There is an undeniable imbalance between genders within the tech industry. Women are chronically underpaid (20% globally and up to 60% in the tech industry particularly, according to recent studies) and face sexism daily in their workplace. Despite these challenges, they continue to fight for equal rights across all aspects of life.
There is still apparent discrimination of women in leading roles in the tech sector, and this lack of diversity is reflected in the products and services that are created. On the other hand, many organisations exist nowadays, intending to break barriers for future generations to develop products based on inclusive policies.
These communities can offer valuable assets and support for businesswomen and investors. Here's a look at some of the best European female tech communities.
The non-profit enterprise Code First Girls strives to grant women and non-binary individuals access to coding knowledge, which they administer via free workshops held all over Great Britain. Established in 2015 by Alice Bentinck & Matt Clifford, this is one of Britain's largest female IT communities; as of 2022, they've trained over 50,000 women.
Techionista is a community devoted to empowering women through technology, founded in 2017 by Vivianne Bendermacher and Tamira van Roeyen in Amsterdam. They hold events and masterclasses that are open for all levels, from beginners looking at starting their paths in IT to learning more about emerging technologies. Techionista’s primary intention is to reach diversity in the field and guide women through new grounds. They currently have about 3000 members.
AllWomen is an artificial intelligence schooling centre that offers data science and product management classes for women, established in 2018 by Laura Fernández Giménez. The organisation intents to grant freedom for female students to advance in tech-related careers without interruption or discrimination irrespective of their gender identity. The community now has 30 000 members.
Women++ is a Swiss not-for-profit association determined to assist women in tech by holding workshops on programming-related fields, founded in 2017. They organise these sessions across different topics, including data science, blockchain development, and web design so that they can build their technical skills swiftly while building leadership capacity simultaneously. The current CEO is Luisa Contreras. Women++ currently has more than 1000 members.
The Rails Girls project was established by Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen in 2010. This organisation provides coding classes for girls, enabling them to learn sketching techniques and basic programming skills, so they can professionally enter the tech field.
The Women in AI organisation strives to empower women and minorities so that they can become experts in artificial intelligence. It was established in Paris by Dr. Hanan Salam, Caroline Lair, and Moojan Asghari in 2016. They inspire others through education, research projects geared towards innovation, and community events where everyone has a chance for empowerment. Women in AI currently has 8500 members.
Girls In Tech Switzerland is a community that brings women together and empowers them in the tech business, founded in 2017 by a group of volunteers in Geneva. They organise events to motivate female professionals, provide networking opportunities with like-minded individuals, and boost professional growth through skill development. Additionally, they empower girls from an early age by hosting workshops about careers explicitly related to their interests. The association has about 5000 members.
InspiringFifty is a Dutch organisation established in 2013 by Janneke Niessen and Joёlle Frijters. They work to provide inspiring role models for the next generation of leaders while also recognizing outstanding women who excel within STEM fields, like technology or engineering, with an emphasis on granting these talented ladies the visibility they deserve. InspiringFifty currently has about 4000 members.
The women behind MujeresTech are devoted to empowering girls and young adults by teaching them the skills they need to become leaders. Based in Madrid, founded in 2015 by Sara Alvarellos and Cristina Aranda Gutiérrez. MujeresTech holds various programs targeting children, teenagers, and adult women who want to alter their lives for good. MujeresTech has more than 2000 members.
The European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) is an organisation that strives to encourage women in STEM through knowledge sharing, policy advocacy, and research. It was established in 2008 by Eva Fabry in Oslo.They are the primary contact for those seeking information about women's barriers or those wanting to work within these fields. In addition, they provide resources such as training course opportunities tailored to just women. The community has about 1000 members.
50inTech is a unique organisation striving towards achieving gender balance in the IT industry by 2050. They do this through educational podcasts, networking, and consulting with industry stakeholders to empower women who are already involved or just getting into technology fields. They also establish connections between those communities to facilitate change more effectively. 50inTech was organised in Paris by Caroline Ramade and Julien Londeix in 2018 and presently has 15 000 members.
This course of the City of Stockholm encourages comparable opportunities for women and men. Over 100 tech corporations, such as Spotify and the Swedish unicorns Klarna, iZettle, and King, have joined forces with A Woman’s Place to advance gender equality within the area. Their website contains resources that can be used by other businesses looking at ways they might better accommodate employees of every gender.
Tech Barcelona is committed to achieving gender equality in the technological and digital sectors. A recent project, BcnTech4Women, launched in 2019, hopes to make it easier for female talent throughout Spain to gain employment by creating more flexible work opportunities and increasing access to the ecosystem through training programs tailored specifically towards women.
We Shape Tech network is a community established in Zurich by Janine Fuchs in 2016. They support female talent, make women in tech visible to influence others, and fuel the dialogue on diversity through networking events . In such a way, they bring like-minded individuals together from various industries but with similar backgrounds so they can share wisdom and experience across sectors. The community has more than 7000 followers and members.
Global Tech Advocates Black Women in Tech
The mission of the GTA Black Women in Tech community is to build a safe space for black female technology enthusiasts by conferring resources and opportunities. The organisation was established in 2019 by Flavilla Fongang in London. They are building bridges between corporations that have access to or desire diversity & inclusion programs with their network who can help them succeed. So far, GTA Black Women in Tech has 3500 members.
Liliana Castro and Inês Santos Silva launched Portuguese Women in Tech in 2016 to support women approaching the tech industry. They do this by providing visibility and networking opportunities for both mentorships, and coaching that promotes diversity within the technology industry. The community has 7500 members.
Social Human Equity (SHE) is a Norwegian community launched by Heidi Aven in 2014 that holds events focused on equity and social responsibility and has grown to become a hub for Inclusion. Their motto is "We believe that we can make the world better if everyone is included." The current CEO is Astrid Rønning Skaugseth. The community has over 11 000 members.
SheSharp is a not-for-profit foundation based in Amsterdam, established in 2016; the current CTO is Sara Gerion. The ambition of this organisation is to make it easier for all women and gender-non-conforming people to approach the tech field. They do so through various programs, including courses, networking events, educational talks, etc. SheSharp has more than 1000 members all over the world.
SheTech is a not-for-profit organisation that works to minimize the gender gap in technology, engineering and entrepreneurship via networking events for women. Founded in 2009 in Milan, the current president is Lisa Di Sevo. They contribute positively towards an inclusive STEM sector by connecting talented individuals who make it more meritocratic, while also creating new opportunities. SheTech has 12 000 members at the moment.
Women in Tech is an international non-profit organisation with a mission to minimize the gender gap and encourage women to embrace technology. It's a global community located in Paris, founded by Ayumi Moore Aoki in 2018. They strive towards educating women through actionable items, like workshops about coding careers or how to start a business, and how to gain skills that can be applied professionally at tech global companies. Women in Tech has 70 000 members.
The European Women in Tech Conference will be held on 28-29 June 2023 in Amsterdam and holds a networking hub, career advice clinic, meetups, presentations from powerful women in tech, including IBM, Schneider, and Logitech, among others. This two-day event celebrates all things tech-related, specifically aimed at females who want to make their mark on this industry through innovation & leadership skill development.
This Sweden-based organisation supports women who work or want to work within the tech field by providing access to knowledge sharing sessions, job postings, events, and more. Launched by Natasha Asimiadis and Diana Unander in 2017, WiTech's ambition is to minimise the gender gap in technology by bringing female students from higher education establishments together with corporations and the public sector.
Moreover, the organisation helps minimise the gender imbalance. It extends future work opportunities for females interested in IT industries via networking events that bring professionally compatible people together. The network has about 300 members.
EWPN (European Women Payments Network)
Founded in 2015 by Martha Mghendi-Fisher in the Netherlands, the European Women Payments Network is a non-profit organisation that strives to build associations for women in cards, fintech, and payments. They organise local networking evenings, classes, annual awards, research, etc.
EWPN’s ambition is to create a more accessible environment where professionals from various backgrounds come together without barriers or preconceived notions so they can share their experiences with others who may be going through similar hurdles.
WIM is a diverse group of women in the mobility field, coming together to boost female representation and share opportunities. Based in Germany, Switzerland, and the UK, founded in 2018. They offer memberships for startups or companies wanting to expand their presence with other like-minded professionals across various sectors, including investors who can provide advice on funding strategies. The community has more than 1500 members.
To enrich you networking with an introduction to inspiring female business angels, read the article: 25 European Business Angels to Follow on Twitter
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