BRUSSELS, 30 April 2020 – Huawei today held its 2nd #WomenInTech event*, by webinar, to underline the importance of female leadership shown during the successful #EUvsVirus Hackathon last weekend (24-26 April).
The #EUvsVirus Hackathon was organised by the European Commission to generate new ideas to fight the coronavirus pandemic. It attracted nearly 21 000 participants from 141 countries and resulted in the submission of more than 2 150 proposed solutions towards fighting the pandemic: in areas including health and life, business continuity, remote working and education, social and political cohesion and digital finance.
Huawei contributed to the Hackathon as a Strategic Partner, under the leadership of its Chief Representative to the European Institutions, Abraham Liu. Several Huawei employees took an active part as Mentors, Domain Leads, Jury Members and Ambassadors.
On the company’s decision to hold the webinar during COVID-19, Abraham Liu commented: “For Huawei, closing the gender gap that exists in the digital sector and beyond is as necessary now as it was before the current pandemic. We treat it as a priority.”
“We believe in the importance of keeping the gender equality debate alive during these challenging times, especially given that lockdowns have put extra pressure on working parents,” he said. “The post-COVID recovery has to be carried out in a sustainable and inclusive way, ensuring that no one is left behind. Technology can help, and our European partners can count on Huawei to make it happen.”
Female leadership in times of hardship
Panel members in the webinar discussed topics of particular relevance to women in these challenging times – among them, how technology can aid women at risk during lockdowns; how innovative solutions can help working parents cope; what advice leading women would give to girls considering enrolling in STEM programmes, or considering tech-related jobs, and; what their overall experience was at the Hackathon.
Many leading contributors at the Hackathon were women – some of them leaders within the EU tech & science ecosystem. Taking on different roles and challenges, they demonstrated that leadership in times of hardship makes all the difference.
Launching last weekend’s Hackathon, European Innovation and Research Commissioner Mariya Gabriel issued a call to action to citizens around the world, asking them to demonstrate that collaboration across borders, sectors and generations can unlock society’s potential to tackle such a crisis.
Petra Arends-Paltzer, Managing Partner – Davos Digital Forum: “My understanding of digitalization means working in diverse teams to find new solutions to existing issues and thereby solve problems. This process should not exclude anyone or anything.”
Rowena Hennigan, Remote Work Skills Specialist & Lecturer: “I am a Remote Work Advocate and Activist, living proof that this way of working supports working women, enabling them to maintain their careers, access opportunities and flourish. My mantra is #workisnotaplace and I am passionate about building awareness of the direct and indirect benefits of Remote Working.”
Claudia Mendes Silva, Women in Tech® Ambassador Portugal Chapter: “Digitalization and innovation are also based in the concept of adaptability. And that is directly related to how we deal with it regarding changes or disruptions. Being able to adapt, according to needs, situations and circumstances. It is now time to break paradigms, abandon methods, challenge limits to close the gender gaps and embrace diversity inside organisations."
Janice Richardson, International Advisor at Insight, Expert to the Council of Europe: “Two decades after the integration of digital technology in education, the current crisis has turned the spotlight on deep flaws; unfortunately, many institutions aren’t sufficiently prepared, and one in three children are blocked from remote learning through lack of equipment or support. One way to remedy this is to unite around a universally needed concept: ‘technology for all’.”
Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – Huawei is committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world.
At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. Huawei invests heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. Huawei has over 194 000 employees and operates in over 170 countries and regions. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.
In Europe, Huawei currently employs over 13 000 employees and runs two regional offices and 23 R&D sites. So far, Huawei has established 230 technical cooperation projects and has partnered with over 150 universities across Europe.