The only way is up - technology as an opportunity for women's leapfrog


4th in the row Women's Leadership Summit has gathered tech women from all around the globe who have discussed the topic of: „The only way is up – technologies as an opportunity for women’s leapfrog“.

The panel session was participated by: Maya Vujinovic, founder of and investment and adivsory firm OGroup and former CIO of General Electric; Maya Strelar – Migotti, acomplished senior executive of world famous companies, she was Co-CEO of Marvel and Head of Ericson Silion Vally; Ivana Cvejic, Co-founder and CEO of Renhead and founder of Paul Andrews International, priory she was Head of Recruitng at Morgan Stanley; Jelena Zdravkovic, Professor and Vice-Head of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University; and Ivana Ruzicic, CEO at Smart New Frontier Group. The panel session was moderated by Jelisaveta Lazarevic, Head of Corporate partnerships at AFA.

The Mckinsey Global Institute report about the future of women at work, presented also at Women’s Leadership Summit during Makala Krishnan (Senior fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute) keynote, underlines that „technology can break down many barriers women are facing, opening up new economic opportunities, helping them to participate in the workforce, and in the age of automation, navigate transition“. Therefore, we have set the panel discussion as an opportunity for women to become the competitive workforce of the 21st century and create the future in the age of automation.

But, in order to make leapfrog and catch up with the most developed world, what is important to be aware of?

The speed of innovations is increasing – as Maya Vujinovic pointed out there is a tremendous amount of increasing speed of innovation and emerging technologies and we can expect an increase in quantum computing and quantum chemistry, AI and machine learning, and blockchain, that will impact different sectors of the economy.

For this tremendous changed future, we will obviously need to have new skills, in order to do better paid and more productive jobs - Ivana Cvejic mentioned that it is important to know what skills we need to learn from scratch, what will be changed and evolved, and which roles will be eliminated. She mentioned that administration is one area where manual parts should be automized to a large extent. However, there are also opportunities arising in analyzing data collected automatically, and transfer them in a consumable and communicative way, for example. She also added that communication and analytical skills will be very important for the future - not only within operative, but in management functions - women are getting more and more in management, but management functions will also be changed towards greater demand for analytical and communication skills.

Apart from being a competitive workforce in the future based on technologies, have you ever think about how to become a competitive entrepreneur in the age of automation?

We guess you were, and here is the opportunity to get insights from the first hand of women who led the company in Silicon Vally.

It’s far fewer women entrepreneurs in Silicon Vally and far fewer female VC, like only 5% - Maya Strelar Migotty mentioned that from her experience women are seeing the problem in the world, take technology, and create a solution for this problem. However, women need to be aware that wrong is ok because, when you are creating your startup you should be aware that it’s like you are standing on the cliff. And it’s very important to be aware of „wrong is ok“, in order to make a leapfrog.

It seems like the only things we need to have in order to be successful in this technology revolution are advanced knowledge and skills and with these faster changes, education should changing as well.

Technical Education should be enriched with a social perspective - Jelena Zdravkovic mentioned that if tech education is enriched with a social perspective, we will have technology better interacting with people and we will have a space that is comfortable for both women and men to create a future based on technologies.

All of this can lead us to an inclusive and innovation-based future better for all.

We will have a better future if we create it together - Ivana Ruzicic also pointed out that if we involve more women in innovation we will have a better future created for all of us.

Economy and society have better results when women are equally involved, and in order to be equally involved we need to gain advaced knowledge and skills, be tech-savvy and mobila, but moreover involved in using technologies to solving some of the gratest glolbal challanges and making better world for all.