brasileira de Sinais. Defendi meu mestrado em 2015 nesta área e desde então prossigo, no doutorado, com a mesma linha de pesquisa. Além da pós-graduação, atualmente sou pesquisadora na Gaia, Solutions on Demand. O sector de tecnologia ainda é um campo dominado pelos homens. Qual seriam os seus conselhos e dicas para as mulheres superarem os obstáculos enfrentados? A primeira coisa é sempre apresentar o seu trabalho de forma profissional. Não precisamos viver achando que sempre vão nos criticar ou desmerecer o nosso trabalho por sermos mulheres, mas se encontrar dificuldade de ser ouvida, tente se desvincular de pessoas que não somem positivamente a você. Eu busco, constantemente, me cercar de pessoas boas e o meu ambiente de trabalho sempre está "bem populado" com pessoas que ganhei ao longo dos anos e que me fizeram mais forte quando me deparei com situações constrangedoras. É preciso reconhecer a nossa capacidade. O autorreconhecimento vem antes de qualquer crítica. Há alguma pessoa específica em tecnologia que te inspira? Eu admiro várias pessoas na área de tecnologia, mas não tenho uma pessoa específica. Confesso que me inspiro muito nos meus orientadores, além dos companheiros do laboratório ao qual faço parte. Há uma troca tão rica de conhecimento entre essas pessoas, que eu me sinto abençoada por fazer parte desta equipe.

TAMIRES MARTINS REZENDE Conta pra gente como é um dia na sua vida profissional! Me divido em duas tarefas principais: doutorado (UFMG) e a pesquisa (Gaia). Geralmente deixo o período da manhã para a Gaia e de tarde desenvolvo atividades relativas ao meu projeto de doutorado. Entretanto a época (pandemia) que estamos vivendo "parece" que encurta o tempo e deixa a dinâmica das coisas um pouco confusa, então nem sempre eu consigo manter essa disciplina. Há a necessidade de estender alguns prazos que eu me dou para algumas atividades, ao mesmo tempo em que é necessário interromper determinados processos para desenvolver atividades pessoais. Em relação ao meu doutorado, estou na fase de finalizar os experimentos e a escrita da minha tese. É um momento que demanda muita concentração, pois preciso deixar claro os detalhes da minha pesquisa e, consequentemente, apresentar a importância do que eu fiz. Apesar disso, é um trabalho que me deixa completamente feliz em desenvolver e que não me dá vontade de parar. Já o trabalho na Gaia está me proporcionando um crescimento profissional muito importante. Conciliar pesquisa e empresa é um desafio, pois são ramos que possuem olhares distintos para um mesmo problema, mas que ao mesmo tempo precisam alinhar seus objetivos a um mesmo propósito. O tema de pesquisa é diferente do meu doutorado. Trabalho com a Detecção de Incêndios enquanto que na pós-graduação realizo o Reconhecimento Automático de Sinais de Libras. No final das contas, esses dois projetos estão numa mesma área de pesquisa (Inteligência Computacional), mas possuem propósitos completamente distintos. Em suma, um dia na minha vida é composto de atividades que demandam muita atenção, mas também não deixo de ter pequenos momentos para descansar corpo e mente. Não somos uma máquina e para produzir bem, precisamos ter todos os elementos se comunicando e em perfeito funcionamento. O problema de diversidade (não somente o baixo número de mulheres) no setor de tecnologia existe, fato. Você poderia compartilhar a sua jornada pessoal com a gente? Eu me considero uma pessoa muito abençoada. Falo isso porque sempre encontrei e tive ao meu lado pessoas que me acolheram e que sempre tiveram dispostas a me ajudar. Entretanto sei que isso não é uma realidade para todas as mulheres do meio tecnológico. Na jornada pessoal sabemos que as coisas não são tão diferentes. Brinco que a luta é diária e muitas vezes precisa começar dentro de casa. Cada pessoa, sendo homem ou melhor, pode desempenhar quaisquer atividades na sociedade. O futebol não deve ser apenas para o homem ou a cozinha não precisa o lugar que a mulher passa a maior parte do dia. Somos seres em evolução e o que nos diferencia dos demais seres vivos é poder mudar e desmistificar vários conceitos que, culturalmente, carregamos conosco. Na minha caminhada eu tento levar isso pras pessoas as quais eu convivo. Luto pelo respeito à pessoa, independente de sexo, orientação sexual e etc. O que as empresas podem e devem fazer para atrair mais mulheres para o sector de tech e para posições de liderança (não somente na atração de talentos mas também na retenção destes talentos)? Acredito que seja necessária uma reestruturação empresarial. A mulher precisa ser vista exclusivamente como uma profissional, tal como tratam o homem. Além disso, sabemos que as mulheres, em sua maioria, se dividem como profissional, mãe, esposa e várias outras tarefas, então é necessário reconsiderar prazos. Não tem como uma mulher que acabou de voltar de uma licença maternidade, por exemplo, produza como se não tivesse ficado 6 meses fora do ambiente de trabalho. Valorizar a mulher, suas habilidades e possibilitar que diferenças sejam amenizadas são os melhores caminhos. Não podemos generalizar todos os casos, mas podemos estudá-los e propiciar a chegada das mulheres em posições de liderança. Somos tão eficientes como qualquer homem. O sexo não nos limita.

TAMIRES MARTINS REZENDE Segundo Maria Klawe (Presidente do Harvey Mudd College) existem 3 motivos alegados pelas próprias mulheres para que elas não entrem no mercado de tecnologia: falta de interesse, não acreditarem serem boas em tecnologia e não acharem que irão trabalhar com pessoas com as quais se sentiriam confortáveis ou felizes. O que podemos fazer para inverter esta realidade? Infelizmente ainda temos a divisão do que é tarefa de menina/mulher e do que é tarefa de menino/homem. Isso dificulta muito as escolhas quando nos tornamos adultas, pois não vemos as áreas ditas "masculinas" como uma possibilidade e, consequentemente, nos falta interesse e motivação por elas. Para inverter essa realidade a gente precisa mudar o que apresentamos às nossas crianças, deixando de rotular atividades por gênero e ampliando pra elas as opções de carreira. Se resolvermos este "problema" inicial, aí sim, nós conseguiremos diminuir as diferenças no futuro. Isto tudo se resume em: para que a tecnologia seja uma área que tenhamos afinidade e motivação é necessário que sejamos apresentadas a ela. Acreditar que você não é boa em uma área é algo que me preocupa. Nós sabemos do que somos capazes e não podemos utulizar as dificuldades que temos para nos limitar em algo. Reconhecer o seu potencial, automaticamente, te cercará de pessoas que te deixará confortável. Quais são os maiores desafios que as mulheres que desejam se aventurar no mundo da tecnologia enfrentam hoje? A minha mensagem começa com duas perguntas: Você gosta da área? Há algo que te motiva? Se as respostas forem “sim”, então não tenha medo. Busque, se aventure, se cerque de pessoas positivas e faça o que você gosta. Se não conseguiu responder as perguntas com tanta convicção, busque conhecimento. O “saber” é o bem mais precioso que temos e que ninguém nos tira. Então faça cursos, se aperfeiçoe e, novamente, se aventure sem medo. O mundo da tecnologia é vasto e multidisciplinar, sempre terá um lugar pra você e suas ideias. A minha trajetória é marcada pelas aventuras as quais me propus. Não me arrependo de nenhuma delas, mas sempre tive em mente algumas coisas e falo pra vocês: Se em algum momento você se sentir desconfortável, não tenha medo de se reinventar. Só não se acomode. Tente incansavelmente e busque estar, na maioria do tempo, feliz no ambiente profissional, acadêmico e pessoal. O que você acha que devemos fazer para encorajar mais meninas a considerarem uma carreira em tecnologia? Precisamos de representatividade. Enquanto não houver mulheres nas mais variadas funções e cargos, e um ambiente familiar que não propuser novas experiências as meninas/jovens não retão a noção de onde elas podem chegar. Precisamos levar as áreas tecnológicas para as escolas básicas, para o ensino médio. Tecnologia ensinada por mulher. Precisamos divulgar mais todas as iniciativas femininas e aqui temos um excelente exemplo: a Female Tech Leaders Magazine. As iniciativas podem ser as mais variadas possíveis, mas é necessário que os jovens saibam do que é possível. Motiválos é imprescindível para minimizar a diferença que ainda existe na área de tecnologia, além de mostrar para todos que o sexo não limita ninguém.

TAMIRES MARTINS REZENDE Qual seria sua mensagem para as mulheres que estão tentando entrar na tecnologia? Quando nos propomos a entrar em uma área de trabalho, já partimos do pressuposto que teremos tarefas simples de serem executadas, devido a afinidade que temos com tal atividade, ao mesmo tempo em que teremos desafios. Isso porque somos serem limitados e ao mesmo tempo dispostos a aprender mais. Além disso, é impossível gostar de tudo. Então se esforce, busque conhecimento, entenda a área que você quer atuar e se motive. Utilize as redes sociais para montar o seu network, converse com pessoas da área e encontre o seu caminho. Ao aprender algo, ensine para alguém, passe o seu conhecimento a diante. Crie uma rede de conhecimento. Me cito como exemplo, pois entrei na área sem saber com clareza do que se tratava. Aos poucos fui construindo o meu conhecimento e, por gostar da área social, juntei os campos de pesquisa. Qual é a sua frase favorita? Quando li esta pergunta, o que veio na minha cabeça é a frase "EU POSSO"... Se eu quero, EU POSSO. Esta frase está comigo principalmente quando me deparo com algum desafio. Visualizando a minha trajetória, percebo quão forte me tornei com tudo que aconteceu. Aprendi com cada detalhe, sendo ele positivo ou negativo. Tudo contribuiu para o meu crescimento e vejo, ainda, que tenho muito a aprender. A cada dia, me torno uma mulher mais corajosa e sei que EU POSSO conquistar mais.

leia mais


ELIANE RODRIGUES Coordenadora de Segurança da Informação na Telefônica Tech

Conte-nos sobre você e a sua carreira, Eliane! Trabalho na Telefônica Tech como coordenadora de um Blue Team. Comecei na tecnologia na faculdade, no curso de Ciências da computação na PUC- SP, iniciei a carreira como programadora. Fiz uma especialização em gestão de projetos e mudei de área, essa nova carreira me levou a segurança da informação. Hoje, faço mestrado em gestão de projetos, iniciado durante a pandemia e que espero concluir em 2021. Como hobbies gosto de corrida e rua e conhecer o mundo. Fala sobre a WOMCY: seu papel e o adicionou a sua vida e carreira. Entrei na WOMCY a convite da Andrea Thomé em 2018 e iniciei um trabalho como líder da equipe de voluntários, uma experiência extremamente gratificantemente. Fui promovida a Team Coach dos times Membership e Voluteering, responsáveis pela capitação e manutenção de voluntários e membros na ONG. Continuo nesse momento junto a eles, trabalhando na missão de diminuir o gap de mulheres em segurança da informação e trazer mais mulheres para estarem conosco. Esse trabalho me abriu diversas oportunidades de palestras em eventos importantes, atuar como mentora. Conheci muitas pessoas boas nesse área e aumentei meu networking. O setor de Cybersecurity ainda é um campo dominado por homens. Como vocês encaram este desafio? Não é um desafio fácil, temos que estar muito bem preparadas e é fato que hoje acabamos estudando e nos engajando em atividades extras muito mais que os homens para estar nesse mercado. Acredito que hoje, a união e a palavra que as mulheres estão colocando ao mercado, tem contribuído muito. Buscamos trazer cada vez mais mulheres para perto e ajuda-las a engajar na área e a ter voz, propondo apoio e direcionamento para encarar mais desafios, sem um medo de que talvez não devêssemos estar ali. Também engajamos homens a nos apoiar e ajudar a falar para que outros homens entendam a importância feminina nesse mercado e em outros lugares.

ELIANE RODRIGUES Conte-nos sobre a sua experiência pessoal em Cybersecurity Comecei atuando como gerente de projetos tradicionais na área de segurança, migrei para o ágil, ajudei a construção de um programa estruturante no banco Itaú, reunindo diversas disciplinas de segurança da informação e muitos novos skills, além de uma iteração com diversas áreas, principalmente TI. Me tornei product owner de equipes de segurança em rede e ataques avançados e posteriormente, coordenadora de times de projetos de segurança da informação. Estudei, fiz algumas certificações no caminho, ampliei o conhecimento com a certificação da ISO 27001 e posteriormente na GDPR e me tornei DPO. Nesse intermédio, comecei a palestrar em alguns fóruns e eventos na área, fiz alguns podcasts e também fui convidada a algumas entrevistas e painéis. Entrei em uma comissão de tradução de políticas da ISO para o Brasil na ABNT, a convite da Denise Menoncello. No ano passado, surgiu um desafio novo, construir uma área de operação para clientes praticamente do zero na Telefônica Tech, com uma equipe nova, onde eu seria responsável pela criação de uma área de blue team, com desafios globais e uma nova história e aqui estou eu em mais um desafio. Quais são os maiores desafios que as mulheres enfrentam hoje? As mulheres vem conquistando muitos novos espaços, mas ainda não mudamos totalmente a ideia de que um homem talvez deva ocupar um espaço que está hoje, ao invés de ser ocupado por uma mulher. E infelizmente, essa ideia ainda é muito viva no mercado de tecnologia e segurança da informação. As mulheres que conseguem ingressar nesse meio, ainda são interrompidas em reuniões, preteridas em cargos executivos. Além disso, a participação da mulher nessa área é muito pequena, fazendo com que as referências femininas sejam muito poucas e principalmente quando se trata de cargos mais altos, quando a referencia masculina impera. O desafio é conquistar esse espaço com muito trabalho, muito estudo e dedicação, além de resiliência, bastante força de vontade e um pouco de paciência. Além disso, muitas mulheres tem que se dividir entre o trabalho doméstico, o cuidado com os filhos e os desafios da carreira, estudos e isso não é uma tarefa fácil. Qual seria a sua mensagem para as mulheres que estão entrando na area de tech e por que elas deveriam se especializar em cyber? A área de Tech é extremamente ampla e cheia de desafios. Tem espaços para diferentes perfis e conhecimentos. O mundo precisa de tecnologia, todas as empresas e segmentos tem necessidades tecnológicas e a tecnologia está em constante desenvolvimento, se reinventando. E a área de Cyber é a ampliação dessa ideia, mudando e crescendo numa velocidade sem igual e com muito menos profissionais que a necessidade. Além da novidade traz também o gostinho de defender as empresas, com o poder e o conhecimento para isso. E vocês mulheres que já encaram esse desafio de tecnologia já deram o passo mais importante e tem um conhecimento muito rico na bagagem. O ingresso a cyber já está com metade do que é necessário e o conhecimento de vocês vai abrir muitas portas. Mulheres, o lugar de vocês é onde vocês queiram estar e cyber espera vocês de braços abertos

ELIANE RODRIGUES O que pode ser feito para que mais mulheres entrem na area de tech? As empresas precisam abrir espaço para as mulheres. O RH e os responsáveis por contratações, precisam se engajar na busca por essas profissionais, mas as empresas também precisam preparar as suas funcionarias para esse mercado, treinando e dando subsídios para que elas aprendam e cresçam. As escolas também precisam incentivar suas meninas a escolherem as áreas de tecnologia e mostrar que essas áreas também são para elas, através de palestras com referências femininas, rodas de conversas e parcerias com empresas e ONGs voltadas a esse proposito. As universidades de tecnologia também precisam fazer campanhas para engajar a entradas de mulheres nessas áreas e parcerias com iniciativas voltadas a esse proposito, para engajar cada vez mais m mulheres

Na sua opinião, o que as referências e iniciativas dedicadas a mulheres podem fazer em parcerias com as empresas para trazer mais diversidade? As iniciativas e referências ligadas a mulheres e as empresas precisam se unir. As empresas precisam patrocinar e colocar seus nomes nessas iniciativas, para dar força a aa elas e recursos para ampliarem seu escopo. Precisam ir as universidades, falar com as mulheres que estão lá. Criar desafios para essa universidades e dar oportunidade para a entrada dessas mulheres. As empresas precisam dar mais espaços para as suas mulheres internamente, de se prepararem e ocupar os cargos mais altos. E essas mulheres que estão em cargos mais altos, precisam se unir a essas iniciativas para contar suas histórias e incentivar cada vez mais mulheres a encararem o mercado de tecnologia. Acredito que precisamos de mais parcerias e iniciativas em conjunto, para assim ampliarmos nossa voz e mudarmos esse cenário.

Qual é a sua frase favorita? Uma das lições com as quais eu cresci foi a de sempre permanecer verdadeiro consigo mesmo e nunca deixar que as palavras de alguém distraia você dos seus objetivos. (Michelle Obama)


by d ere



Conte-nos sobre você e a sua carreira, Micheli! Graduada em Ciências da Computação com Especialização em Gestão Estratégica em TI. Certificações em ITIL, COBIT, IT Governance, Lean IT, ISFS e PDPE. Membro do Comite de Segurança ANPPD - Associação Nacional dos Profissionais de Privacidades de Dados. Líder Team Coach Educacional Escolas (Womcy Girls & Geek) e Mentora Cloud Girls. Fala sobre a WOMCY: seu papel e o adicionou a sua vida e carreira. Hoje na Womcy sou Líder Team Coach Educacional Escolas (Womcy Girls & Geek) e desenvolver atividades de segurança da informação voltado para o publico infantil é um privilegio, um assunto que deve ser tratado com muita seriedade e carinho. Eu só tenho a agradecer o time da Womcy que, cada dia aprendo mais, literalmente um time acolhedor e enriquecedor! Conte-nos sobre a sua experiência pessoal em Cybersecurity Ampliei minha experiência e aprendizado em Cybersecurity quando topei trabalhar junto com a Womcy e, em paralelo, comecei a atuar como Head DPO Team, e neste momento, minhas atividades e conhecimentos do assunto aumentaram exponencialmente. Até então, minha ações em Cyber eram superficiais, mais direcionada com Governança de TI. Quais são os maiores desafios que as mulheres enfrentam hoje? Acredito que seja a indiferença e um rótulo intitulado como incapaz. Como resultado, você vê mulheres que se auto sabotam, pela dificuldade de quebrar essas paradigmas

MICHELI MARTINS DAMACENO O setor de Cybersecurity ainda é um campo dominado por homens. Como vocês encaram este desafio? Desafio a ser conquistado. Já conseguimos quebrar muitas barreiras, ultrapassar muitos obstáculos, mas temos muito a fazer ainda. Acredito que mostrando toda a garra e determinação do poderio feminino, vamos chegar lá! Autoconfiança é tudo! Qual seria a sua mensagem para as mulheres que estão entrando na área de tech e por que elas deveriam se especializar em cyber? A mulher tem uma força que só ela sabe. Une a isso a vontade de fazer acontecer e o resultado é um combustível perfeito para conquistar todos os sonhos! A tecnologia tem muitas oportunidades e a área de Cyber é um desafio a parte, sendo a Segurança da Informação evidenciada atualmente. O que pode ser feito para que mais mulheres entrem no setor de tech? Uma apoiar a outra. As mulheres que já atuam na área ajudar as que estão iniciando a encontrarem um caminho dentre todos possíveis na área tech. A mentoria de carreira, neste caso, é um exemplo. Na sua opinião, o que as referências e iniciativas dedicadas a mulheres podem fazer em parcerias com as empresas para trazer mais diversidade? As empresas precisam se atualizar quanto ao novo momento. Buscar referências em outras empresas que já praticam a diversidade e tomar como fato que é um caminho sem volta. A garantia de notoriedade, um enriquecimento plural e prestigio quando as empresas apoiam e aderem a esses tipos de iniciativas. Qual é a sua frase favorita? "Feliz aquele que transfere o que sabe e aprende o que ensina." Cora Coralina.


by d ere



Laurie Wang

A TOCA DO COELHO Pode parecer estranho um texto publicado em um blog de tecnologia com o título acima, mas acredite: o mundo de Tecnologia da Informação tem tudo a ver com a toca do coelho do clássico da literatura mundial “Alice no País das Maravilhas”. Explico: quando Alice resolve seguir aquele coelho meio esquisito e entrar na sua toca (contra toda e qualquer análise baseada em bom senso, diga-se de passagem) ela passa a vivenciar as mais diversas experiências, nos mais distantes e diferentes reinos, além de enfrentar situações para as quais ela nunca havia se preparado. Pois quando uma mulher, seja ela uma jovem prestando seu primeiro vestibular ou uma profissional experiente que decide mudar de área, decide enveredar pelo caminho profissional da Tecnologia da Informação, a primeira “falta de bom senso” é o fato da área ainda nos dias de hoje ser predominantemente masculina e reservar os altos escalões para pouquíssimas representantes do sexo feminino. Mas vamos admitir que essa nossa heroína imaginária é teimosa e decide mesmo assim, aos olhos da família, “mexer com computador”. O que talvez ela não saiba é que, ao atravessar a toca de TI ela terá à sua disposição vários mundos e infinitas possibilidades de carreira. Esta que vos escreve é uma prova viva dessa teoria. Comecei como programadora literalmente no século passado e exerci algumas funções bem conhecidas no reino da tecnologia, como Analista de Sistemas e Gerente de Projetos, com passagens pelas áreas de Infraestrutura e Administração de Banco de Dados.

Porém, quando comecei a trabalhar com Segurança da Informação, ainda dentro da organização corporativa de TI, e me tornei a especialista do assunto, alguma coisa mudou e percebi que a toca estava ficando para trás. Daí para a Auditoria de Sistemas foi quase como tomar chá com o Chapeleiro Maluco, algo que eu não tinha como escapar, mesmo. E fui seguindo meu caminho, ainda margeando o desenvolvimento de aplicações e o gerenciamento de infraestrutura, até que.... Até que tive a oportunidade de assumir a área de Governança Corporativa em outra empresa do mesmo grupo. Fora dos muros de TI, ali conheci o maravilhoso mundo de Compliance e sua interação com um órgão regulador, que tal qual a Rainha Vermelha, ameaçava cortar a cabeça de quem não cumprisse as suas resoluções. Lembro que a primeira vez que li uma resolução do Banco Central me senti como a Alice quando não compreendia o sentido do que era falado nos reinos que visitava. Isso porque ao ler uma legislação pela primeira vez, embora eu compreendesse o texto em português, sofria com o “juridiquês”. Mas me mantive firme e finquei pé em Compliance, Gerenciamento de Riscos e Controles Internos por alguns anos e embora já estivesse bem distante da entrada da toca, ou seja, da parte técnica e hardcore de TI, sentia que as minhas vivências anteriores ainda seriam de grande valia na minha jornada. E qual não foi a minha surpresa quando, legislação vai, legislação vem, surge linda e imponente a nossa querida Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados, conhecida por todos como LGPD. Ao estudar a lei, buscar certificações e mais conhecimento sobre o assunto, fui entendendo porque a palavra “multidisciplinar” era a mais usada como adjetivo para esse regulamento. O profissional mais capacitado para entender o texto e os requerimentos era aquele com conhecimento em TI, experiência em Segurança da Informação e entendimento jurídico, sem necessariamente ser um advogado/advogada. Sem me dar conta, tal qual Alice nas suas andanças no País das Maravilhas, fui reunindo experiências, vivências e conhecimentos necessários para ajudar as empresas a desatarem o nó da adequação à LGPD. Mas tudo isso começou com a minha entrada na toca de TI, sem saber o que me aguardava, mas tendo a certeza (ou seria melhor a esperança?) de que o mergulho no desconhecido me traria bons frutos. E é por essas e outras, para aquelas ainda em dúvida sobre que carreira seguir ou para qual carreira migrar, sempre recomendo que considerem o campo da Tecnologia da Informação por representar um caminho com muitos outros caminhos a serem percorridos. Autora: @Luciana Miliauskas Fernandes Formada em Bacharelado em Matemática com Ênfase em Processamento de Dados, Luciana atuou em diversas áreas dentro das organizações de TI de grandes corporações. Depois de exercer posições executivas em Auditoria Interna de Sistemas e Segurança da Informação, liderou por 8 anos o time de Governança Corporativa de uma multinacional de serviços financeiros. Com certificações em Compliance e DPO, é proprietária da MILI Consultoria e Corretora de Seguros, sendo corretora de seguros habilitada pela SUSEP e especialista em seguros de riscos cibernéticos. Adora escrever sobre diversos assuntos, sendo co-autora do livro "Guia Prático de Compliance".

A ÉTICA EM IA Não é novidade atualmente que as empresas estão em busca de serem empresas data-driven, ou seja, voltadas para dados. As empresas estão aproveitando dados e IA para criar soluções em diversos nichos e níveis. Mas o uso de dados e IA, apesar de atrativo, também gera riscos de reputação, regulatórios e legais. Isso porque, normalmente, a IA forma um viés quando os dados de aprendizado fornecidos não são abrangentes e começam a ser tendenciosos para determinados resultados. Como os dados são o único meio de aprendizado dos sistemas de IA, eles podem reproduzir todos os desequilíbrios ou vieses injustos. O grande problema dos algoritmos enviesados é que eles podem propagar injustiças rapidamente e em larga escala, podendo prejudicar grandemente a vida e privacidade das pessoas dependendo do âmbito em que a IA esteja focada. Assim como as legislações e os códigos éticos da sociedade, as diretrizes éticas devem ajudar a constituir o desenvolvimento da IA. Há poucos anos, as discussões sobre “ética de dados” e “ética de IA” eram feitas majoritariamente por organizações sem fins lucrativos e por universidades. Logo, não se discutia no meio comum nada sobre. Hoje, as maiores empresas de tecnologia do mundo - Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Google, entre outras - estão contratando equipes especializadas para resolver problemas éticos que surgem do uso das grandes quantidades de dados que a humanidade gera diariamente, especialmente quando esses dados são usados para treinar IAs. As empresas estão investindo em respostas para questões éticas porque perceberam que a falta de olhar para esse item importante pode vir a ameaçar os resultados financeiros das companhias. Errar nesse âmbito e nessa escala pode expor as empresas a grandes riscos de reputação e legais.

As empresas precisam de um plano para diminuir esses riscos - como usar dados e desenvolver produtos de IA evitando cair em erros éticos ao longo do caminho. A questão ética de IA está longe de dever ser vista somente por quem está presente na área. Os riscos éticos devem ser estudados em conjunto por toda a empresa, envolvendo TI, RH e até marketing, pois erros éticos afetam a empresa como um todo. Mas nem todas as empresas olham para a ética em IA com descuido. Muito pelo contrário: muitas delas implementando princípios éticos de IA de altíssimo nível. O Google, por exemplo, faz isso há anos. A dificuldade está em definir os princípios éticos. O que é ser justo? Uma IA pode ser completamente justa? O que os funcionários que trabalham com IA devem fazer quando se deparam com um dilema ético em um projeto? Para a maioria das empresas não há respostas bem definidas para essas perguntas. A ética da IA não vem em um manual. A ética de IA deve ser adaptada às necessidades específicas dos negócios da empresa. Entretanto, temos alguns insumos básicos de como construir uma IA eticamente. Primeiro, a ética de dados e IA precisa se encaixar a estratégia da empresa a fim de proteger a marca de riscos reputacionais, regulatórios e legais. Para tal, as empresas podem criar um conselho ou comitê de ética, por exemplo, com profissionais de várias áreas diferentes para que haja uma discussão que possa considerar diversos pontos de vista. Num comitê desses, por exemplo, vale a reflexão e verificação de possíveis processos em vigor em que hajam algoritmos tendenciosos ou violações de privacidade. É também muito importante estabelecer um acompanhamento que garanta que os dados e as IAs não estejam ferindo a ética estabelecida pelo possível comitê. A criação de uma conscientização a nível organizacional também é muito útil. Qualquer pessoa que use dados ou produtos de IA - seja em RH, marketing ou outro setor - deve entender os dados da empresa e a ética de IA. Falar sobre ética de IA não é uma tarefa fácil. Exige a adesão da liderança e de todos os colaboradores. Mas vale a pena! As empresas que fazem isso veem os riscos de reputação, regulatórios e legais mitigados. E, claro, as empresas serão tudo o que seus consumidores e colaboradores procuram: confiáveis e inclusivos. Autora: @Andressa Freires

quero colaborar

4,7% DE STARTUPS FUNDADAS POR MULHERES! O índice de startups fundadas por mulheres no Brasil é de 4,7%. O avanço das female founders (fundadoras de empresas em tecnologia) no Brasil tem sido tímido ao longo dos anos - de acordo com os indices, o Brasil tinha 4.4% de empresas tecnológicas fundadas apenas por mulheres representavam há 10 anos. Hoje, esse índice é de 4,7% de fundadoras contra 90.2% de fundadores (2020).

Index global UK - United Kingdom De acordo com " ScaleUp Female Founder Index 2020" o número de female founders que lideram scaleups "visíveis" continua a aumentar - quase 10 por cento a partir de 2019. As 194 empresas neste índice estão contribuindo com quase £ 10 bilhões para UK plc. Quase metade (49%) dessas empresas estão crescendo ano a ano desde 2014, enquanto mais de uma em cada cinco (23%) são novas entradas na lista deste ano. No UK as mulheres ocupam apenas 17% dos empregos de tecnologia, 4% dos softwares engenheiros, 3% dos sócios de capital de risco e 1% da posições de liderança em setores com foco em STEM.

As startups lideradas por mulheres estão nas categoria de produtos industriais (21% vs 15% para todas as startups financiadas por ações) e nesta categoria, as empresas fundadas por mulheres têm duas vezes mais probabilidade de estar envolvida em fashiontech (3,1% vs 1,5% para todos os fundos de capital startups) e alimentos e bebidas (10,5% vs 5,7% para todas as startups financiadas por capital). USA Nos USA, as empresas fundadas exclusivamente por mulheres obtiveram 2,1% do capital total investido em startups de capital de risco e em 2019, foram 21 novas empresas na categoria "unicorn" co-fundadas por mulheres (em 2018, haviam 15 unicórnios co-fundados). Mas de acordo com os dados de 2020 (Crunchbase), estes numeros mostram que mais de 800 startups fundadas por mulheres em todo o mundo receberam um total de US $ 4,9 bilhões em financiamento de risco em 2020, até meados de dezembro, representando uma redução de 27% em relação ao mesmo período do ano passado. Europe De acordo com o 2º European Start-up Monitor, apenas 14,8% dos fundadores de start-ups são mulheres, mostrando que a Europa tem um dos numero mais baixos de female founders em estágio inicial - Malta tem a taxa mais baixa e a Lituânia tem a taxa mais alta. Apenas 7,4% dos investidores que investiram em uma ou mais startups são mulheres mas quando se trata de mulheres angels investors, esta percentagem é de 7,2% de acordo com Mulheres na Era Digital, Comissão Europeia, 2018. Em quase todos os Estados-Membros da UE, as mulheres têm menos probabilidade de acesso a formação para iniciar e desenvolver uma empresa, com exceções da Hungria, Letônia e Estônia, e a Suécia, onde as mulheres têm uma probabilidade ligeiramente maior de achar que podem ter acesso a treinamento. Brasil De acordo com um estudo do Distrito Dataminer, a representação de female founders é de apenas 9,8% – 4,7% fundadas exclusivamente por mulheres e 5,1% cofundadas por elas. As startups lideradas por mulheres por categoria são 24,1% são serviços online, 22,3% SaaS, 22,3% direct to consumer, 15,3% marketplaces, 9,3% outros, 4,8% mídia e entretenimento como conteúdo e 2% r redes sociais, com uma expressiva participação nos setores de fashiontechs (63,4%), RH e gestão de pessoas (36,9%), negócios sociais (31,6%) e alimentação (34,8%). O que significam pouco mais de 3,5% do ecossistema brasileiro total.

Autora: @Candyce Costa Fundadora da Female Tech Leaders Community

quero saber mais

Laurie Wang ARTICLES

10 MULHERES QUE ESTÃO TRANSFORMANDO O MERCADO DE TECNOLOGIA NO BRASIL A gente selecionou algumas mulheres inovadoras que estão transformando o o mercado de tecnologia no Brasil, seja como CEOs, investidoras ou fundadoras. Tania Cosentino da Microsoft Brasil Tania Consentino é a atual presidente da Microsoft Brasil desde 2019. Anteriormente, ela trabalhou por 19 anos na Schneider Electric, dos quais 10 anos atuou como presidente da unidade brasileira e da América do Sul. Camila Achutti da Mastertech Camila é cientista da computação e fundadora e CEO da plataforma de educação em tecnologia Mastertech e presidente da Somas que tem como objetivo mensurar o impacto de educação e tecnologia no nosso país!.

Cristina Junqueira do Nubank Cristina Junqueira é cofundadora do Nubank, a fintech brasileira avaliada em 4 bilhões de dólares e tem 5 milhões de usuários.

Camila Farani da G2Capital Camila Farani é advogada e investidora anjo. Criou o Gávea Angels, Mulheres Investidoras Anjo (primeiro grupo de investidoras anjo no Brasil) e a G2 Capital.

Maria Rita Spina Bueno do Anjos do Brasil Maria Rita Spina Bueno é diretora executiva na Anjos do Brasil, entidade sem fins lucrativos que fomenta o investimento anjo e apoia o empreendedorismo de inovação no país.

Maitê Lourenço da BlackRocks Startups Maitê Lourenço é fundadora e CEO do BlackRocks Startups, uma aceleradora dedicada a promover empreendodores e executivos negros.

Bia Granja da YOUPIX Bian Granja é cofundadora e CCO da YOUPIX, consultoria de negócios para economia de influência e aceleradora da industria de creators que inclui a YOUPIX educa, transforma, conecta e acelera.

Nina Silva do Movimento Black Money Nina Silva fundou o Movimento Black Money que promove o ecossistema afroempreendedor atraves da educação e do D’Black Bank, fintech que conecta consumidores e empreendedores negros com serviços financeiros.

Paula Bellizia do Google Paula Bellizia já foi a CEO da Microsoft do Brasil e é agora vice presidente de Marketing Latin America do Google. Formada em Computação e Ciência da Computação na Universidade Estadual de São Paulo (UNESP), e fez pós-graduação em Marketing na ESPM e MBA na USP.

Cristina Palmaka da SAP Cristina Palmaka já foi a CEO da SAP Brasil e agora é a presidente da SAP Latin America & Caribbean. Pós-graduada na Universidade do Texas e com MBA pela FGV, entre outras especializações.

COMO EVITAR QUE VIESES SOCIAIS AFETEM ALGORITMOS DE INTELIGÊNCIA ARTIFICIAL? Inteligência Artificial está se tornando cada vez mais presente em nossas vidas mesmo que de uma forma sútil, indicando filmes, livros e até mesmo ajudando as empresas a tomarem melhores decisões. Mas o que acontece quando ela começa a exibir os comportamentos preconceituosos existentes em nossa sociedade? Esse é o caso do COMPAS, uma IA (Inteligência Artificial) utilizada em casos criminais norteamericanos para prever quais criminosos têm maior probabilidade de reincidência, e é com ele que os juízes tomam suas decisões. O COMPAS demonstrou carregar viés racial ao fazer as suas classificações, em que a cor da pele da pessoa acabava sendo um fator para ser considerado criminoso de alto risco.

Além disso, podemos citar o caso da IA da Amazon que exibiu um viés sexista ao descartar currículos enviados por mulheres para uma determinada vaga. Bias, ou viés, é um dos problemas mais preocupantes da sociedade, podendo limitar nossa visão de mundo, nos fazendo cometer erros e nos impedindo de crescer e inovar. E grande parte deste preconceito social pode ser refletido e amplificado pela inteligência artificial de maneiras perigosas, seja na decisão de quem obtém um empréstimo bancário ou na probabilidade de reincidência criminal conforme o exemplo mostrado acima. Em um momento em que a IA está ganhando destaque e as empresas buscam tê-la em seus sistemas, é necessário trabalharmos para reduzir e evitar esse viés. Algoritmos de inteligência artificial aprendem a partir de exemplos ou dados históricos, e com isso buscam encontrar padrões ou identificar a melhor forma de solucionar um problema dado a ela, entretanto se existir viés nos dados ele poderá ser passado para o algoritmo. Então como nós, desenvolvedoras e entusiastas, poderíamos construir inteligências que não tenham viés? Uma das formas que foi passada em um artigo do MIT Technology Review, e que indico, é garantir que os dados utilizados na base de treinamento sejam diversificados e representativos. No caso do sistema da Amazon comentado anteriormente, provavelmente os dados passados para o algoritmo de IA mostrava que muitos homens atuavam em um determinado cargo, mas se os cientistas que construíram ela tivesse usado dados de mulheres que também atuaram neste cargo, talvez o viés do modelo fosse reduzido. Outro ponto dado pelo MIT é que devemos prestar atenção nas features, ou características, dos dados que são passadas para o modelo. Se considerarmos ainda o caso da Amazon, foi passado várias características do histórico de pessoas que ocuparamaquele cargo e uma delas provavelmente foi o gênero ou o sexo da pessoa e, durante o treino, a IA deve ter encontrado um padrão de que grande parte (ou todas) as pessoas que passaram pelo cargo eram homens. Agora vale o cientista de dados analisar e pensar se realmente faz sentido passar o gênero como entrada para o modelo. Além disso, precisamos olhar pro início de tudo, ou seja, é importante saber quem codifica, conforme comentei no texto "A importância do feminismo na ciência de dados" na edição do mês de março, as pessoas carregam vieses e muitas vezes não percebem. Vamos para mais um caso: No MIT um grupo de estudantes estavam testando alguns softwares de análises faciais e aconteceu que uma das estudantes, chamada Joy Buolamwini, mulher negra e ganense-americana, não teve seu rosto identificado pela inteligência artificial, e só foi conseguir identificá-la quando a mesma colocava uma máscara branca em seu rosto. Por que isso aconteceu? Provavelmente as pessoas que construíram e treinaram aquela IA foram pessoas brancas, como esse sistema estava provavelmente acertando bastante, elas não perceberam que faltava treiná-la com imagens de pessoas de outras etnias e raças. No caso do software que ela estava analisando, apenas 4% dos dados usados no treino foram com rostos de mulheres negras. Se pararmos para pensar, isso não foi um caso isolado, de acordo com The Global Gender Report de 2019 apenas 26% dos profissionais que trabalham com IA são mulheres, contrastando com 74% que são homens. Por isso a importância de termos cientistas e desenvolvedores diversificados, com diferentes etnias, backgrounds, etc. Conforme dito pela Harvard Business Review, "uma comunidade de IA mais diversificada estaria mais bem equipada para antecipar, revisar e detectar tendências e envolver as comunidades afetadas."

Portanto negar que os fatores sociais não afetam na construção de sistemas de inteligência artificial é algo muito problemático, pois a tecnologia não é neutra e nem os dados são neutros. Assim como os exemplos citados anteriormente e ,de acordo com Pratyusha Kalluri, PhD em ciências da computação na Universidade de Standford: “Quando acreditamos que a tecnologia e a IA são neutras, falhamos em perceber dados tendenciosos e criamos sistemas que automatizam o status quo e promovem os interesses dos poderosos. O que é necessário é um campo que exponha e critique sistemas que concentram poder, enquanto novos sistemas com comunidades impactadas: IA feita por pessoas e para pessoas”. Então é necessário sermos mais críticas (os) em relação aos dados que estamos fornecendo e às conclusões que os algoritmos de IA tiram, para assim conseguirmos avaliar se é essa parte do nosso mundo que queremos que ele veja e aprenda. Autora: @Laura Damaceno de Almeida Cientista de dados na IBM, onde trabalha com machine learning para auxiliar os clientes na tomada de decisão e atuarem de forma proativa no ramo. Graduada em ciências da computação e co-fundadora da comunidade AI Girls.

quero colaborar

JOB board Amazon is looking for a Strategic

Microsoft is looking for a Senior

Partner Alliance Manager EMEA

Program Manager (Microsoft AI)

Location: London, England

Location: London, England

The ideal candidate is an accomplished leader with a strong background in selling technology, experienced at influencing innovation with technology partners and with the presence to engage executive decision-makers. You will have strong business development, product management, strategic alliances, and entrepreneurial skills. You can demonstrate an ability to think strategically about new business models, solution selling, and show prior solution and program successes.

The MSAI Experiences team builds natural AI-powered user experiences that will fundamentally change the way we use devices, applications, services and technology in the next wave of computing. And we're looking for the right people to envision and help deliver an experience that people can’t do without, that gives them more time for the important things, alleviates the stress of daily lives and bring smiles to faces.

know more

know more



join us

join us