Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day to commemorate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. To show our commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Gender equality), on this important day we are launching the Women 4 Tech and Girls 4 Tech Startup Europe Awards initiatives.
We firmly support women’s success in technology because they are so underrepresented in this industry. According to a 2020 study by Deloitte, women only represent 23% of the workforce in technological professions. We believe that the introduction of Women 4 Tech and Girls 4 Tech will be a key factor in diversifying the industry, and helping women achieve their professional aspirations in such a large and important field. As President of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen, once said, “There is no such thing as jobs for men and jobs for women. Girls can do anything.”
The European Union is joining efforts and contributing to women entrepreneurship, including the introduction of major programs such as Women TechEU, which is an initiative designed to support the growth and development of women-owned companies in Europe. This initiative promises €75,000 in startup grants to help companies develop in their early stages, and has already begun its support of 50 different women owned companies across 15 different countries.
When it comes to women entrepreneurship, Startup Europe Awards is equally committed to helping promote success and growth. With the Women 4 Tech and Girls 4 Tech initiatives, we hope to provide the skills necessary for women to be able to innovate within the tech industry and be able to support their own businesses with the connections we hope to help them form.
Women 4 Tech is an initiative designed to promote innovation and entrepreneurial success through a series of awards granted to women-run startup companies, which gives them access to European mentoring projects and funding for their business through the Startup Europe Accelerator (SEUA) programme. Similarly, Girls 4 Tech is an education initiative targeted to girls between the ages of 8-18 to educate them in STEM fields and prepare them for success in the technological industry.