WITSA proudly supported the April 25-26, 2016 inaugural European Celebration of Women in Computing, which took place in Brussels, Belgium. The event featured . 515 participants from 37 countries and brought together female tech talents starting their tech careers as well as leading businesses and research representatives, providing them with opportunities for networking, getting inspired by incredible career paths, learning leadership skills, finding role models, understanding the gender dimension in innovation and presenting their own tech innovations, with the goal of going for a tech career. The two-day event combined a Career Fair with 50 interactive workshops, presentations and plenary sessions.
WITSA's new policy paper, “Women in Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs): Capitalizing on an untapped global resource”, was announced to the event participants as well.
As part of this important event, WITSA also served on the ECWC AWARDS 2016 jury, when on April 25, the ECWT launched and announced the winners of the three new European Awards in recognition of the significant contribution of women to computing:
- The Ada Lovelace Computing Excellence Award recognizes an individual who has made a groundbreaking discovery, innovation, patent or has distinguished herself in a specific way to function as a role model for next generations in computer engineering, software engineering, computer science, information systems, and information technology.
The award is supported by Oracle Academy. The winner of the award in 2016 is Valentina Dagiene, Professor Vilnius University, Founder of BEBRAS, Lithuania.
Valentina´s annual BEBRAS (´beaver´in Lithuania) Challenge – an engaging online platform that invites pupils over 12 years to learn Informatics in a playful way - attracts almost 1,5 million children (55% of them girls) and operates today in almost 50 countries around the world.
In the 2nd round of the competition which was based on presenting ones own work through a video, Valentina collected 4.477 voltes of the 12.680 votes of the ECWC 2016 Top 10 Nominees.
- The ECWC Social Impact Award: recognizes individuals who have made a positive impact on women, technology, and society. The award is supported by INTEL.
The winner of the award in 2016 is Nino Nanitashvili, Lead Advisor, Elva Community Engagement, Georgia and founder of the Women TechMaker Community in Tbilisi.
Nino was during the same week announced as winner of the ECWC Social Impact Award and honored by the State Department as one of the ten Emerging Young Global Leader´s Award.
- The ECWC Emerging Leader Award : recognizes a junior faculty member for high-quality research and significant positive impact on diversity. The winner is awarded by the European Centre for Women and Technology.
The winner of the award in 2016 is Marija Herceg, Researcher, University of Dzemal Bijedic, Bosnia Herzegovina. Marija is currently teaching Software engineering at the Faculty of Information Technologies in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the largest IT faculties in the region. Since 2012 she has been leading a youth NGO that has shaken up the local community by promoting diversity, activism, intercultural and interfaith dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina through non-formal educational practices.
Please see the ECWC press release in full here.