For forty years WICT has had a clear mission: to develop and empower women in the industry to maximize their potential. It is a real honor for me to take on the role of President our new European chapter, to continue championing this mission and grow our footprint to help colleagues in Europe achieve this aim.
Last week, we officially launched WICT Europe at the historic De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. Joined by a truly international audience, including guests from the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, UK and the US, we heard from some amazing industry leaders and had the opportunity to share personal experiences and ideas, as well as networking.
Recent research shows women-led teams receive just 7% of all European technology start up investment and only 5% of leadership positions in the UK technology sector are held by women. We know that diversity is more than just gender, but at our launch event our focus was on The Power of Women and what we can all collectively do to make improvements in our industry.
It was an honor to have Miranda Curtis, Board Director of Liberty Global and Liberty Latin America as our keynote speaker. From how to make yourself heard in the boardroom to the benefits of moving beyond operations towards roles in strategy and M&A, her advice and wisdom was an inspiration to everyone in the room.
Amy Blair, SVP and Chief People Officer at Liberty Gloabl, chaired a lively panel discussion focusing on empowering women. Joined by Enrique Rodriguez, EVP & Chief Technology Officer at Liberty Global, Jeroen Hoencamp, CEO of VodafoneZiggo, Marva Johnson, VP of Charter Communications and Melissa Raczak, Partner at Deloitte – the panel explored the challenges and opportunities they face in the market, their vision on diversity and how they are essential to strong leadership and strong business results in our industry.
Celebrating and recognizing great female leaders in our industry is at the heart of what we do at WICT, and we were delighted to be joined by our special guest Izabella Wileyfrom A&E Poland, who was awarded the WICT Woman to Watch for 2019.
The launch event is just the start of our journey. Today WICT has over 10,500 members – 10% of which are men – and we want to encourage as many colleagues and peers as possible to join. Membership provides unparalleled networking opportunities, access to professional development programs, webinars and much more besides. If you’d like to join, you can become a WICT Europe member here
EMMA LYON, VICE PRESIDENT – PEOPLE AT LIBERTY GLOBAL, AND PRESIDENT OF WICT EUROPE