SWE FY16 President Colleen Layman recaps second annual WE Europe conference featuring Keynote Speaker Cybersecurity Expert Keren Elazari.
On May 11, 2016, the Society of Women Engineers kicked off its second annual European conference – WE Europe – in Madrid, Spain with an entertaining yet thought-provoking keynote presentation by Cybersecurity Expert Keren Elazari. She educated the audience about the hacker “good guys” who help keep our data secure as we continue to face new threats from a new world order where the “problems of the future” will include scenarios like “your neighborhood kids trying to hack your toaster.”
Watch Elazari’s keynote speech here:
Keren’s great opening to the event was only the beginning, however, as the next two days were jammed packed with many interesting and timely workshops on topics ranging from “The Strategic Role of AGV’s in Industry” to “The Impact of Cognitive Computing from Healthcare to Shopping” to “Making Coding in Python Fun for Kids.”
In between all the great sessions was lots of great conversation and networking – something that I have come to expect as typical of any SWE event. I had the chance to discuss collaboration opportunities between SWE and the IMechE Iberia Group in Spain with Celia Gonzalez Tellez, the organization’s treasurer, to ponder gender differences in technical employment around the world with Natalie Debouvry from Air Products Belgium, and to catch up on the latest happenings in their section with the young ladies of Koc University SWE in Istanbul.
Two and a half days, unfortunately, was too short a time to get to know all of the more than 210 attendees at this year’s event – nearly double the number of attendees that SWE had at their first WE Europe event last spring in Amsterdam. But from all of those that I did have the opportunity to meet, one thing was clear – no matter where we are located in the world, women in technology and engineering face many of the same challenges. Having opportunities at events like WE Europe to network and share experiences is something that all of us crave. I am so excited to be part of SWE as we expand our influence globally and help women all around the world reach out to reach up.