Had lots of fun with my fellow "women in tech" panelists at the Salesforce World Tour in Munich. Hope we managed to encourage more women to consider tech and leadership careers.
Last week I had the pleasure of spending a fantastic afternoon at the U.S. Embassy Berlin attending a roundtable discussion with Shelley McKinley on “Quotas - A Boost for Women in Business”? moderated by Kimberly M. Emerson. While we were discussing many promising solutions, we still had to acknowledge that there is a long way to go. Studies from Scandinavian countries such as Norway show that even though a quota for women on boards was introduced many years ago it still hasn't had a substantial trickle down effect on promoting women in management positions.
Some of the major take home messages were that we need to create a climate that allows for better work-life balance regardless of gender and encourage companies to provide services that allow parents to pursue a career without having to worry about affordable childcare when they need it.
Also women can gain a lot by focusing more on building and using their networks. We all benefit from supporting each other rather than competing to advance in our careers.
From the 7th to 15th of February I had the pleasure of going on a study trip to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Tucson, Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix sponsored by the US Embassy in Berlin. Along with eight other delegates running entrepreneurship education and tech transfer programmes and organisations in Germany, I learned more about entrepreneurship education in the U.S., the various support measures for entrepreneurs and start-up companies, including government incentives and the efforts of higher education institutions and business incubators and accelerators to nurture new businesses.
Below are my impressions I wrote up for the Facebook page of our initiative Inspiring Female Founders focusing on support for women entrepreneurs in the U.S..
For impressions covering the trip from a more general entrepreneurial perspective I recommend my fellow delegate Arjan Tupan's brilliant blog for Startup Dorf:
Our first event in 2015 took place at the Caribbean Embassy in Munich in collaboration with the SCE Innovation-Café!
It was an inspiring, fun but also thought provoking event with fantastic speakers and wonderful cuisine. Our panelists Christina van Elteren from The Eclectic Journey, Daria Saharova from Skillcapital and Kate Pek, Software Engineer at Google shared their experience from startup life to investment management and working as a female tech lead of one of the core Google services.
It was fantastic to show some great role models who didn't just share their success stories, but also talked about the difficulties trying to maintain a healthy work/life balance, challenges they face with their business or job and the importance of loving what you do.
Thanks to our fantastic panelists, our co-organizers at SCE, our sponsor Allianz Digital Accelerator, the team of the The Caribbean Embassy and of course to all our guests!
Thanks to everyone who joined us at our fantastic launch event at Microsoft last night!
It was great to see some many inspiring women and supportive men!
Special thanks go to our great event host & sponsor Microsoft and to our brilliant guest entrepreneur Jenny Richter from MeetingMole for her amazing and inspiring talk about founding and running a software startup.
We'd also like to thank Doug Griffiths from Angels Den and Konstantin Frolov from Mashup Finance for their introduction to different funding options for women entrepreneurs.
We're looking forward to many great events in the future and hope to see all of you again soon!