Schwesig calls for more support to women working in the technology sector

At the Vodafone Institute's conference "Women in Tech" German Minister for Family Affairs, Manuela Schwesig, called for more support to women working in the technology sector.

Berlin, 14.3.2017 – German Minister for Family Affairs, Manuela Schwesig, has called for more support to women working in the technology sector. In her opening address at the “Women in Tech: Breaking the Glass Ceiling” conference in Berlin, which was organised by the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communication.

Manuela Schwesig
Manuela Schwesig

Schwesig said, “Digital change will affect every area of our working world and social lives. We have to empower women participate in this new world so that opportunities can be exploited and threats averted. We cannot allow our digital economy to fall even further behind. Few other countries are so persistently prejudiced against women and the number of disadvantaged women is alarming. The most pressing issues to be resolved are: equal pay for equal work, equal opportunities in management and equal access to finance.”

Schwesig was joined by other speakers at the event, including startup founders Riva-Melissa Tez (Permutation Ventures), Lisa Witter (apolitical), Marieme Jamme (IAmTheCode), Ida Tin (Clue) and Dupsy Abiola (InternAvenue), as well as Anna Dimitrova (Strategy and Digital Director, Vodafone Germany).

The conference was organised to mark the end of the first round of F-LANE, a unique accelerator programme in Europe for high-potential digital impact ventures focusing on female empowerment. F-LANE participants spent six weeks at the Impact Hub in Berlin gaining key business insights, building their networks and benefitting from diverse coaching sessions. As the last item on the Women in Tech Conference agenda the F-LANE participants presented their startups to the audience.

The “New World With Old Roles?” study which was recently published by the Vodafone Institute revealed that many female startup founders felt they were at a disadvantage over their male colleagues. Alice Steinbrück, author of the study and the Vodafone Institute’s Strategy and Programmes Director, commented: The popular cliché that there aren’t any women with tech expertise is outdated. To exploit the potential that already exists, the media, policy makers and investors have to change their tack.”

German Minister for Family Affairs, Manuela Schwesig, at the Vodafone Institute’s conference “Women in Tech” in Berlin (photo: Robert Felgentreu/Vodafone Institute)