On 7 November 2013 at Europe’s largest ICT event, ICT 2013, Ms. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, announced the winners of Europe’s first-ever Digital Girl, Digital Woman and Digital Impact Organisation of the Year Awards. Affectionately known as the “Ada Awards” after Ada Lovelace, in their inaugural year the Awards enjoy the patronage of Vice President Kroes and are an official pledge to the Grand Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs in Europe.
“I am so happy to congratulate these talented women and girls who have achieved great things in ICT,” said Vice President Kroes of the first group of Ada Award-winners. “And I hope they go on to inspire more women to explore the digital sector,” she added.
For distinguishing themselves in digital studies and careers, and for promoting greater participation of girls and women in digital sectors, Vice President Kroes recognised the following individuals and organisations for the 2013 Ada Awards in Europe:
- 2013 Digital Woman of the Year – Ms. Sasha Bezuhanova from Bulgaria
Sasha is founder of both the European Centre for Women and Technology and the Bulgarian Centre of Women in Technology, having launched the latter at end 2012. During her career as a global executive for Hewlett-Packard, Sasha succeeded in attracting key investment in the ICT sector in Bulgaria that resulted in thousands of new digital jobs. She is responsible for launching and actively contributing to a multitude of outreach activities that aim to inspire girls and women to pursue digital careers in Bulgaria and beyond.
- 2013 Digital Girl of the Year (11 and Up) –Amy from Manchester
14-year-old Amy has been coding for three years and has inspired people of all ages with her keynote speeches at the Raspberry Jamboree, Campus Party EU and Wired: Next Generation. She teaches older pupils how to code during her school lunch breaks and with the Manchester Girl Geeks.
- 2013 Digital Girl of the Year (10 and Under) –Lune from Belgium
Lune develops her own games and interactive movies with CoderDojo. She designs robots and dreams of becoming an engineer. At nine years of age, she is already a true digital visionary and has a track-record of getting girls her age excited about digital endeavor.
- 2013 Digital Impact Organisation of the Year – HTW-Berlin (Hocheschule für Technik ind Wirtschaft), Germany:
The Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft is Berlin’s largest University of applied sciences. In 2009, HTW inaugurated an innovative women-only bachelor program, “Frauenstudiengang Informatik und Wirtschaft”, aimed at increasing leadership for women in technology. The program accepts forty applicants every year and celebrated its first graduating class in 2012.
As part of their award, each girl finalist for the first-ever European Adas received a brand-new HP Slate7 from Hewlett-Packard, and all the finalists are eligible to spend shadowing days at different SAP locations around the world in the coming year. The Award partnership is grateful to HP, SAP and Facebook for their contribution to the European Ada Awards.
The Ada Awards are an initiative of Zen Digital Europe in partnership with the Council of European Professional Informatic Societies (CEPIS), DIGITALEUROPE, the European Centre for Women in Technology (ECWT) and European SchoolNet, and were created to celebrate European female talent in digital fields, promote European role models, and recognise organisations that support diversity in digital sectors.
The Ada Award partners view the ICT 2013 celebration as a major milestone in promoting women in digital studies and jobs in Europe, and hope it will ignite more initiatives attracting and retaining women in these sectors in Europe and beyond.
For further information about the Ada Awards and actvities of the Award Partners, please contact us.