Last Monday a very special event called #BigIDeas2019 took place at CaixaForum Madrid. This first annual event brought together the Spanish innovation community and gave us the opportunity to celebrate the third anniversary of #SomosMujeresTech, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Spain’s unique initiative championing diversity. Under the slogan “Innovation with a Woman’s Voice,” seventeen Spanish directors in the technology and science sector shared the way they see the current technological revolution. They discussing how best to improve proposals related to education, agriculture, the Cloud, technological democratization and reducing the limits of inclusive financing.
Organized in collaboration with national media partner La Razon Innovadores by Inndux, #BigIdeas2019 was sponsored by MasterCard and CaixaBank, and in collaboration with Fedepe, Dircom Spain, Fundación Pons and Fundación Conexus. The event was brought together by Hill+Knowlton Strategies Spain.
H+K Spain’s Counselor, Eloísa Alonso, Innovadores by Indux’s Mariona Director, Eugenio Mallol, and CaixaBank’s Head of Innovation Mariona Vicens welcomed attendees. They highlighted activity in the industry and the importance, now more than ever before, of attracting female talent.
Spain’s Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function, Meritxell Batet, opened the day with an encouraging message, “The modernization of Spain has a woman’s face.” During her speech she pointed out that, although women have the best academic records, they do not reach the equivalent managerial positions. She explained that the lack of girls in STEM is not fueled by a lack of examples to look up to, but by their visualization. Fixing this is a priority for governments, institutions and public bodies, she said.
Next was Mastercard’s Spain Country Manager, Paloma Real; an independent director at listed companies in Spain and France, Emma Fernández; NetApp Spain’s General Director, María José Miranda; Medtronic Iberia’s General Director; Packlink’s Marketing Director, Noelia Lázaro; Lenovo Iberia’s Channel Director, Patricia Núñez; a teacher and consultant of new technologies, Mónica Villas; Experian Iberia’s CEO and President, Rita Estévez; Cybersecurity Strategic Advisor, Rosa Díaz; AWS Spain & Portugal7.57’s Head of Public Sector, Pilar Torres; and Ideas4all’s Founder, Ana María Llopis.
All of them had a maximum of three minutes to expose a Big Idea that suggested an acceptable action, at an institutional, business or even social level, that triggered a transformative effect. The result was inspiring ideas that addressed everything from inclusive innovation, agriculture, education, patient empowerment, and technology’s democratization.
These ideas gave way to “Robots and People: A Necessary Coexistence,” in which great technological, social and ethical dilemmas of our time were raised. This debate included the vision of #SomosMujeresTech members such as VMWare’s General Director, María José Talavera and Fujitsu’s Director of Strategic Markets, Patricia Urbez. It additionally featured Mariona Vicens; CSIS researcher, Montserrat Calleja; and Accenture’s Director of Marketing and Communication, Paloma Cabrera.
The event closed with a strong social focus. Eloisa Alonso and Save the Children’s Deputy CEO, Isla Ramos, had an emotional conversation about the importance of observing the world from different perspectives in order to have a clear vision rich in nuances.
The event saw over 300 attendees. Adding to its success, media coverage was generated by the national TV station TVE and news groups Agencia EFE and Europa Press, among others. The event became a trending topic on Twitter with hashtags #BigIdeas2019 and #SomosMujeresTech reaching more than 7.5 million impressions.
#SomosMujeresTech is a Hill + Knowlton Strategies initiative, started spontaneously and naturally back when these kinds of movements barely existed. In this sense, we have been pioneers. Through #SomosMujeresTech and # BigIdeas2019, we have contributed a positive, constructive and inspiring perspective for women in technology.
We are fortunate in our country to have many women in management positions at technology companies. What we must do is give them visibility and make them aspirational references so that our girls follow in their wake, finding STEM careers attractive. All studies indicate that there is a major setback at the educational level, which needs to be corrected. And, yet, the field has great job opportunities with more to come in the future alongside the evolution of new technologies.
#BigIdeas2019 has been an event with the voice of a woman, but there were many men who decided to join us. Because gender diversity everyone’s job.