Campus and Community

A breakfast to share experiences of successful women in tech

Students, professors, entrepreneurs and professionals of tech areas shared experiences in a breakfast entitled “Women in Tech@Técnico” organised on the occasion of Web Summit 2017.

“We want to have a lot more women in science and technology and to achieve this we have to tell young women that these are interesting areas”, said Professor Arlindo Oliveira, president of Instituto Superior Técnico, in the beginning of the event that brought together about 80 professionals, professors and students. Currently, 30% of students are girls and, according to professor Arlindo Oliveira, Técnico has to attract more female students.

The group Gender Balance at Técnico was created last year to increase the number of female students. Helena Geirinhas, coordinator of this group, recalled that according to a PWC study held in the UK, only 3% of the girls think about a tech career. Therefore it is important to show that tech careers can be “exciting and creative”.

Ana Teresa Freitas, professor at Técnico and CEO at HeartGenetics confessed that “Since I was 10 I wanted to be an engineer”. Today we have “the great responsibility of bringing more girls into tech areas because it is everywhere”, she pointed out.

According to Julie Filucci, co – founder and senior managing director at Aviation Division International Higher Education Group, there are just “5% of women pilots worldwide, which leads to a 50% loss of talent of population for this career”.

During the event, Catarina Ventura, MSc student, won a ticket to the Web Summit 2017, which was given by Isabel Van Der Kolk, from Inside Sales Department at Quiver, and one of the organisers of this event. Visibly happy, Catarina already knows that, on November 7, she will attend a lecture on artificial intelligence.

For Mojgan Hashemian, PhD student, these events “are always motivating due to experience sharing and networking ”. Maria Gil, member of the executive board at NOVABASE Corporate Ventures praises the event “Técnico is an example of excellence in higher education. Bringing these young people together and closer to entrepreneurship and technology is extraordinary”.

“Contribute to women’s empowerment and show female students that they are not alone and can support each other” was the main goal of this event, as explains Isabel Van Der Kolk.