DLI Update – Summer 2021

The DLI Board are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women. Find out more below about our outreach activities in Summer 2021, including participation at the G20 Italy 2021 Women20 Summit in Rome where the G20 Italy 2021 Women20 Communiqué was delivered with contributions by all delegations including the EU led by Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck. For upcoming activities by DLI and its partners please visit here, and have a look at our calendar for events organised by DLI.

*Entrepreneurship and Art powered by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics


4 June – “AI and Business” BSBI Café Scientifique (Online): On 4 June, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined an online panel on the topic of “AI and Business,” as part of the Café Scientifique series hosted by Berlin School of Business and Innovation.


17 June – EU Parliament Workshop “Digital Gender Gap(Online): On 17 June, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, spoke at an online workshop on The Digital Gender Gap, addressing the subject of “Access to Funding for Women Entrepreneurs in the Digital Ecosystem,” for Members of European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research & Energy (ITRE) Committee.


23 June – “Impact of the W20 in the Lives of European Women” Panel (Online): Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined a panel discussion, with opening remarks by Vice Presidents of the EU Parliament and European Commission, on the “Impact of the W20 in the Lives of European Women,” hosted by the G20 Women20.


13-15 July – G20 Women20 Italy Summit (Rome & Online): On 13-15 July, 2021 G20 Italy Women20, the women’s stakeholder engagement group to the G20 meetings in Italy, hosted the 2021 Women20 Summit in Rome, Italy. Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, participated at the Summit as Head of the EU W20 Delegation and Co-chair of the W20 Italy Digital Working Group.


Be sure to visit our Calendar and Outreach Activities page to keep up with DLI events and activities! You can also and sign up for the DLI Newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

Cheryl Miller Elected Chair of Women Entrepreneurship Platform

1 June 2021, Brussels, Belgium –  Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, Director of Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute, was recently elected at a General Assembly meeting to the role of Chairwoman and President of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (“WEP”), the pan-European membership organization whose mission is promoting women-led enterprise in Europe with a focus on advocacy, network-building, and knowledge-sharing. Miller Van Dÿck succeeds Grazia Rendo. 

Miller Van Dÿck was a founding WEP member in 2013 and board member of WEP since 2018.  She concurrently holds the position of Head of EU Delegation for the Women20 engagement group to the G20, and is former Chair of the European Centre for Women and Technology in Belgium, and Governing Board Member of the Digital Skill and Jobs Coalition for the European Commission.

As Director of the Digital Leadership Institute, Miller Van Dÿck has long championed women entrepreneurs in Europe particularly in digital fields, and of her new role says, “women-led enterprise is always and everywhere the most dynamic engine for economic growth.” Under her leadership, and with support from a membership representing 10 million women entrepreneurs across Europe, Miller Van Dÿck says “in the coming three years, WEP will prioritize its role as top advocate for a sustainable, green and digital recovery, and transformation in Europe led by women.”

DLI Update – Winter 2021

The DLI Board are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women. Find out more below about our outreach activities in Winter 2021, including launch of the 2021 EU Delegation to the G20 Women20 which took pace at end-January. For upcoming activities by DLI and its partners please visit here, and have a look at our calendar for events organised by DLI.

*Entrepreneurship and Art powered by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics


27 January – EU Women20 Delegation Kickoff Meeting (Online): On 27 January, the EU Delegation of the Women20, women’s stakeholder engagement group to the G7/G20, kicked off online ahead of the 2021 G20 meetings in Italy. As new Head of Delegation, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, chaired the inaugural gathering of the 2021 EU Women20 Delegation.


10 February – Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board Meeting (Online): On 10 February, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined the final meeting of the inaugural European Commission Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition governing board ahead of a call for new board members commencing in March. Ms. Miller Van Dÿck has served on the DSJC governing board through a critical stage in its development and growth, beginning with its inception in 2017.


22-23 February – Italy Women20 Kickoff (Rome & Online): On 22-23 February, DLI Founding Director, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, joined the kickoff meeting of W20 Italia 2021, the women’s stakeholder engagement group to the 2021 G20 meetings in Italy. Ms. Miller Van Dÿck participated in the meeting as Head of the EU W20 Delegation and as Co-Chair of the W20 Italia 2021 Digital Working Group.


4 March – WEP Board of Directors Meeting (Online): DLI Founding Director, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, joined the quarterly Board of Directors meeting of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform, which took place on 4 March online.


8 March – UN Observance of International Women’s Day (Online): On 8 March, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined UN Women’s Observance of International Women’s Day 2021, aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, on “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, on the way to the Generation Equality Forum,” which took place online.


9 March – WEgate Peer-Learning Workshop on Women’s Entrepreneurship (Online): On 9 March, the WEgate project organised its third online peer-learning workshop on the topic of “Women’s Entrepreneurship” with participation from DLI executive members Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, Katja Legisa and Loredana Bucseneanu.


11 March – AWS Cloud Ambassador Meetup (Online): Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined the 11 March online meetup of AWS Cloud Ambassadors, in which role Ms. Miller Van Dÿck and her peers work to promote uptake of emerging and future technology skills among vulnerable communities, especially girls and women, around the world.


14-26 March – 65th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (Online): From 14 to 26 March, UN Women organized the 65th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Global civil society organizations also supported the session with a series of virtual events organized via NGO CSW and its partners.


15 March – Council of Europe “Digital Gender Gaps & Opportunities” Event (Online): As a side-event of the 65th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the Council of Europe, National Council of German Women’s Oganizations, and their partners organized an online event addressing the subject of “Digital Gender Gaps and Opportunities.”


23 March – European Parliament “Policy Options for the Ethical Governance of Disruptive Technologies” (Online): On 23 March online, the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) organized an online event on the subject of “Policy Options for the Ethical Governance of Disruptive Technologies,” including with major EU-funded projects,SHERPA, SIENNA and PANELFIT, former to which DLI’s Founding Director, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, acts as an adviser.


26 March – Mommypreneurs Closing Gala 2021 (Online): On 26 March, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, provided a keynote address to the graduates of the 2021 cohort of the Mommypreneurs, a project reaching 2300 women with entrepreneurship skills from across seven countries in Europe.



Be sure to visit our Calendar and Outreach Activities page to keep up with DLI events and activities! You can also and sign up for the DLI Newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

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DLI and Partners Launch WE4Change Project

On 22 March 2021, the Digital Leadership Institute and four partner organizations from across Europe launched the WE4Change initiative supporting “girls and women connecting for environmental change.” WE4Change is an EU-funded project aiming to foster civic engagement of girls and young women from disadvantaged backgrounds by empowering them to understand their strengths, develop digital, leadership and changemaking skills, and increase their sense of initiative in the social and environmental sector.

For the next two years, Digital Leadership Institute (BE), Stimmuli for Social Change (GR), Empow’Her (FR), Tekedu (MD) and ZERO Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável (PT) will work together to offer an innovative combination of hands-on activities, training on digital, innovation and environmental awareness skills, problem-solving and co-creation of prototypes to address climate change, responding directly to the needs of young women to break down stereotypes, develop their creativity and confidence, and contribute to society.

The first project meeting took place on the 23rd of March 2021, with project partners discussing the first project phase aiming at setting a solid and appropriate foundation for the development of the We4Change project. The first steps include a context specific gender analysis that will be conducted in each participating country looking at i) youth policy & youth participation programmes, ii) environment & climate, iii) digitalization and innovation related to the issues tackled by the project to ensure the appropriate development of the trainings and materials to be developed throughout the project.

To stay updated on the WE4Change initiative, follow the project Facebook page!

Women Power Code Skills Week

The Women Power Code project aims to celebrate the art of creating with code, to motivate young and adult women to start developing tech skills, and to connect individuals with organisations keen to support women in the digital society. In order to showcase achievements in the project, WPC partners from across Europe are organising Women Power Code Skills Week, a series of events addressing disruptive technologies and career opportunities arising in the tech sector. Join us for interesting discussions and practical workshops by registering at the links below, and join the Women Power Code Social Learning Community to meet like-minded peers.

14 July 18:00 CEST: Introduction to the Internet of Things: ”Build your first mobile app” – online workshop organised by Digital Leadership Institute in collaboration with CIVIC. Exploring the Internet of Things, this online workshop will focus on practical skills as we will be creating our first mobile app with MIT App Inventor.

16 July 18:00 CEST: Introduction to 3D Printing: ”Design your first 3D object” – online workshop organised by Digital Leadership Institute. Examining development of the 3D printing market in recent years, during this workshop we will learn the first steps to create a 3D object and discuss the opportunities for developing new skills and competences in this field. 

21 July 18:00 CEST: Women Power Code Final Conference: ”New skills for the digital age” – online conference organised by the Digital Leadership Institute. During this event, we will discuss the results of the Women Power Code project, focusing on the most relevant skills for the digital age and opportunities in technological fields for women who want to enter or shift to digital careers.

We look forward to welcoming you at these exciting events taking place as part of Women Power Code Skills Week!

World’s First #WomenVsCOVID19 Hackathon

On 24-26 April, as part of the #EUvsVirus event attracting 20,000 participants from around the world, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners hosted the first-ever global #WomenVsCovid19 hackathon tackling the unique challenges facing girls and women from COVID19 .  With 160 participants, ranging from 16 to 70 years of age and representing over 25 countries, the three-day “Move It Forward” event brought together policy-makers and private sector actors to support teen and adult women in driving solutions to the address the coronavirus pandemic.

Move It Forward for #WomenVsCOVID19 participants enjoyed interventions from European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Ms. Julie Linn Teigland, Global Director for Women Fast Forward at EY, Ms. Anna Falth of UN Women, Ms. Pirkko Mahlamäki from European Women’s Lobby, and Ms. Bernadette Gemmell of the European Institute for Gender Equality.  Miss Alai Miranda Blanco Lascurain, recipient of DLI’s 2019  European Digital Girl of the Year award, also inspired participants by sharing about her own 3D-printed invention supporting frontline healthworkers in Spain, vast majority of whom are women.

During the event, Move It Forward project teams also benefited from expert mentorship and digital skills trainings–including website development, smartphone app coding, and data visualization–in order to develop initiatives that tackle economic and social challenges impacting the world’s girls and women as a result of COVID19.

Top #WomenVsCOVID19 projects, recognised by a world class jury including Ms. Charlene Lambert from Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform, Ms. Wendy Diamond of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization, Ms. Jaya Jiwatram, of UN Women, Ms. Anne Ravanona of Global InvestHer, and Ms. Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck from DLI, were the following:

  1. All-Around Award:  WAVEA smartphone application tackling psychological abuse and delivering pan-European emergency-response for victims of violence against women and girls
  2. Innovation AwardExit Tales – An animated documentary of COVID19 stories from the perspective of migrant children
  3. Impact AwardArt Time with GrandmaAn inter-generational art-making project promoting women artists and connecting kids and elderly women in order to combat isolation during COVID19

DLI and partner Global InvestHer will support winning #WomenVsCOVID19 projects with incubation, mentorship, and training, and projects are also eligible for further support from the wider #EUvsVirus event that announced prizes for the top projects among over 1500 delivered.

Event partners also committed to supporting recognized projects and #MoveItForward events in other geographies. The first #MoveItForward for #WomenVsCOVID19 event was live-streamed on the DLI Facebook page, and links to the separate sessions may be found below.

Thank you to all of our amazing partners who made this event such a success!  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us to support future editions of #MoveItForward!

Move It Forward for Women vs. COVID19

Outcomes from this event are included in our 30 April 2020 post “World’s First Women versus COVID19-Hackathon

The Digital Leadership Institute and its partners are proud to announce a Move It Forward – female digital starters event for Women versus COVID19taking place online on 24-26 April 2020 (all times CET, GMT+2), in support of the #EUvsVirus hackathon organised by the European Commission, and in celebration of Girls in ICT Day 2020!

Move It Forward female digital starters events are an initiative of inQube, DLI’s female digital accelerator, and are supported by top technology companies, non-profit organisations, and youth and women’s networks and communities. Their objective is to give teen and adult women* the skills to become digital entrepreneurs and leaders, and to support them in driving positive change in their communities and society-at-large.

Participants:  If you are a teen or adult woman* interested in building your tech and entrepreneurship skills while addressing challenges for Women during the COVID19 crisis, please sign up for this FREE event!

Coaches/Volunteers/Partners:  Please contact us if you would like to support this event. Opportunities exist for Move It Forward volunteers, interpreters, coaches, jury members, content and media partners, prize contributors and sponsors.

*Anyone who identifies as a woman

Draft Programme:
Day One – 24 April (Friday – All Times CET, GMT+2):

Day Two – 25 April (Saturday – All Times CET, GMT+2):

Day Three – 26 April (Sunday – All Times CET, GMT+2):

  • 09:00-09:30 – Check-in & Virtual Coffee
  • 09:30-12:00 – Workshop Webinar 3: Build a Smartphone App with MIT App Inventor for Android
  • 12:00-15:00 – Project Work with Coaches
  • 15:00-16:00 – Project Submissions to #EUvsVirus (optional)
  • 16:00-19:00 – Closing Session (open to the Public): Project Pitches for “Women versus COVID19”

  • 19:00-20:00 – Virtual Reception with #EUvsVirus
**Awards:  Prizes will be handed out for the top three projects presented at the Closing Session:
  • Overall Best: 6-month Virtual inQubation at DLI; 10 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; and free access to Crowdfunding 100 online course ($197 value) care of event partner Global InvestHer
  • Most Impact: 4-month Virtual inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching
  • Most Innovative: 4-month Virtual inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching

2019 European Ada Awards Finalists Announced

On behalf of the 2019 European Ada Awards jury and under the esteemed patronage of of Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners are thrilled to announce the finalists of the 2019 European Ada Awards !

2019 European Digital Woman of the Year™ Award Finalists:

Nadia Aimé (Belgium)

Once homeless and a school dropout herself, Nadia’s work focuses on improving the lives of vulnerable groups, through education and creating more interest and enthusiasm surrounding careers within entrepreneurship and the digital sector. Today, she is an avid technologist social/tech entrepreneur, educator, a single mom, and studying cyber-security who seeks to help people evolve in a fast-paced world of technology and business. Nadia’s passion for sharing knowledge and constant learning, most especially improving her tech skills which she hones, birthed She Leads Digital, which is a Brussels based tech organization, aims at providing programs and initiatives that foster enthusiasm and encourage women and youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

Dee Saigal (United Kingdom)

Dee Saigal is the Founder, CEO & Creative Director of Erase All Kittens – an adventure game designed to give girls the confidence to code, whilst teaching digital and 21st Century skills. Like many women, Dee grew up believing that careers in technology were more for boys, which is why it took her years to follow her dream of getting into game design – and why she founded EAK. She and her team spent 12 months interviewing hundreds of students before designing their product, in order to create a coding tool that girls genuinely love. EAK has 150,000 players in over 100 countries, and 95% of girls want to learn more about coding after playing. Dee’s goal is for EAK to transform the way that children perceive coding and engineering, and to empower millions of girls worldwide with transferable, digital skills.

Eva Meyer de Stadelhofen (France)

Eva is the 21 year old founder of GirlCode, an international nonprofit who aims to reduce the gender gap in the STEM industry by offering free coding lessons to girls of age 7 to 17 in their schools. She also created a mentorship program through which GirlCode students can meet entrepreneurs, scientists, and all-around girl bosses in order to help them find their STEM superstar. GirlCode, which started as a small club, has rapidly grown these last two years into a worldwide “sisterhood of nerds”, with 304 clubs in 25 different countries and an estimated impact of 81’345 girls as of September 2019. Thanks to her work with her organisation, Eva has recently been chosen by Global Changemakers and the Thomas Reuters Foundation to attend their summits as one of the best entrepreneurs worldwide.

2019 European Digital Girl of the Year™ Award Finalists:

Tayra from Bulgaria (10 year old and under category)

Tayra is 10 years old and was born and lives in Sofia. Besides the gift of learning foreign languages (at the age of 8 she speaks some German, English, Chinese and Turkish), Tayra has another talent in the field of modern computer technologies. At the age of 8 Tayra participated in the  IT Znayko award contest and won a prize for an original idea and, as a member of the Coder Dojo club, won an award from the Bulgarian version of Coolest Projects Sofia 2017. The great victory comes in Dublin, Ireland, at the international competition Coolest Project 2017 involving more than 1,000 children from 17 countries. She won in the Scratch category at Coolest Projects 2017, when she is only 8 years old with her awesome project ABCD Code, which is a Scratch game developed to help children learn about healthy eating and the benefits of fruit and vegetables with the help of Makey Makey. The Healthy Eating project in English and Bulgarian version also became involved in the kindergarten process. She personally organizes and participates in workshops. At the age of 9, on 25.03.2018 she won a special prize from the Softuniada Kids (organized by Software University in Sofia, Bulgaria) with an amazing project (scratch project- “Three bears farytail”with the sign language videos for deaf kids).

Selin from Turkey (11-14 year old category)

Selin  is 13 years old and loves building robots and coding also loves animals and travelling. She started coding when she was 8 years old. Selin won first prize in the Hardware category at Coderdojo’s Coolest Projects International in 2018 with iC4U, her robot guide dog for the visually impaired. She was also a finalist in the Open Innovation category of the European Youth Awards 2018. In 2019 she received a 100% educational scholarship and attended a Robotic and Engineering summer camp held at Stanford University. She is presently working on the second version of her robot guide dog, the Raspberry Pi version and on a robot that aims to make life easier in schools and hospitals. She is hoping that her robot will help to make children’s stay in hospital a little easier if only to make them smile. She codes in Python language.    She is working on integrating image processing, voice control and artificial intelligence assisted dialogue capabilities in her robot project.  her aim is to study robotics at MIT or Stanford University and to build a humanoid. Selin speaks English, Turkish and French, she is also learning Python, C++ and Java. She facilitates workshops, mentors her peers and gives presentations at technology related events in order to inspire others especially girls.  She lives in Istanbul, Turkey with her mum, dad and dog Bailey.

Anne from Belgium (15-17 year old category)

Anne Maelbrancke, 15 years old, student at the Bernardustechnicum Oudenaarde, Belgium. Anne has been a member of Coderdojo Belgium since 2014. In 2015 she was confronted with a friend who had to stay at the hospital for quite a long time. She proposed to start an initiative called Clinicoders (facebook.com/clinicoders) to bring technology and programming to children in the hospital. Monthly, together with friend, she animates children patients with programming and robots.
Clinicoders also donates resources to hospitals to educate technology and programming in their schools. This year a “Clinimakers” initiative has been started to trigger children to build solutions for disabled children.

Alai from Spain (15-17 year old category)

Alai’s passion for STEM began when she was 7 years old. She has experience coding in multiple code languages, and has attended STEM workshops from textile technology to designing and 3D prototyping. In 2019, she was invited to speak at the Amazon Web Services Summit in Madrid to discuss her experience as a girl in technology. Additionally, this past May she was invited by Google to Women TechMakers Alicante to discuss her experience and future projects.

 

Congratulations to the 2019 Ada Awards finalists and all our nominees for their amazing leadership in digital fields in Europe!

Please join us at the Google Digital Atelier in Brussels on 16 October 2019 for the sixth edition of the European Ada Awards ceremony, where we will announce winners of the 2019 awards, with a special opening address by Commissioner Gabriel and a closing reception. This event is open to the public on a strictly first-come-first-served basis, with pre-registration required.

DLI Update – January-February 2019

Happy 2019 from DLI!

The Digital Leadership Institute Board and Executive Team are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women.  Find out about our outreach activities of January and February 2019 below, and please visit our calendar for events organised by DLI.

*STEM powered by Entrepreneurship and Arts

21 January 2019 – “Europe for Her” Conference with European Committee of the Regions (Brussels) : On 21 January in Brussels, Ms. Katja Legisa, DLI/Digital Brusselles Director, joined a panel on “Education and Careers,” as part of an event promoting a larger role for girls and women in Europe’s cities and regions, hosted by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR).


24 January 2019 – #SheDIDIT Learning Library: “Experts Speaking Out”  (Brussels) : On 24 January at Start IT Brussels, Ms. Che Van Dyck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a Learning Library mentorship gathering as one of seven women role models being showcased by the #SheDIDIT campaign, promoting entrepreneurship by women of diverse backgrounds in Belgium.


29 January 2019 –  GSMA Winter Celebration (Brussels) :  On 29 January in Brussels, Ms. Che Van Dyck, DLI Founding Director, joined a celebration of leadership by women in digital sectors hosted at GMSA in Brussels.  Ms. Van Dyck was part of a high-level panel for which the opening keynote was provided by Ms. Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society.


3-5 February 2019 – W20 Japan  Preparation Meetings at OECD (Paris) : 3-5 February at the OECD in Paris, members of the DLI Executive Team contributed to preparation activities ahead of the W20 Japan 2019 meetings taking place in Tokyo 23-24 March 2019.


25-28 February 2019 – Mobile World Congress & Women4Tech Summit (Barcelona) : Ms. Che Van Dyck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the Ministerial Programme and Women4Tech Summit that took place 25-28 February in Barcelona as part of Mobile World Congress 2019


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

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Women Power Code Project Launches

Studies on women active in Information Technology  unveil that a greater presence of women in the area would benefit the industry, women themselves and Europe’s economy. A change in policy is needed, particularly due to an alarming drop in female ICT graduates and the limited presence of women in the STEM area (science, technology, engineering and math) reflecting thus the gender gap acknowledged in the ICT sector.

The Women Power Code project aims to educate adult women over forty years of age to understand and learn coding in order to improve their everyday life through the use of the Internet of Things. It is never too late to acquire knowledge, skills and competences in any branch of education.

Women Power Code is a three year project targeting adult women who want new challenges and seek to acquire digital skills, literacy and numeracy. The project partners are:

  • CIVIC – UK, project leader;
  • EUROCREA MERCHANT – Italy;
  • BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FRIESLAND – Netherlands;
  • DIGITAL LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE – Belgium;
  • DANIEL SG LTD – Bulgaria;
  • BIOANIM – Slovenia;
  • North-East ADR (via Regional Center for North-East Studies).

The project will equip beneficiaries with new digital competences and will pave the way for a smooth start in understanding how to improve their everyday life by incorporating these skills. In this way, the project aims to allow women with low digital literacy to adapt and better meet the challenges posed by the use of new technologies at work, and to also help balance gender inequality in this area.

For more information and updates please visit the project website.