To mark #IWD2022, Huawei EU hosted its flagship International Women’s Day event in Brussels. This time, the event gathered an inspiring panel of experts and European Leadership Academy (ELA) alumnae exploring the challenges facing the quest for equality, inclusion and diversity in the digital era.
Berta Herrero, Director of the Schools for Female Leadership in the Digital Age and Senior EU Public Affairs Manager leading on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Huawei, gathered panelists of diverse backgrounds and latitudes, from deep tech to cybersecurity and sustainable finance at Brussels’ first women-only club, The Nine. The panel discussion put forward different ways to #BreaktheBias and ensure a brighter future for the next generation of #WomeninTech.
Technology Executive and Business Coach at the European Commission, Aikaterini Liakopoulou, advised listeners to “Be OK with hearing a lot of “no’s”. Don’t take it personally. Fall and get up fast. This is the only way!”; while Carmen Niethammer, Senior Gender Specialist at the European Investment Bank (EIB) emphasized the importance of supporting each other, and urged: “If you don’t know your way, ask for help.” Iva Tasheva, Co-founder and Cybersecurity Lead, CYEN, meanwhile advised young professionals to “See where you want to be and who you want to be. See what you need to do to get there. And then focus.” These three women leaders had been Members of the Jury selecting the candidates that took part in the past editions of the School.
The panel also featured two graduates of these Schools: Alisa Uzarina, who was the student representing Latvia at the 2021 Summer School in Lisbon; and Ilana Kunkel, who represented Luxembourg at the 2022 Winter School in Nice, France. Each brought her own perspective, with Alisa observing that “The people who are looking for opportunities are the ones who will be able to take on opportunities and advance further”, and Ilana asserting that “The possibilities for women are still too limited. But we have an opportunity here to grow and support each other and to be successful.”
Berta Herrero drew the discussion to a close by reiterating Huawei’s commitment to driving equality, inclusion and diversity in the digital era and continuing to support young women in their careers by providing opportunities for #NextGenChangeMakers to improve their skills, connect with new people and be inspired.
The event closed with a networking lunch where guests were able to dive deeper into their discussions around International Women’s Day 2022.