2017 Ada Awards Launched at Digital Agenda Assembly

On 16 June 2017, in celebration of the 2017 European Digital Assembly taking place as part of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners are proud to launch online nominations for the fourth annual edition of the European Ada Awards, a long-standing pledge to the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition for Europe.

The European Ada Awards recognise top girls and women in digital studies and careers in Europe, and organisations impacting the ecosystem to increase participation of girls and women in tech.

To nominate candidates for the 2017-18 European Ada Awards, please visit the links below:

Questions and interest to support the Ada Awards may be directed to DLI here. National partners are actively being sought to roll out the Ada Awards across Europe and around the world.

The Ada Awards are an initiative of the Digital Leadership Institute in partnership with CEPIS, DIGITALEUROPE, ECWT
and European Schoolnet.

Belgian Minister De Croo Recognises Top Girls and Women in Tech

On 8 December in Brussels, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo recognised top girls and women in digital fields in Europe and underscored the need for positive role models, coding curriculum and communities of excellence to encourage youth toward digital careers. “Young people need inspiration,” De Croo said in remarks at a ceremony for the 2016 Ada Awards, named for Lady Ada Lovelace the world’s first computer programmer. “That inspiration comes from seeing excellent people at work, like the girls and women recognised by these awards.”

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Alexander De Croo, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for the Digital Agenda

De Croo’s comments came on the heels of news that women make up fewer IT professionals than ever in Europe despite skyrocketing demand for digital expertise. “Over the last ten years, demand for tech specialists in Europe has grown eight times faster than other fields, but women hold just sixteen percent of these jobs,” explained Cheryl Miller, cofounder of Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute and organisers of the Ada Awards. “By 2020, one million IT jobs will go unfilled because the skills are not available in the marketplace,” Miller continued. “So by engaging women, we can potentially double the number of tech experts in Europe, increasing European competitiveness and making sure girls and women do not get left behind in the digital disruption.”

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Fireside Chat: Niamh Scanlon (14yo Ireland) – 2015 Digital Girl of the Year, and Rosanna Kurrer/DLI

Nuria Oliver, winner of the 2016 European Digital Woman of the Year Award, noted that digital disruption risks exacerbating the lack of diversity in tech, but also holds promise for positive change. “The percentage of girls and women in technology in most Western countries is simply not acceptable,” Oliver observed. “But in the future, we will only be able to address problems like global warming and the ageing population with the help of technology. So we need all our diverse human capital on board: to optimise innovation potential and to increase our chances of success in these important fields.”

According to Beata Stelmach, CEO for GE Poland, workforce diversity and digital transformation are two opportunities that GE, hosts of the 2016 Ada Awards ceremony, is explicitly leveraging for success. “We see GE as a 124-year-old software startup,” said Stelmach. “And with this thinking, we seek to pioneer a digital industrial sector that could contribute as much as $1.7 Trillion to European GDP annually by 2025.” In order to fully exploit the opportunities that digitisation brings,”it will be key to engage the entire European workforce,” she added. “And women in particular.”

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Disrupted Workforce Panel: Cheryl Miller/DLI, Beata Stelmach/GE, Andrea Parola/eSkills Association, Esther Roure/CISCO, Eva Paunova/MEP

Cerys Lock and Gabrijela Juriç, winners of the 2016 European Digital Girl of the Year Award, echoed the message of Deputy Prime Minister De Croo. Fourteen-year-old Cerys, feels that more computer science curriculum in school would be critical to get young people, girls included, engaged in the digital transformation. She reflected on the era of the Commodore 64 and said “forty years ago that computer was popular and got people into coding. We need something similar today, like the Raspberry Pi, that I personally am a huge fan of.” Gabrijela, also 14, added: “I am just proud that what I am doing actually matters to people in the sector. That really inspires me to keep going.”

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Digital Girls of the Year 2016: Gabrijela Juriç (14yo – Croatia) and Cerys Lock (14yo England)

Deputy Prime Minister De Croo summed up the awards event: “When someone is good at something you need to show it and congratulate her for what she is doing,” he said. “That is why the Ada Awards and the work of DLI is important: You need to show examples, and these young ladies are just the kind of examples we all need to see.”

The 2016 European Ada Awards were presented in the following categories to the noted recipients:

2016 European Digital Woman of the Year: Ms. Nuria Oliver, Spain
2016 European Digital Girl of the Year: Miss Gabrijela Juriç, Croatia (14 years old)
2016 European Digital Girl of the Year: Miss Cerys Lock, England (14 years old)
2016 European Digital Impact Organisation of the Year: CyberMentor, Germany

The Ada Awards are an initiative of Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute in partnership with the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS), DIGITALEUROPE and European SchoolNet. The awards are named for Lady Ada Byron of Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer. They are an official pledge to the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition in Europe.

The Digital Leadership Institute is a Brussels-based think tank whose mission is to promote inclusive digital transformation.

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Nominations Open for European Ada Awards

On 25 April, in celebration of the 2016 International Girls in ICT Day, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners opened nominations for 2016-2017 European Ada Awards for Digital Woman of the Year, Digital Girl of the Year and Digital Impact Organisation of the Year!

Please follow the links below to submit nominations by 21 October 2016: 28 October (deadline extended)!

Finalists in each category will be announced on 14 November, and winners will be awarded at the fourth annual Ada Awards Ceremony taking place in celebration of the birth of Ada Lovelace on 8 December 2016 at The Square Brussels, as part of GE Garages 2016 and the European Commission’s Vocational Skills Week 2016.

For more details please consult the 2016 Ada Awards calendar and feel free to contact us with any inquiries!