Women Techmakers Summit 2018

July 8, 2018

Connecting women in technology

This weekend I had the chance to participate in the Women Techmaker Leads Summit. In case you do not know what Women Techmakers is - it is a Google-led initiative and global program to empower women in the industry. Its aim is to provide visibility, community, and resources for women in technology globally. The initiative has local communities around the world - like ours - that are part of the global community.

This year the summit took place in Madrid, Spain at the Google Campus - a space that wants to give people a “home” who want to get involved in Entrepreneurship.

Google Office

Supported by Google, Women Techmaker Leads from all over Europe and Israel had the chance to meet in Madrid and connect with other like-minded women (and also a few great men). All of us share one mission - we are supporting diversity in tech and also taking an active role in making it happen. In an industry where most of us are the minority, it is especially awesome to meet so many other inspiring women that are all on the same path.

Sharing one mission: Making tech more colorful

In the opening remarks by Katharina Lindenthal and Natalie Villalobos from Google, we heard again about the sad numbers when it comes to women’s participation in future technologies. Society as a general has a problem and we need everyone’s contribution to understanding the problem to find solutions.

We know what we have to do, to work on to making things better. To mention some of the points we discussed during dinner and afterwards:

  • connect women to other women who can mentor them (whether it is the experienced engineer who needs a mentor to become a speaker for conferences or the woman who is just starting out)
  • mandatory mentorships within companies for the management which is mostly male
  • involving men in being part of the solution in general
  • start early and strengthen the confidence of young girls by exposing them to societies unconscious negative influence towards women and tech and getting them in touch with women who have technical jobs
  • connect women to other women to make them stay in their jobs and make them feel less alone
  • make women in technology visible (stock photos of tech & leadership positions, presentations, language, conference speakers and attendants)
  • provide a safe space for learning and getting in touch with technical topics
  • educating everyone especially managers and people in power about their unconscious biases
  • couples sharing the work that is involved with parenthood
  • using your power as an expert in tech (does not matter the gender) to make it clear when interviewing that diverse environments matter to you
  • using your power as an expert in tech (does not matter the gender) to not join all male panels
  • using your power as a company to not sponsor conferences that are making no effort on diversity

Definitely, there should be something everybody can contribute in solving the problem we currently have in society and making it possible that one day we have equality in technology and leadership positions.

Two days full of networking, code labs, and sessions

After the keynote session by Natalie, we had the chance to split up by interest and either do some code labs on Firebase or listen to sessions from Machine Learning to best practice for Voice UI.

Google Office

Adi Mazor Kario, Google Expert

Google Office

Yolanda Azcunaga, Google

Google Office

Get involved at moinworld - part of the global Women Techmakers Community

I really enjoyed learning new things and it was an honor to spend time with all these smart women. The best thing is that I am going to meet most of them again at the Firebase Summit in Prague in October.

It was an exceptional experience for me and I am coming home inspired and with new ideas for future collaborations with the women I got to know as I would also like all of you to get to know them. In the meanwhile, if you would like to get involved in our community reach out to me or the rest of the team at moin@moinworld.de. Teach someone something new. Provide support, backup, and promote others. There are people like you, there is support for you in tech, and we can’t wait to see what you bring to the table.

By Anja Schumann