Third Women in Tech breakfast focused on Women’s Safety and Security

On 16 May, EIT Urban Mobility in cooperation with the Research Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (VUPI) and Czech Chamber of Commerce hosted the third Women in Tech breakfast in Prague, Czechia. It brought together talented and ambitious women from startup environment. The focal point of this event was a panel discussion centred around Women’s Safety and Security, both in the real world and online. 

Women’s safety and security – these topics are still of a very high significance in women’s communities around the world. Even with the amount of attention brought to the topics, the fundamental nature of asking relevant questions and seeking for appropriate solutions is the starting point for addressing these issues, said Dana Bérová, businesswoman, mentor, investor, and a former Minister of Informatics of Czechia.  

From right to left: Linda Štucbartová, panel discussion moderator, with panellists: Dana Bérová, Zuzana Ambrožová and Anna Veselá at the third Women in Tech breakfast in Prague, 16 May 2024.

One of the three founders of Amplla company and architect, Zuzana Ambrožová added: ‘’Sole presence of women can make any place safer’’. But how do we create secure environments for women? Here comes urban planning as a key instrument in shaping safe cities, advocating for open, connected, well-lit urban spaces, designed for people, not for cars. Shaped in that way, cities would support the safety and well-being of both women and men.  

There are several concepts that may help achieve these goals, including a ‘’15-minute city’’. The idea came from Paris mayor Anna Hidalgo during her 2020 re-election campaign. It encompasses proximity of major services needed daily and walkability. Walking towards these services must also be pleasant. Green corridors, parks and well-planned embankments are the key features for creating vibrant and pleasant 15-minute cities. It would also help promoting different types of urban mobility – walking, cycling, public transport and then private cars. 

The approach of better urban planning and mobility for people promotes creating communities with different age and gender groups involved in as a city would become more inclusive and accessible for every inhabitant.  

Implementation of the concept into real life requires involving all the stakeholders and gender groups to collaborate. As there are certain differences in needs between different social groups, co-operation is essential. For instance, women are more focused on their security in public transport than men. Many women in many European cities still try to avoid commuting in metro at late evening or night. On the other hand, women do need to make trips by public transport more often. They are often the ones who pick up children from schools and bring them to their after-school activities. Additionally, panellists emphasised the need to challenge the mindset that drives personal seclusion behind barriers and fences.  

Pitching new ideas = challenging the status quo 

Women in Tech breakfast series of meetings has a goal to promote women’s participation in entrepreneurship. The other important aim is to increase public awareness about what women face in this sphere, online and offline. As the startup environment is evolving, there are dedicated funds for women’s startups within the EU. These funds engage women to create and lead innovative technological projects reflecting the women’s safety and security needs. Such initiatives thereby foster a more balanced and equitable world. 

Encouraging women to envision grander aspirations and take on a more proactive role is essential. The secret is simple – to win one must learn to fail. There is the need to reshape our perception of failure as an opportunity for growth. Mastery in winning involves understanding the dynamics of loss. This is the concept pivotal for success multiplied by unbending will to achieve the success. 

Audience listening to panel discussion at the third Women in Tech breakfast, 16 May 2024.

Until the next time 

The panellists and audience were tasked with various assignments aimed at fostering personal and professional growth, such as investing, supporting other women, stepping out of comfort zone and becoming part of a larger community, collaborating with diverse teams, as a collaborative approach to empowering women in the tech industry is needed. 

The next Women in Tech breakfast in Prague, scheduled for November, will emphasise the importance of education even deeper. Highlighted by all participants of this session, education is a crucial nurturing tool for fostering the next generation of women in technology. Women in Tech breakfast serves as a catalyst for driving positive change, advocating for greater inclusivity and education within the tech industry.