2019 European Ada Awards Finalists Announced

On behalf of the 2019 European Ada Awards jury and under the esteemed patronage of of Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners are thrilled to announce the finalists of the 2019 European Ada Awards !

2019 European Digital Woman of the Year™ Award Finalists:

Nadia Aimé (Belgium)

Once homeless and a school dropout herself, Nadia’s work focuses on improving the lives of vulnerable groups, through education and creating more interest and enthusiasm surrounding careers within entrepreneurship and the digital sector. Today, she is an avid technologist social/tech entrepreneur, educator, a single mom, and studying cyber-security who seeks to help people evolve in a fast-paced world of technology and business. Nadia’s passion for sharing knowledge and constant learner, most especially improving her tech skills which she hones, birthed She Leads Digital, which is a Brussels based tech organization, aims at providing programs and initiatives that foster enthusiasm and encourage women and youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

Dee Saigal (United Kingdom)

Dee Saigal is the Founder, CEO & Creative Director of Erase All Kittens – an adventure game designed to give girls the confidence to code, whilst teaching digital and 21st Century skills. Like many women, Dee grew up believing that careers in technology were more for boys, which is why it took her years to follow her dream of getting into game design – and why she founded EAK. She and her team spent 12 months interviewing hundreds of students before designing their product, in order to create a coding tool that girls genuinely love. EAK has 150,000 players in over 100 countries, and 95% of girls want to learn more about coding after playing. Dee’s goal is for EAK to transform the way that children perceive coding and engineering, and to empower millions of girls worldwide with transferable, digital skills.

Eva Meyer de Stadelhofen (France)

Eva is the 21 year old founder of GirlCode, an international nonprofit who aims to reduce the gender gap in the STEM industry by offering free coding lessons to girls of age 7 to 17 in their schools. She also created a mentorship program through which GirlCode students can meet entrepreneurs, scientists, and all-around girl bosses in order to help them find their STEM superstar. GirlCode, which started as a small club, has rapidly grown these last two years into a worldwide “sisterhood of nerds”, with 304 clubs in 25 different countries and an estimated impact of 81’345 girls as of September 2019. Thanks to her work with her organisation, Eva has recently been chosen by Global Changemakers and the Thomas Reuters Foundation to attend their summits as one of the best entrepreneurs worldwide.

2019 European Digital Girl of the Year™ Award Finalists:

Tayra from Bulgaria (10 year old and under category)

Tayra is 10 years old and was born and lives in Sofia. Besides the gift of learning foreign languages (at the age of 8 she speaks some German, English, Chinese and Turkish), Tayra has another talent in the field of modern computer technologies. At the age of 8 Tayra participated in the  IT Znayko award contest and won a prize for an original idea and, as a member of the Coder Dojo club, won an award from the Bulgarian version of Coolest Projects Sofia 2017. The great victory comes in Dublin, Ireland, at the international competition Coolest Project 2017 involving more than 1,000 children from 17 countries. She won in the Scratch category at Coolest Projects 2017, when she is only 8 years old with her awesome project ABCD Code, which is a Scratch game developed to help children learn about healthy eating and the benefits of fruit and vegetables with the help of Makey Makey. The Healthy Eating project in English and Bulgarian version also became involved in the kindergarten process. She personally organizes and participates in workshops. At the age of 9, on 25.03.2018 she won a special prize from the Softuniada Kids (organized by Software University in Sofia, Bulgaria) with an amazing project (scratch project- “Three bears farytail”with the sign language videos for deaf kids).

Selin from Turkey (11-14 year old category)

Selin  is 13 years old and loves building robots and coding also loves animals and travelling. She started coding when she was 8 years old. Selin won first prize in the Hardware category at Coderdojo’s Coolest Projects International in 2018 with iC4U, her robot guide dog for the visually impaired. She was also a finalist in the Open Innovation category of the European Youth Awards 2018. In 2019 she received a 100% educational scholarship and attended a Robotic and Engineering summer camp held at Stanford University. She is presently working on the second version of her robot guide dog, the Raspberry Pi version and on a robot that aims to make life easier in schools and hospitals. She is hoping that her robot will help to make children’s stay in hospital a little easier if only to make them smile. She codes in Python language.    She is working on integrating image processing, voice control and artificial intelligence assisted dialogue capabilities in her robot project.  her aim is to study robotics at MIT or Stanford University and to build a humanoid. Selin speaks English, Turkish and French, she is also learning Python, C++ and Java. She facilitates workshops, mentors her peers and gives presentations at technology related events in order to inspire others especially girls.  She lives in Istanbul, Turkey with her mum, dad and dog Bailey.

Anne from Belgium (15-17 year old category)

Anne Maelbrancke, 15 years old, student at the Bernardustechnicum Oudenaarde, Belgium. Anne has been a member of Coderdojo Belgium since 2014. In 2015 she was confronted with a friend who had to stay at the hospital for quite a long time. She proposed to start an initiative called Clinicoders (facebook.com/clinicoders) to bring technology and programming to children in the hospital. Monthly, together with friend, she animates children patients with programming and robots.
Clinicoders also donates resources to hospitals to educate technology and programming in their schools. This year a “Clinimakers” initiative has been started to trigger children to build solutions for disabled children.

 

Alai from Spain (15-17 year old category)

Alai’s passion for STEM began when she was 7 years old. She has experience coding in multiple code languages, and has attended STEM workshops from textile technology to designing and 3D prototyping. In 2019, she was invited to speak at the Amazon Web Services Summit in Madrid to discuss her experience as a girl in technology. Additionally, this past May she was invited by Google to Women TechMakers Alicante to discuss her experience and future projects.

 

Congratulations to the 2019 Ada Awards finalists and all our nominees for their amazing leadership in digital fields in Europe!

Please join us at the Google Digital Atelier in Brussels on 16 October 2019 for the sixth edition of the European Ada Awards ceremony, where we will announce winners of the 2019 awards, with a special opening address by Commissioner Gabriel and a closing reception. This event is open to the public on a strictly first-come-first-served basis, with pre-registration required.

2019 European Ada Awards Open

EU Ada Awards Patron, Ms. Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy & Society

Under the esteemed patronage of European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners are honoured to announce the opening of nominations for the 2019-2020 European Ada Awards recognising top girls and women* in digital fields from across Europe.

Online nominations for outstanding girls and women in digital sectors will be open until 27 September 2019 (extended deadline!), and winners will be celebrated at the sixth annual European Ada Awards ceremony, taking place on 16 October at the Google Atelier in Brussels as part of European Code Week and the WomenInTech.Brussels Women Code Festival. The event is open to members of the public who register, on a first-come-first-served basis. Official 2019 European Ada Awards timings may be found on the Awards calendar.

Nomination Details

Submission details and nomination forms for the 2019 European Ada Awards may be found at the links below:

Important Dates – 2019 European Ada Awards

19 June – 2019-20 European Ada Awards Online Nominations Open
27 September
– 2019-20 Ada Awards Online Nominations Close at 18:00 CET
4 October  – 18:00 CET Online Announcement of 2019-20 European Ada Award Finalists
16 October
– 2019-20 European Ada Awards Ceremony at Google Atelier in Brussels

For more information about the 2019 European Ada Awards, including sponsorship opportunities, please contact us!

Thank you to the European Ada Awards 2019-20 partners and sponsors!

*Anyone who identifies as a girl or woman

Belgian Minister De Croo Recognises Top Girls and Women in Tech

On 8 December in Brussels, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo recognised top girls and women in digital fields in Europe and underscored the need for positive role models, coding curriculum and communities of excellence to encourage youth toward digital careers. “Young people need inspiration,” De Croo said in remarks at a ceremony for the 2016 Ada Awards, named for Lady Ada Lovelace the world’s first computer programmer. “That inspiration comes from seeing excellent people at work, like the girls and women recognised by these awards.”

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Alexander De Croo, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for the Digital Agenda

De Croo’s comments came on the heels of news that women make up fewer IT professionals than ever in Europe despite skyrocketing demand for digital expertise. “Over the last ten years, demand for tech specialists in Europe has grown eight times faster than other fields, but women hold just sixteen percent of these jobs,” explained Cheryl Miller, cofounder of Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute and organisers of the Ada Awards. “By 2020, one million IT jobs will go unfilled because the skills are not available in the marketplace,” Miller continued. “So by engaging women, we can potentially double the number of tech experts in Europe, increasing European competitiveness and making sure girls and women do not get left behind in the digital disruption.”

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Fireside Chat: Niamh Scanlon (14yo Ireland) – 2015 Digital Girl of the Year, and Rosanna Kurrer/DLI

Nuria Oliver, winner of the 2016 European Digital Woman of the Year Award, noted that digital disruption risks exacerbating the lack of diversity in tech, but also holds promise for positive change. “The percentage of girls and women in technology in most Western countries is simply not acceptable,” Oliver observed. “But in the future, we will only be able to address problems like global warming and the ageing population with the help of technology. So we need all our diverse human capital on board: to optimise innovation potential and to increase our chances of success in these important fields.”

According to Beata Stelmach, CEO for GE Poland, workforce diversity and digital transformation are two opportunities that GE, hosts of the 2016 Ada Awards ceremony, is explicitly leveraging for success. “We see GE as a 124-year-old software startup,” said Stelmach. “And with this thinking, we seek to pioneer a digital industrial sector that could contribute as much as $1.7 Trillion to European GDP annually by 2025.” In order to fully exploit the opportunities that digitisation brings,”it will be key to engage the entire European workforce,” she added. “And women in particular.”

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Disrupted Workforce Panel: Cheryl Miller/DLI, Beata Stelmach/GE, Andrea Parola/eSkills Association, Esther Roure/CISCO, Eva Paunova/MEP

Cerys Lock and Gabrijela Juriç, winners of the 2016 European Digital Girl of the Year Award, echoed the message of Deputy Prime Minister De Croo. Fourteen-year-old Cerys, feels that more computer science curriculum in school would be critical to get young people, girls included, engaged in the digital transformation. She reflected on the era of the Commodore 64 and said “forty years ago that computer was popular and got people into coding. We need something similar today, like the Raspberry Pi, that I personally am a huge fan of.” Gabrijela, also 14, added: “I am just proud that what I am doing actually matters to people in the sector. That really inspires me to keep going.”

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Digital Girls of the Year 2016: Gabrijela Juriç (14yo – Croatia) and Cerys Lock (14yo England)

Deputy Prime Minister De Croo summed up the awards event: “When someone is good at something you need to show it and congratulate her for what she is doing,” he said. “That is why the Ada Awards and the work of DLI is important: You need to show examples, and these young ladies are just the kind of examples we all need to see.”

The 2016 European Ada Awards were presented in the following categories to the noted recipients:

2016 European Digital Woman of the Year: Ms. Nuria Oliver, Spain
2016 European Digital Girl of the Year: Miss Gabrijela Juriç, Croatia (14 years old)
2016 European Digital Girl of the Year: Miss Cerys Lock, England (14 years old)
2016 European Digital Impact Organisation of the Year: CyberMentor, Germany

The Ada Awards are an initiative of Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute in partnership with the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS), DIGITALEUROPE and European SchoolNet. The awards are named for Lady Ada Byron of Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer. They are an official pledge to the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition in Europe.

The Digital Leadership Institute is a Brussels-based think tank whose mission is to promote inclusive digital transformation.

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