For all its much vaunted liberalism, and Sweden has achieved so much, there are certain areas where the gender equality glass ceiling is clearly evident. None so is more visible than in Technology. I was recently invited by my good friend and robot-programmer (now community manager ), Paulina Modlitba Söderlund http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paulina-modlitba-s%C3%B6derlund/0/5b1/794 to participate in a panel discussion regarding this issue.
I believe that women exist in technology but they are highly concentrated into certain sections. They are over represented in media technology and under represented in other technology areas.
The question arises why there are so few women driven start ups, and the response is clear there are women driven startups but they are concentrated in the Media Technology area and that is a cut throat business with a massive attrition rate so its obvious that most of these startups will fail and create an environment of fear. I am sure if some math genius starts to map an algorithm as to where women do create start ups and correlate it to their failure rate a clear pattern will emerge. But in the Nordics very competent tech women do exist and most of the ones that I know aren’t really driven by public confirmation of what they do in their careers so they are not interested in appearing in the public eye, at least that’s not their motivating factor but just an added bonus
Here is the video of the Panel Debate (in Swedish) and it could have much more heated but Anna Loverus, http://www.linkedin.com/in/annaloverus the moderator kept the discussion very amiable.
My wife did her doctoral thesis in communicative ethics and she reckons that
the challenge is that the solution is not being reached (or coming closer) because the discussion has become infected and most of the discussion is more about the discussion rather than the solution.
With guilty parties on both sides of the fence.
But I do not buy the organizer’s argument that women do not exist in this sphere or they could not find them. That’s quite lame IMO. I just skimmed over my contact list and these names popped out. Apologies to the women that I am not mentioning but there are just TOO MANY! Now whether I like these women or not, or whether I agree with them or not is irrelevant, but make no mistake they are extremely competent and good at what they do.
In my direct network names such as these appear in no particular order (EXCEPT nr 1)
My wife (nr 1)
Cecilia Ahlgren Fries vVD at Kalix Tele24 ABhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/ceciliaahlgrenfries
Åsa Carild COO at MuchDifferent http://www.linkedin.com/pub/%C3%A5sa-carild/7/9b9/a7
Maria Curman http://dk.linkedin.com/pub/maria-curman/25/195/267
Sasja Dalgaard Head of Sales HTC – Nordichttp://www.linkedin.com/pub/sasja-dalgaard/0/223/330
Anna Eliasson CTO at ITG Digital http://www.linkedin.com/in/annaeliasson
Charlotte Falke Director Internal Communications at Volvo Truckshttp://www.linkedin.com/pub/charlotte-falke/a/2a/233
Ira Gladnikoff Commercial Director, Nordics, LOVEFiLMhttp://www.linkedin.com/pub/ira-gladnikoff/1/659/177
Kerstin Hanson Director Business Office, Solution Unit StO/ DtRhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/kerstinhanson
Lina Jelbring Marketing manager/marknadschef at Nokia Sverigehttp://www.linkedin.com/in/linajelbring
Business Development Manager, Trade Finance at Nordeahttp://www.linkedin.com/pub/hanna-maria-kauppi/0/26a/838
Annette Landin Customer Care Manager Nordic at Electrolux Home Productshttp://www.linkedin.com/pub/annette-landin/27/549/b54
Catrin Myhrman Brand Consultant at Navigate ABhttp://www.linkedin.com/pub/catrin-myhrman/0/1a4/aa3
Sara Öhrvall Senior Vice President, R&D Bonnierhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/saraohrvall
Tuula Rytila CMO at Nokia http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tuula-rytila/2/529/258
Lena Ström Klingvik Head of Online Channels Bredbandsbolaget & Glocalnet at Telenor Sweden http://www.linkedin.com/pub/lena-str%C3%B6m-klingvik/1/4b8/380
Anna Svensson VP and Head of Broadband Communications at TeliaSonerahttp://www.linkedin.com/pub/anna-svensson/1/866/756
Sara Kullgren Senior Vice President Group Products and Services at Enirohttp://www.linkedin.com/pub/sara-kullgren/7/316/6a
Kerstin Åkesson CFO at Itella Information ABhttp://www.linkedin.com/pub/kerstin-%C3%A5kesson/2/a73/484
Like I said these women are leaders in their field and are worth listening too and all of them GET technology (even if some of them dont work directly with it) because you have to be a technologist to basically do any job in the connected world.