Inclusion, equality and leadership were the themes of Huawei’s “Women in the Digital Era” conference. Around 70 participants from academia, business and politics attended the last event, held in Brussels, to discuss key issues affecting women in this new tech-dominated age.
Six female speakers from the tech and cyber security fields recounted their work experiences and laid out their visions for the future, in sessions on Attracting and Retaining Female Talent, and Helping to Break-Down Stereotypes.
The conference, held at Huawei’s Cyber Security and Transparency Centre (HTCSC) in Brussels, and moderated by Berta Herrero, Huawei’s Senior EU Public Affairs Manager, anticipated International Women’s Day, which is celebrated this Sunday, 8 March.
“As in other areas of life, women must have a level playing field when it comes to the tech world,” commented Abraham Liu, Huawei’s Chief Representative to the European Institutions. “There is no reason why women should not become technology leaders. They need to feel they can shape the world of the future.”
“Huawei takes the issue of work-life balance seriously, too,” Mr Liu added, “so our women tech stars can also be star mothers in their private lives if they wish. We support women in maternity leave and when they return, so that they can resume their careers. Being a parent should not be a career-ending choice.”
For Huawei, closing the gender gap that exists in the digital sector is now a “top priority”, Mr Liu concluded: “Our aim is to inspire a new generation of women to work in tech”.
The event also marked the first anniversary of the HCSTC, which serves as a platform in Brussels for collaboration on cyber security innovation, certification and standards across the industry.
The work of the centre since it was established on 5 March 2019 has demonstrated Huawei's commitment to facilitating cyber security collaboration with all stakeholders across Europe, public and private. It also provides a technical verification and evaluation platform for Huawei’s customers.
Beatriz Becerra, European Ambassador of Inspiring Girls, and former MEP: “The democratic world needs specific skills and balanced decision-making to efficiently cope with the global challenges of cybersecurity. We need to ensure sufficiently-skilled women take part in the decision-making process to achieve that balance.”
Sabina Ciofu, Head of EU and Trade Policy, techUK:
“While we do have plenty of diverse talent in the tech sector, women are still heavily under-represented from the classroom all the way up to the boardroom. Companies first need to recognise the issue, and then have a strategy for tapping into this potential. It can be hard to cut through all the noise surrounding “the women in tech problem”, but businesses must not lose sight of why getting more gender diversity really matters.”
Sophie Batas, Huawei’s Director of Cyber Security and Data Privacy:
“Technology has to work for everyone, and must represent the requirements and needs of us of all. Women are half of the world’s population, and as such they need to be an integral part of our shared cyber security aims. This is why it’s important that a substantial number of female professionals join the workforce, and that organisations put more effort into supporting and promoting them throughout their careers”.
Abraham Liu, Huawei’s Chief Representative to the EU Institutions and Vice President for the European Region:
“We’re committed to helping President Von der Leyen achieve her goal of full equality – the EU can count on Huawei to create opportunities for all. We do not only want a strong and united Europe: we also want to help build a Union in which everyone is truly equal.”