European Women Founders Meeting
Back in May 2022, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel invited me among 36 women from the EU to join the European Women Founders Group. The Group was formed in order “to advise the Commissioner on what could be done to support female entrepreneurship”, but also “to share challenges and opportunities women-led startups face and identify areas for further action through a participatory approach”. After a productive kick-off meeting in Sofia in May, we formed a steering committee and decided on the most important areas to address, such as funding perspectives or talent in tech. After the publication of the New European Innovation Agenda on 5th of July, we met together with several other groups to share our opinions on the agenda, potential improvements, and most importantly, the next steps and the way each group is able to support the initiative. Each of us joined other discussion panel, mine was focused on Innovation.
There’s a lot of work to be done by all of us, but for me, it is an extremely positive sign that the EU Commission invests in women by taking diversity seriously and by listening to what we have to say. Mountains of evidence show that more diverse teams are more innovative and resilient when the going gets tough. According to McKinsey research “in the COVID-19 crisis, inclusion and diversity matter more than ever”, as ”One-third of the companies in our data set have made significant I&D gains over the past five years and are increasingly pulling ahead of their industry peers in financial performance. Our experience with companies in this group suggests that many of them will view their existing strengths in I&D as a way to bounce back more quickly from the crisis while they actively seek to boost representation and inclusion”.
Thank you, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel for this grassroot work. Looking forward to seeing more underrepresented groups joining these efforts to create an inclusive environment in business, politics and education.