EU-GCC Dialogue on Economic Diversification & the European Centre for Women and Technology bring Women in Tech Forum to Expo 2020 this October


Boosting Women Entrepreneurship in the Tech Sector

As the post-Covid recovery gathers pace in both the EU and the GCC, digitalization is comprehensively transforming lives, communities and even identities. On 24th October 2021, the European Union, through its EU-GCC Dialogue on Economic Diversification project, and the European Centre for Women and Technology, will bring together key experts, businesses and governments at EXPO 2020 to explore how digitalization can boost women’s involvement in the technology sector. 

The post covid recovery and the fourth industrial revolution provide an opportunity to enhance women’s involvement in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM) sector, especially as part of the move to knowledge-based economies in the GCC countries. On 24th October, at EXPO2020, the event Women’s Path to Ikigai; Technology, Entrepreneurship, Self-Development, and Agility” will explore how the ‘Ikigai’ concept and innovation for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability (DEIS) are key to the next generation of women founders and how to initiate new partnerships between EU and GCC actors for new moonshots supporting the female talents.

The event will build on the Japanese concept of ‘Ikigai’ as a central theme in exploring the personal motivation of event participants in starting and establishing tech businesses. In particular, it will outline key factors needed for successful tech entrepreneurs and provide recommendations for a joint EU-GCC move towards a fruitful digital transformation. 

In line with EXPO 2020’s theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, it will provide a platform to share experiences on the challenges and opportunities for European women to enter the GCC technology sector and possible solutions on how to address them. It will also offer unique networking and collaboration opportunities on technology between the EU and the GCC. 

There is a clear rise in the rate of women studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STE(A)M) majors in the GCC and we see a need to discuss more the opportunities that these women can bring to the economy. Despite this positive change, there is still a clear gap in the numbers of women who obtain an education in STE(A)M subjects and those who continue in career paths within those fields. At the Women in Tech Event, those women will be spotlighted and provide an opportunity to inspire us with their experiences.

Eva Fabry, Director of ECWT stresses in connection with the event that “The European Union is a key partner in harnessing human potential and unlocking opportunities for all. Youth and women play a crucial role in creating sustainable and inclusive societies. ‘Every Woman Digital = SMART Growth’ which we now in the Post COVID recovery can make a reality through more intensive EU and GCC collaboration and through involving e.g., also African countries in our future actions”.

The Women in Tech Forum will take place at the Dubai EXPO2020 during the morning session at the Swedish Pavilion (9:00 am – 2:00pm) and during the afternoon session at the Spanish Pavilion (2:30pm 6:00 pm).

About the EU-GCC Dialogue on Economic Diversification project

The EU-GCC Dialogue on Economic Diversification is a project funded by the European Commission Service for Foreign Policy Instruments under the Partnership Instrument. 

The project contributes to stronger EU-GCC relations by supporting the GCC countries in the ongoing process of economic diversification away from hydrocarbon dependent sectors, including by funding regular EU-GCC Business Fora. 

The purpose of this project is to promote climate-friendly trade, investment and economic affairs related policy analysis, dialogue, and cooperation between stakeholders from EU and GCC at both regional and country levels in the context of the GCC economic diversification process. 

About the European Centre for Women & Technology (ECWT):

European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) is a European partnership of more than 130 organizations and 30 + national chapters in women and technology development from government, business, academia, and non-profit sectors.

ECWT serves as a European single point of contact for information, collection and analysis of data, research, and the development of appropriate methodological tools to attract more girls to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), for nurturing and retaining women in the knowledge economy. ECWT is endorsed by the European e-Skills Association as the leading community for women in tech in Europe.