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European Women in Tech Conference – 26 – 27/12 in RAI Amsterdam

European Women in Tech Conference

A while ago I came across an advert for a conference for women working in the IT and Tech sector. I was immediately intrigued. Not because it would be attended mainly by women but because it would showcase experiences of women excelling in a male dominated industry, as well as highlight industry trends.

After some gentle prodding (it really did not need much convincing), Devoteam agreed to sponsor my attendance of this event, together with Dajana Mitrovic and Edis Kosova.

First things first, the organization of the first day registration was a little unfortunate resulting in a huge throng of people (99% of whom were women) blocking the entrance to the convention centre. The self-registration desks had been set up perpendicular to the aided registration desk, causing complete grid-lock just 30 minutes before the start of the opening address.

Once inside the event centre, the atmosphere was really upbeat and yet somehow relaxing. Outside of the very few men roaming the halls of RAI, there was a sea of professional women excitedly talking amongst each other, getting a coffee or just milling about the venue in anticipation of the opening key note speech.

Women in Tech

The event was captioned under the banner “Disrupt. Drive. Deliver” and was divided into 7 tracks that could be followed in a mix and match fashion. The mornings until 11:00 were in the main auditorium only, showcasing a variety of presentations, fireside chats and round table discussions and split into the different tracks offering presentations and workshops:

  1. The Evolution of Work
  2. The Future of Tech
  3. Tech-Pulse
  4. Cultivate Your Career
  5. Industry Disruption for Better Design, Development and Delivery
  6. Diversity, Inclusion and You!
  7. Start-Up Central

An app was made available to get information on the speakers and sessions, plan your schedule, get notifications about upcoming sessions and event announcements as well as share content throughout the event and connect with other attendees.

All tracks were evenly distributed with regards to attendance, showing that while there are still inequalities in career advancement and women seeking support in how to overcome these, the interest in modern tech, IT trends and process improvements was a clear focus. Add to that CEOs and large company Co-Founders rubbing shoulders with developers, analysts, architects, testers, IT consultants, team managers and everything in between, the sheer variety and level of content shared was staggering.

From AI, AR, VR, machine learning, UI/UX, big data and data science, Blockchain, Cloud technology over Agile and Scrum, DevOps, SRE, API’s and integration, digital transformation as well as environmental and social sustainability to career mentorship and advice, start-up support and finally equality on the work floor, there was something for everybody.

European women in tech

Tying it all together were company show-case and recruitment booths as well as refreshment and food courts set up in between the different auditoriums. Here attendees could network, get career advice, explore new tech and software and sometimes just take a breather in between the different sessions and workshops.

Unfortunately there was no closing speech or address at the end of day 2, feeling somehow that the momentum gathered over the 2 days sort of fizzled out in the end.

women in tech conference

Key take-aways of the event:

  1. Being a woman in tech should be seen as an advantage rather than just a fight for position in a male dominated industry.
  2. There is a lot of female talent out there covering very aspect of IT
  3. The event organization in general could have been much better. Registration desk set-up to allow better flow of people, simple floor-plan and schedule boards throughout the venue would have helped navigate the event much better, especially for the workshops, an absolute must-have closing speech as well as adding more depth and quality to the speeches.

european women in technology