Digital Startup – Let’s get women on board!

*Faced with male-female inequalities in the field of digital technology and entrepreneurship, Led By HER will organize a weekend Move It Forward – MIF – dedicated to these two issues in December 2021. This is a European-scale event supported by the Erasmus+ program and organized simultaneously in six different European countries. Women of all ages and backgrounds are invited. This unique event in France will have as its theme, female leadership in society and in business.

Gender equality, a reality or a myth? There is an in-between, but one thing is certain: we do not live in a world where women are totally equal to men, especially in the professional sphere. Led By HER has decided to focus all its energy on supporting women entrepreneurs. This is a major challenge insofar as only 2.6% of entrepreneurial projects in France are led by women compared to 88.3% by men and the rest by mixed teams[1]. Women have as many ideas as men, that’s not the problem, they just lack help and self-confidence. Female socialization encourages caution rather than risk taking. This sociologically verified fact gives a definite advantage to women over men with regard to business creation. Entrepreneurial projects led by women are more likely to pass the three-year mark than those of men. In parallel with this entrepreneurial challenge, women suffer from a lack of digital training. Once again their socialization and implicit societal norms can explain this phenomenon. While this digital and IT sector is growing and becoming essential, women are often sidelined for lack of training. The right to access to knowledge, education and training is the same for all, we note here an inequality of treatment and perception between men and women. Thus, digitalization and entrepreneurship are two crucial issues for the integration of women in the professional sphere.

Let’s fight together against this inequality on our scale. A European initiative supported by the Erasmus + program brought together Led by HER in France,  WIDE in Luxembourg, the Digital Leadership institute in Belgium, the Northtown Technology Park in Lithuania, the Centre of Technical Culture in Croatia and the Professional Foundation in Romania. These European associations work for women’s rights, professional integration and the digitization of marginalized populations. The latter have joined forces to offer a Move It Forward event in their respective countries. It was in 2014 in Belgium that the first took place and the success was such that the operation was repeated many times across Europe. In France, the “Move It Forward for Woman in Leadership – female digital starters” will be the first in Paris, a unique and unprecedented event.

It is indeed a weekend where the participants unite around digital projects carried by some of them. These projects aim to find concrete and digital solutions to promote female leadership in business and in society. Working groups are formed in order to best develop the projects selected at the beginning of the weekend. In addition to increased collaboration in benevolence and mutual listening, women have the chance to be followed by professionals. The coaches guide them in their entrepreneurial adventure, the mentors give them practical information and finally experts train them in digital technology. Thus, regardless of training or age, all women are invited to participate.

At the end of this weekend, prizes are awarded to the best projects. These rewards are tailor-made to allow women to continue their adventure following this weekend. In addition, professional support and work teams are strongly encouraged to continue their efforts in what they have undertaken during these two days. In previous editions, many projects continued to develop and flourished.

This weekend therefore includes a double opportunity for women, the acquisition of digital skills and the development of projects responding to the challenge of women’s leadership in society. This is an opportunity not to be missed!

[1] According to the Sista study of top recipients from the leading 9 investment funds in France.

Digitalisation, entrepreneuriat, incluons les femmes à l’échelle européenne !

*This article originally appeared in French on MIF+ partner Led By HER’s website, written by Gwladys Chanard with translated title “Digitalization, Entrepreneurship, let’s include women at the European Level!”