DLI Awards Top European Girls and Women in Tech

LUXEMBOURG – 14 December 2015 – Today in Luxembourg, Europe celebrated top girls and women in technology as part of the Luxembourg presidency of the Council of the European Union. The 2015 European Ada Awards, an initiative of the Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute (DLI), were presented in the categories of Digital Woman, Digital Impact Organisation, and Digital Girl of the Year.  Two teens from Ireland and the UK were recognised in the category of Digital Girl of the Year.

imageEurope’s Best Young Coders

“I’m really excited,” beamed Niamh Scanlon, thirteen-year-old Digital Girl Award-winner from Ireland who has been coding since she was nine. According to Scanlon, after-school classes at CoderDojo were critical for her to hone and share her award-winning app-building skills. “Classes especially for girls are really important to get them coding,” Scanlon adds. In a field susceptible to discouraging stereotypes, “girls shouldn’t feel like coding is just for boys,” she says.

“I go to an all-girl school and still uptake in computing wasn’t as high as other subjects,” says Yasmin Bey, fourteen-year-old Digital Girl Award-winner from the UK who knows five coding languages and professes a love for tiny Raspberry Pi computers. “I started coding clubs to inspire girls and show them how awesome programming is,” she says. Bey now teaches classes with hundreds of students and is keen to share her knowledge. “Everyone should learn to code,” she says.

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Needed: More Female Tech Role Models

Janneke Niessen, COO and Cofounder of Improve Digital, received the 2015 European Digital Woman of the Year Award and acknowledges that being one of a small group of woman tech founders in Europe “has its own challenges.” Since as few as three percent of European founders in digital fields are women, more action to increase their visibility is needed, according to Niessen. Niessen herself has launched two initiatives: InspiringFifty, promoting women tech role models, and a book for young girls called Project Prep. “Girls don’t know what they’re missing when they say ‘no’ to a career in technology,” Niessen says, “so it’s important for us to show them.”

Longterm Vision and Commitment

Cocky Booij, Director of VHTO in the Netherlands, accepted the 2015 European Digital Impact Organisation Award for her organisation’s pioneering work to increase participation of girls in digital sectors. “Given the dominance of digital technology in our lives and the chronic underrepresentation of girls as digital makers,” Booij says, “VHTO promotes an integrated approach with a longterm vision to engage girls and keep them in these fields.”

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Driving Step-Change

“The goal of the Ada Awards is to drive a step-change in attitudes about girls and women as digital leaders,” says Cheryl Miller, DLI founder, who admits frustration about the pace of change. Unfilled tech jobs in Europe will reach one million by 2020, so skilling girls and women now to take up these jobs is a ‘no-brainer,’ she says. “Targeted action to engage girls and women in digital leadership is not a luxury,” Miller continues, “but an economic necessity demanding urgent action by Europe’s leaders.”

Transition to the Digital Future

Support for the Ada Awards is led by top digital skills organisations in Europe, including CEPIS, DIGITALEUROPE, the European Schoolnet and ECWT, and technology companies like Amazon Web Services who are driving the transition to a digital future.

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1. Digital Girls of the Year:

  • Niamh Scanlon, 13-years old from Ireland
  • Yasmin Bey, 14-years-old from the United Kingdom

2. Digital Woman of the Year: Janneke Niessen, COO & Cofounder Improve Digital

3. Digital Impact Organisation of the Year: VHTO, the Netherlands

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©2013-2015 Digital Leadership Institute, asbl/vzw
Place Van Meyelplein 24
1040 Brussels, Belgium

2015 European Ada Awards Launch

On 23 April 2015, at our fourth annual celebration of International Girls in ICT Day, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners – the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies, DIGITALEUROPE, European Centre for Women and Technology, and European Schoolnet – launched the third edition of the European Ada Awards recognising outstanding girls and women in digital studies and careers in Europe, and the organisations who support them.

The opening ceremony for the 2015 European Ada Awards featured lightening talks by inspiring Digital Leaders including girls and women in tech from across Europe, past & current Ada Award-winners, and supporters of the Awards, including:

 

The launch of the new DLI digital innovation centre for girls and women included opening online nominations for the 2015 European Ada Awards in the following categories:

 

International Girls in ICT Day 2015:

The 2015 European Ada Awards Launch was part of an all-day Digital Leadership Institute celebration of International Girls in ICT Day 2015 that includes the following activities:

17:00-19:00 – g-Hive workshop on “Girls & The Future Internet”: A hands-on workshop for girls*, ages 13-17, to promote active participation and leadership by girls in designing and building the Internet of tomorrow, for fun, safety and wellbeing. 

19:00-20:00 – 2015 European Ada Awards Launch & “Inspiring Digital Leaders” Talks, hosted by Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder & Executive Director.

20:00-22:00 – inQube workshop “Quantify Everything”: Third workshop in the Spring 2015 “Build A Kick&ss Online Presence” series for women* by Ms. Selma Franssen, DLI Communications Director & inQube Community Manager. 

*Anyone who identifies as a girl or woman.

All DLI “Girls in ICT Day” and European Ada Awards events were an official part of the 2015 e-Skills for Jobs Campaign.

Volunteering, Donations & Sponsorship:

If you or your organisation is interested in partnering, volunteering, sponsoring girls & women to participate in DLI activities, or would like to support DLI and its mission in other ways, please contact us.  Donations to DLI are gratefully accepted and go toward furthering its mission of bridging the gender gap and the digital divide worldwide. 

Thank you to our 2014-2015 Ada Award Partners & Sponsors!

Congratulations 2014 European Ada Award-winners!

Yesterday in RomeDLI announced winners of the 2014 European Ada Awards!  Join us here in congratulating the winners, and read here the  Press Release  from our partners and sponsors about this great event!

***Congratulations to the 2014 European Digital Girls of the Year™!***

Ten and Under:

9-year-old Lauren developed a site that was coded by a kid for kids.  She mentors at Coderdojo in Ireland teaching kids Scratch, HTML, CSS, etc., and is also part of a group called Code for Ireland who meet and develop apps for community challenges and problems to assist government.

Eleven and Over:

Manon is eleven years old and started coding with Scratch at a young age.  She now actively coaches kids and especially girls to learn to code and be interested in technology by using Arduino. For two years, she has been promoting Coderdojo Belgium to reach more kids (and girls) to become interested in technology and STEM education. Her dream is to get more girls interested in technology and that more technology be taught at primary and secondary school.

***Congratulations to the 2014 European Digital Woman of the Year™!***

esther  Esther Roure Vila, Cisco, from Spain

A lack of female role models is what drives Esther today to be a role model herself. It also drove her to petition the entertainment industry for better female role models in STEM.  Among many achievements, Esther has launched “WISE EMEA” – ‘Women in Science and Engineering’ a Cisco employee recourse group which includes 200 members across all countries in EMEA; and WIN, ‘Women in Networking,’ – a group of female technical support engineers that aims to attract, build and retain strong female technical support engineers, which includes more than 100 female engineers.

***Congratulations to the 2014 European Digital Impact Organisation of the Year™!***

The Stemettes aim to inspire the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields by showing them the amazing women already in STEM via a series of panel events, hackathons, exhibitions, and mentoring schemes.

Congratulations again to these very deserving winners and thank you to  our amazing partners and sponsors for making the 2014 European Ada Awards possible!

©2013-2014 Digital Leadership Institute, asbl/vzw
Place Van Meyelplein 24
1040 Brussels, Belgium