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 Thursday, November 21, 2013


Europe's outstanding women, girls and organisations making an impact in the digital world were announced last week at ICT 2013 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Winners of Europe’s first-ever Digital Woman Awards, Sasha Bezuhanova, Lune Victoria van Eewijk, Amy Mather and HTW–Berlin, are recognized for their leadership, entrepreneurship and creativity in digital areas of study and work, and for their demonstrated commitment to increasing the number of girls and women in ICT studies and careers in Europe. The awards are under the patronage of Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes and organised by Zen Digital as part of their support of the EU Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs (see IP/138/182).

The 2013 European Digital Woman Award competition was organised by Zen Digital in partnership with the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS), DIGITALEUROPE, the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) and EUSchoolNET. The awards are affectionately known as the “Adas”, in honor of Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer and author of the algorithm for Babagge's mechanical computer. By recognising girls and women who have distinguished themselves in digital studies and careers, and organisations that help to increase the participation of girls and women in the digital sector, the awards aim to increase the number of digitally-skilled girls and women in Europe and help close the ICT skills gap in Europe.

Women are under-represented at all levels in the ICT sector, especially in decision-making positions. The ICT sector is rapidly growing creating around 120 000 new jobs every year. But due to differences in demands and skills – and despite soaring unemployment – there may be a lack of 900 000 skilled ICT workers in 2015.

The Ada Awards were first announced at the Digital Agenda Assembly in June of 2013 as a pledge to the Grand Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs, and the competition ran through end-September this year. Nominations for the girl, woman and organisation awards came from across the European Union and reflect a broad spectrum of digital fields – academia, research, industry, enterprise and creative and social sectors.

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