Transatlantic Dialogue on Women in Tech

On 1 July in Brussels the Digital Leadership Institute, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services, is thrilled to host the third Ada 200 best practices roundtable of 2015 on getting more girls and women into digital studies and careers.   In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace, who is credited with being the world’s first computer-programmer, Ms. Cheryl Miller, Digital Leadership Institute founder, and Ms. Teresa Carlson, Vice President Worldwide Public Sector at Amazon Web Services, will co-host a high-level luncheon to explore this important question from a trans-Atlantic perspective, with focus on the following topics:

  • Rallying corporate and policy organisations around the question of getting more girls and women into digital studies and careers;
  • Encouraging an ongoing transatlantic dialogue on the issue; and
  • Identifying concrete actions for driving this issue up the policy agenda.

The luncheon will be followed by a 3D Jewelry Design & Printing workshop for girls generously sponsored by Amazon Web Services.  For outcomes and follow up activities, please stay tuned here!

Ms. Teresa Carlson is vice president of worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services where she is responsible for operations, strategy, sales and business development. She was previously vice president of federal government business at Microsoft, among several other positions, and worldwide vice president of marketing and business development for Lexign Incorporated. Before moving into IT, Carlson spent nearly 15 years in healthcare. Among her many honors is the March of Dimes Heroines in Technology Lifetime Achievement Award.  She is also one of the Washingtonian’s 100 Most Powerful Women.




DLI Update – May 2015

gamagMay 2015 –  Gender Equality in Media Campaign (Global): May is the month for promoting greater and better representation of women and girls in media. As an active member of the UN Global Alliance on Gender and Media and part of the GAMAG Advocacy Committee, DLI is promoting this campaign across Europe. Please support the campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to sign the UN petition for greater equality in media!

SWL1-3 May – Startup Weekend Leuven (Leuven, BE): On 3 May, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI founder, judged nine teams competing for final recognition at Startup Weekend Leuven. Prizes were rewarded to three projects: “FestivalRadar,” “Woodies,” and “ZenSay.” See more details and photos on the inQube Facebook page.

bxlsu8-10 May – Startup Weekend Brussels – Maker Edition (Brussels): 8-10 May in Brussels, Ms. Selma Franssen, DLI Communication Director and inQube Community Manager, and Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Digital Literacy Lead and g-Hive Community Manager, provided startup and maker advice to the over eighty participants of Brussels’ first-ever Startup Weekend Maker Edition. On the final day of the event, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, participated in an all-star jury and awarded prizes to deserving winners in three categories: Internet of Things, Fab and Maker. All the women participants of Startup Weekend Brussels – Maker Edition also received free admission to two upcoming inQube workshops. See more details and photos on the inQube Facebook page.

nuvolarosa19-21 May – Pink Wave / Nuvola Rosa Girls in ICT Event (Milan): On 19 May, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, traveled to Milan for the third edition of “Pink Cloud” (Nuvola Rosa) organized by Microsoft Italy, aiming to inspire 1500 girls to take up studies and careers in technology. Ms. Miller moderated a high-level panel on the topic of “Skilling up to be Digital Leaders of Tomorrow” with leading women from Microsoft, ASUS, Ernst & Young and Aviva. Ms. Miller and other event speakers also enjoyed a guided tour of the US and European pavilions at the World Expo 2015 and attended a VIP gala hosted by the Region of Lombardy.  Photos on the DLI Facebook page.

innov3520 May – MIT Innovators Under 35 Belgium (Brussels):  DLI has partnered with MIT Technology Review and Opinno to identify and recognise top innovators in Belgium, France and Poland for the 2015 MIT Innovators Under 35 Europe awards.  On 20 May, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, contributed to the event recognising Belgian award-winners for 2015 on the topic of “Diversity Equals Innovation.”

Be sure to visit our Calendar, Upcoming Activities page, and sign up for the DLI Newsletter in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!


DLI Update – April 2015

In April 2015, DLI formally welcomed a new board of directors to lead the organization in new directions.  We celebrated our fifth annual Girls in ICT Day event including launch of the 2015 European Ada Awards and a fantastic “Girls and the Future Internet” workshop — led by Esther Roure Vila from Cisco and Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, g-Hive Community Manager.  We also kicked off the “Kick@ss Online” inQube series for women entrepreneurs and career-seekers led by our very own Ms. Selma Franssen, Community Manager for inQube.  Please read below for more details on what we have been up to!

11 April – TEDxVilnius (Vilnius):  tedxvDLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, co-hosted the fifth annual TEDxVilnius event.  This year’s theme was “Pale Blue Dot,” as immortalized by the Voyager 1 photo of the Earth in 1990 and in the words of the great Carl Sagan.  The 2015 edition of TEDxVilnius featured inspiring speakers from around the world.  Cheryl herself gave a talk at the 2012 edition of TEDxVlinius on the subject “girls are going to save the world,” of course.  Photos here.

20 April – European Commission Forum on The Future of Gender Equality (Brussels): EC  Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Digital Literacy Lead, and Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, were invited to contribute to a European Commission forum on the future of gender policy in Europe.  Ms. Miller co-led two workshops on “Women and the Digital Society,” whose attendees set the following policy priorities in this area:

  1. dgjusticeDigital skills for girls;
  2. Funding for tech entrepreneurship by women; and
  3. Legislation against cyberviolence against girls and women.

A brochure for the event, which showcased several high-level speakers and addressed eight key subject areas for future gender policy is here.  A report on the forum outcomes is forthcoming.

girlsinict2015 logo25 April – Girls in ICT Day – 2015 European Ada Awards Launch (Brussels):  International Girls in ICT Day took place on 25 April, and with it came the DLI launch of the 2015 European Ada Awards – recognising outstanding girls and women in digital studies and careers in Europe, and the organisations who support them.  In its third year, the 2015 European Ada Awards will be handed out on 10 December in Brussels – in honour of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace – in the following three categories:

  1. Digital Woman of the Year
  2. Digital Girl of the YearAda Awards
  3. Digital Impact Organisation of the Year

Nominations for the three EU Ada Awards will be open until 23 October 2015.

SKFlogo30 April – DLI at SKF (Brussels):  On 30 April, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Digital Literacy Lead, and Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, visited the Belux headquarters of SKF to celebrate International Women’s Day and kick off the “Women Work” initiative for SKF employees.

Be sure to visit our calendar and sign up the DLI Newsletter in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!




DLI Launches 2015 EU Ada Awards

On 23 April 2015, at our fifth annual celebration of International Girls in ICT Day, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners – the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies, DIGITALEUROPE, European Centre for Women and Technology, and European Schoolnet – launched the third edition of the European Ada Awards recognising outstanding girls and women in digital studies and careers in Europe, and the organisations who support them.

The opening ceremony for the 2015 European Ada Awards featured lightening talks by inspiring Digital Leaders including girls and women in tech from across Europe, past & current Ada Award-winners, and supporters of the Awards, including:

Ada Awards

The launch of the new DLI digital innovation centre for girls and women included opening online nominations for the 2015 European Ada Awards in the following categories:

International Girls in ICT Day 2015:

The 2015 European Ada Awards Launch was part of an all-day Digital Leadership Institute celebration of International Girls in ICT Day 2015 that includes the following activities:

17:00-19:00 – g-Hive workshop on “Girls & The Future Internet”: A hands-on workshop for girls*, ages 13-17, to promote active participation and leadership by girls in designing and building the Internet of tomorrow, for fun, safety and wellbeing.

19:00-20:00 – 2015 European Ada Awards Launch & “Inspiring Digital Leaders” Talks, hosted by Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder & Executive Director.

20:00-22:00 – inQube workshop “Quantify Everything”: Third workshop in the Spring 2015 “Build A Kick&ss Online Presence” series for women* by Ms. Selma Franssen, DLI Communications Director & inQube Community Manager.

*Anyone who identifies as a girl or woman.

All DLI “Girls in ICT Day” and European Ada Awards events were an official part of the 2015 e-Skills for Jobs Campaign.

Volunteering, Donations & Sponsorship:

If you or your organisation is interested in partnering, volunteering, sponsoring girls & women to participate in DLI activities, or would like to support DLI and its mission in other ways, please contact us. Donations to DLI are gratefully accepted and go toward furthering its mission of bridging the gender gap and the digital divide worldwide.

Thank you to our 2014-2015 Ada Award Partners & Sponsors!

New DLI Board Members Announced

On the heels of an exciting DLI opening event on 9 March 2015, we are now thrilled to introduce the new members of the DLI Board of Directors. Learn more about each board member below, and stay tuned here for further news about their activities with the Institute.

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DLI Update – March 2015

Spring has sprung at the Digital Leadership Institute and we have welcomed it with open arms–and the Brussels launch of Europe’s first-ever digital innovation centre for girls and women!

In addition to celebrating this great milestone, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer and Ms. Selma Franssen, the DLI g-Hive and inQube Community Managers, kicked off our first digital and entrepreneurship events for girls and women in the brand new DLI space.  The DLI team were also in Belgium, Germany and the US this month promoting girls and women in what we call “ESTEAM”: entrepreneuership, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Please read about our activities below and check out our calendar for more upcoming events and activities.


EP4 March – International Women’s Day at the European Parliament (Brussels):  In celebration of International Women’s Day 2015, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, moderated an all-day conference at the European Parliament on the “strategy for equality between women and men in Europe“.  Photos here.


iwd9 March – International Women’s Day – DLI Digital Innovation Centre Opening (Brussels): On 9 March in Brussels, DLI celebrated International Women’s Day by opening the very first digital innovation centre for girls and women in Europe. Please see coverage of this event here.


csw5911 March – Urban Digital Women High-level Roundtable59th Meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (New York): On 11 March in New York City, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, moderated a panel on “digitally empowering women for positive urban transformation” co-chaired by the cities of Brussels and Barcelona as an official side-event of the Beijing+20 and 59th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations.  Photos here.


GSMA_logo17 March – GSMA Europe – Connected Women (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Executive Director, participated in a high-level roundtable on “accelerating the role of women in the digital economy” hosted by GSMA Europe, the regional organisation of the global association for GSM stakeholders.



adalsmall26 March – Ada Lovelace Conference (Berlin): In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, DLI founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, moderated a best practices roundtable on “getting more girls and women into digital studies & careers” hosted at GE Garages Berlin. Several high-level women representatives of Berlin-based tech organisations spoke at the roundtable, and an animated discussion with the 40+ participants ensued. This was the second Ada Lovelace Conference hosted with General Electric. Read about the first one – blogged by European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip – here!


Thank you to all our supporters and friends for welcoming Spring 2015 and this exciting new stage of DLI activity with us!  We are looking forward to enjoying the coming months and to welcoming many more Springs with you in the years to come!

Be sure to visit our calendar and sign up the DLI Newsletter in order to keep up DLI events and activities!


Europe's First Digital Innovation Centre for Girls and Women

On 9 March in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute and 150 of its closest friends and supporters celebrated International Women’s Day with the grand opening of DLI‘s Digital Innovation Centre for Girls & Women, a first of its kind in Europe!  This very special occasion was marked with fun, hands-on digital activities for all agesa high-level roundtable with Brussels, Belgian and European stakeholders, and a reception for all in attendance.

IMG_3131To kick off the evening, DLI volunteers and partners took over the entire, new 100m2 space to give young and young-at-heart members of the DLI family a try at hands-on digital activities with the following themes:

  • 3D Design & Printing
  • Digital Music & DJing
  • Bits, Bytes & Machine Code
  • Silly Robot Missions
  • Play Your Musical Fruit

In particular, the Bits, Bytes & Machine Code activity – a card game for all ages designed by Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Digital Literacy Lead and g-Hive Community Manager – was a popular (and loud) crowd favorite.  It required players to calculate in bits and bytes, and showcased the digital natives in the group, who nimbly trounced their analog ancestors to much vocal lamenting.dli launch ribbon

The Digital Activity Stations then gave way to an official DLI Opening Ceremony graced with a beautiful video message from Ms. Bianca Debaets, State Secretary of the Brussels Capital Region for Equal Opportunity and ICT, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony officiated by Miss Manon Van Hoorebeke2014 European Digital Girl of the Year, and Ms. Esther Roure Vila, 2014 European Digital Woman of the Year.  chat

The evening’s activities were rounded out with a high-level discussion on the topic of “Women Driving Digital Innovation,” with unique and insightful interventions by the VIPs in attendance, all amazing role models for girls and women in technology:


As a magical closing to an exciting evening, Ms. Pascale Van Damme, Managing Director of Dell Belgium & Luxembourg and 2014 “ICT Woman of the Year”, surprised the convened guests with dedication of forty Dell laptops to DLI saying “this is a contribution to help ensure the DLI Centre gets off on the right foot and is able to achieve its mission which we support very much.”

Thank you, Dell!  And thank you to all of our DLI community and supporters for such a wonderful and memorable DLI opening event!

First-Ever Ada Lovelace Conference

On 10 December 2014 in Brussels, in honor of the 199th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace – world’s first-ever computer programmer, woman and European – the Digital Leadership Institute held the inaugural Ada Lovelace Conference celebrating outstanding girls and women in technology in Europe and beyond.  The event, blogged by new European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip responsible for the Digital Single Market, was generously hosted by General Electric as part of the GE Garages initiative.  It included a high-level best practices round-table on “getting more girls and women into digital studies and careers,” and three hands-on digital workshops – on 3D design & printing, creative coding & “beautiful/electric Arduinos” – for girls ages six to sixteen.  The event enjoyed participation by over one hundred people, and was part of the 2014 European Hour of Code.

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Supporting Girls in ICT Day


International Girls in ICT Day is being celebrated around the world this year on 24 April 2014. The Digital Leadership Institute will join in the festivities by organising two Digital Muse workshops in Brussels and Geneva, and DLI founder, Cheryl Miller, will contribute to an expert panel on “Celebrating Successes, Inspiring Girls” at the UN International Telecom Union‘s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 April.  To join the Geneva event live, please click here.

Looking for a way to celebrate Girls in ICT Day 2014?  Please consult the ITU’s Girls in ICT Day portal to find resources for organising your own event and to learn about activities being organised in your area.  UN Women is also promoting Girls in ICT Day around the world.  And if you would like to do something simple and effective to get more girls into tech, please consider contributing your own 1-minute video to the European Commission’s #Passion4Tech campaign via their  “Every Girl Digital” Facebook page.

As always, if you are an girl or woman working and studying in digital sectors, or part of an organisation promoting more girls and women in tech, please consider nominating yourself or your organisation/project for a 2014 European Ada Award, deadline 16 September 2014!

Questions?  Please contact us!

2014 European Ada Awards Launch

Video care of the QUIDOS “Fascinating Stories” Series

Nominations for the 2014 European Ada Awards launched on 4 April 2014 in Athens, Greece, in the context of the “Women and Girls Go Digital!” event, co-organised by ECWT and celebrating the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Nominations for this year’s European Ada Awards – named after the first-ever computer programmer, Ada Lovelace, Lady Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace – are now being accepted in the following categories:

Deadline for submissions for the European Ada Awards is 16 September 2014 and winners in each category will be recognised at the Ada Awards Ceremony on 30 October 2014 in Rome, as part of the closing event for the 2014 eSkills for Jobs campaign. Please follow the noted links to find out more about each Award.

The international Ada Awards™ recognise outstanding girls and women in digital sectors globally and the organisations that support them. The European Ada Awards™, launched in 2013 by the Digital Leadership Institute (formerly Zen Digital Europe) and its partners – CEPIS, DIGITALEUROPE, ECWT and European SchoolNet – are an official pledge to the Grand Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs in Europe, and have the following objectives:

  • Increase the number of digitally-skilled girls and women in Europe;
  • Increase participation of girls and women in digitally-driven and digitally-enabled studies, enterprises and jobs;
  • Recognise outstanding women and girls in digitally-enabled and digitally-driven studies and careers; and
  • Showcase organisations who are increasing participation of girls and women, particularly in leadership roles, in digital sectors.

For questions or to become a partner or sponsor of the Ada Awards, please contact us.

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