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The Power of Networking at the European Women in Tech Conference 2023

When women come together to network, it becomes a collective force.


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Published: August 4, 2023

— The European Women in Tech Conference 2023 illuminated pathways for career growth, leadership resilience, digital transformation, and AI-driven competitiveness.

The Power of Networking: A Collective Force

There’s something quite stirring about seeing a packed auditorium – people from different walks of life united by a shared cause: technology, innovation, and most importantly, the advancement of women in tech. This was the setting of the European Women in Tech Conference 2023. In a showcase of the extraordinary, the conference illuminated pathways for career growth, leadership resilience, digital transformation, and AI-driven competitiveness.

As attendees trickled into the auditorium for Fatima Fares’ session “Empowering Yourself: The Key To Building A Thriving Career”, they were welcomed with an important message: the significance of a strong network. Fatima, the CIO for Chemicals & Products in Shell, emphasized the value of a network that acts as a support system. It became evident that the process of networking is not a corporate game of chess, but rather an essential thread in the fabric of professional growth.

Mentoring and Personal Boards: The Wisdom of Many

With attendees eager to form meaningful connections, the concept of mentorship took center stage. The conference-goers were encouraged to seek multiple mentors – individuals who could offer diverse perspectives and guidance. The idea of a personal boardroom resonated with many, highlighting the power of collective wisdom over individual insight.

Leadership Resilience: Thriving in Uncertainty

In the midst of absorbing this, attendees transitioned to Eve Henrikson’s session “Leading Through Uncertainty With Authenticity To Deliver Business Goals & Employee Happiness”. The GM EMEA at Uber Eats presented an honest depiction of leadership during challenging times. From cultivating personal fulfillment to building trust within teams, her message centered on the human aspect of leadership. Her discussion about resilience and the Innovator’s Dilemma was a stark reminder of the need for continuous self-disruption to stay ahead.

Embracing Digital: A Transformation Journey

The narrative of self-improvement dovetailed neatly into the next session, “Keeping Pace With Innovation: Digital Transformation In A Traditional Business.” Karinna Calin, the Global CX & Data Analytics Lead at Unilever, discussed the journey of transforming Unilever’s traditional ice cream business into a digitally optimized entity. The focus was on striking a balance between the human aspect and an omnichannel business model, which brought numerous benefits such as real-time data and improved customer experiences.

Navigating Digital Transformation: Innovation vs Legacy

The discussions on digital transformation reached a crescendo in the session titled “The Digital Symphony: Orchestrating End-to-End Business Transformation.” Directors of Digital & Technology at HEINEKEN, Maja Schreiner and Gabriela Cadenas, portrayed digital transformation as a harmonious process where innovation has no boundaries. They emphasized that the real challenge lies in managing the balance between innovation and legacy systems, and the role of employees in driving change.

Excelling in the Digital Age: AI and Groundwork

In the closing session titled “How To Outcompete In The Age Of Digital And AI,” Kate Smaje, Global Leader at McKinsey Digital, and Saskia Mureau, Director of Customer Digital at the Port of Rotterdam, provided a fitting end to the conference. The focus was on how to excel in the digital and AI era, emphasizing the importance of groundwork, acquiring the right skills, and creating an environment where employees can thrive.

In Conclusion: The Echoes of Collective Wisdom

The European Women in Tech Conference 2023 was more than just a series of talks and networking sessions. It was a testament to the power of collective wisdom and the potential of women in tech. It reminded attendees about the importance of a strong network, the need for continuous learning, and the balance between human aspects and technology in driving digital transformation. As the attendees parted ways, they left armed with valuable insights, new connections, and an invigorated sense of purpose to innovate and drive change. After all, technology is only as powerful as the people who wield it.

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