In her opening speech of the conference 'Women and Technology', organized on Thursday 13 July by the Barcalona Chamber of Commerce and hosted by the Parliament the President of the Catalan Parliament , Sra Núria de Gispert, stressed that commitment to real equality between men and women and strengthening the representation of women in new technologies is needed to overcome the economic crisis.
Madame de Gispert pointed out that Catalonia requires 'all the talents of men and women to return to being an economic engine - awareness and standards in all areas. Women should have the same equal footing as men, both from training and from the profession'.
The President of the Chamber of Commerce Barcelona, Sr. Miquel Valls, expressed his concern about 'the low presence of women in business, especially in the sector of new technologies' and explained that this is not not just a question of justice, but economic necessity, because 'companies need talent tenacious and persistent that women have already shown in other areas such as research'.
The conference aimed to analyze the relationship of women to new technologies, with Eva Fabry, Director of the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) as keynote speaker presentencing the latest development on European level.
In her speech ‘Every Woman Digital = Smart Growth’ the Director of ECWT explained in a passionate speech the unique opportunity for women to contribute to the success of the Digital Agenda and the Europe 2020 strategy. She pointed out that under the leadership of Vice President Neelie Kroes, Commissioner of the Digital Agenda there is a clear and strong political will to support ‘creating of a new culture where in Europe both men and women collaboratively can succeed in creating an economic growth for Europe’. She stressed that the implementation has to be adapted to the context and culture of every region and expressed that the creativity of Catalonia will surely give feasible results now that a multi-stakeholder platform for getting more women involved in technology is being formed under the collaborative leadership of Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and ATI taking on board companies in Catalonia and advancing policies to bring more women in research, science and technology.
Presentation Eva Fabry, Director of the ECWT:
The expert panel of the day included Dr Cecilia Castaño, Director of the research program Gender and ICT at the Open University of Catalonia, Maria Freire, Communication Director of Dones en Xarxa, Monica Roca, the founder and director of the engineering department of the company Isardsat Altimetry and Montserrat Gatell, the President of the Catalan Institute for Women.
A key role in the future work of the platform will be played by Anna Mercade, Director of DEO – l’Obesrvatori Dona, Empresa Economia in the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and acting as moderator of the conference and l’Obra Social de la Caixa, represented in the conference by Sr Enric Banda, Director of science, research and the social environment of la Caixa.
The event was attended by MEPs Meritxell Borras (CiU), Caterina Mieras (PSC) and Mercedes Civit (ICV-EUiA) and around 150 representatives from business, academia and NGOs