SHEconomy™ Summit in Silicon Valley

 

More female executives with digital knowledge is good business!

April 3–6 2018 Camilla Bakjord, Compello’s CMO, participated at SHEcomony Summit in Silicon Valley together with 34 other Norwegian executives. Camilla is one of the founders of SHEconomy Summit and RoundTables, an initiative that Compello highly supports.

The world is in the middle of a digital transformation, and we are all asking ourselves the same question; how will we succeed in the future? The new era demands great adaptability, new innovations, higher pace, bigger risk taking and a new type of leadership. As a manager you need to learn how to relate to the development, and what steps you need to take in order to keep up with the market development. The digitalization changes our whole society and even the way we live. Executives need better technical knowledge as well as access to new tools.

Women are still underrepresented both within technical professions and within leading positions. In the Nordics we need more persons with technical knowledge, and more executives able to drive change and innovations. We can’t recruit these persons from just half of the population. All executives need to adapt to the digitalization and ongoing tech development, and they need to raise their technical knowledge. The purpose of SHEcomony Summits is therefor threefolded.

SHEconomy Summit and RoundTables strive to:

  1. Contribute to increasing managers’ skills in digitalization, innovation and change
  2. Facilitate for women in executive positions to look for and embrace the opportunities that digitalization opens up for
  3. Develop a branch- and transnational network

The background of the iniatiative
The proportion of women in IT and the proportion of female executives is too low. Today, it’s an overwhelming majority of men who work with technology. According to ODA’s (THe Nordic’s Leading Tech Network for Women) annual survey, women account for only 26 % of the employees, and 17 % of the senior executive roles in the IT industry. Generally, the number of female managers is increasing, but we still have quite a bit left to go.
In 2017, the number of female executives was 38 %, the majority of which had senior positions in the public sector (according to the National Statistical Institute of Norway). The figures show that we have too few women with digital skills who can take on leading roles during change processes. When women do not choose technology, it is not first and foremost a loss for themselves, but for business and society.

The professional network that SHEconomy represents aims to help building knowledge and reaching out to more. In addition, the network provides an arena for exchange of experiences, insights, reflection and knowledge.

SHEconomy ™ Summit and subsequent round table conferences are seminars where managers of different backgrounds, competencies, roles and interests learn from the very best – and one another – in one of the world’s tech capitals. In April 2018, 35 Norwegian executives traveled to Silicon Valley. The list of participants was widely composed of representatives from both the private and public sectors, academia, elite athletes, associations and start-ups.

Several companies with headquarters in Silicon Valley helped creating a professionally heavy and comprehensive program. Participants visited, among others, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Stanford University. They listened to amazing lecturers from Harvard Business School and Amazon. The program provided knowledge and insight into subjects within innovation, disruption, design thinking, machine learning, entrepreneurship, IT security, new technology, culture and more.

 

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The 35 SHEconomy participants at Google’s HQ in Silicon Valley

Overwhealming interest
The huge interest in this year’s networking meeting in Silicon Valley – SHEconomy Summit, Innovation and Tech-demonstrated the need of an arena for knowledge sharing and building, as well as networking. It’s a clear desire from the participating companies to raise the digital knowledge knowledge by meeting people in leading positions from some of today’s most prominent technology companies. There is also a need to form networks across national borders.

Initially, SHEconomy’s management team and cooperating partners hoped for about 10 participants to this year’s networking meeting, but the spots ended quickly and a waiting list was established when 35 participants had signed up. Because of this very positive pressure the network has already scheduled next year’s network trip. The purpose of SHEconomy Roundtables is for the participants to meet both before and after the Silicon Valley trip to discuss perspectives and exchange experiences, and not least discuss how to best implement the new knowledge, reflect on challenges, opportunities and best practice. Today’s executives work in markets that change rapidly and regardless of industry the challenges are similar. Because of this, it’s a great strenght that participants come from different places and represent a variety of perspectives.

The idea behind the network
Deputy professor and writer Benja Stig Fagerland was invited to Compello in May 2015 to hold a lecture for the IT company, and then met Compello’s CMO Camilla Bakjord. Compello has been working systematically with diversity for a long time, and is currently among the IT companies in Norway with the highest proportion of women (40 %). The meeting between Benja and Camilla that day was the beginning of the SHEconomy Summit and RoundTables. The two talked about the challenges of corporate management and digitalization, about the challenges for women in leading positions, and not least about the importance of sustainable diversity and what is known as Corporate Diversity Responsibility (CDR) – a term that Benja launched in the book “SHEconomy, your, mine and our business”.

 

Benja Stig Fagerland and Camilla Bakjord

Benja Stig Fagerland and Camilla Bakjord

In the future we won’t say female executives, just executives.
«Fix the system, not the women!»

Benja Stig Fagerland

Founder and initiative taker, SHEconomy Summit

From words to action, togheter
A few weeks later that year, Benja presented the idea and the concept of SHEconomy Summits and RoundTables for Compello, and the company immediately supported the initiative. Several companies joined the collaboration, including Microsoft, Women Speakers, Google, the Armed Forces, the ODA Network, and more. SHEconomy Summit and RoundTables was launched under the ownership of SHEconomy AS.

SHEconomy has a versatile, clear, broad and strong collaboration platform. Private and public sector, organizations, think tanks, academy, elite athletes and start-ups are all represented. All with the wish to join the SHEconomy umbrella to support joint action with a view to achieving common goals. Despite competition, different interests, industries and arenas, women work together to achieve results for the benefit of all.

I think it’s great that you organize this trip, creating an arena for networking and knowledge transfer. I’m proud of your engagement – you are true role models!

Gustav Line

CEO, Compello

Compello's CMO tests Microsoft's Hololens

Compello’s CMO tests Microsoft’s Hololens

Camilla Bakjord tests Microsoft’s HoloLens based on so called «Mixed Reality». Advanced camera and sensor technology is being used to register the surrounding environment and then to project virtual elements upon this. The device contains all necessary hardware and does not need a separate computer to function.

Some of the SHEconomy participants test the bikes at Linkedin's Campus.

Some of the SHEconomy participants tested the bikes at Linkedin’s Campus.

From the left: Benja Stig Fagerland, SHEconomy, Kristine Hofer Næss, Oda Network, Camilla Bakjord, Compello and Inga Kleppe, Microsoft.

Facebook Campus is like a small town, on the picture a small ice cream shop.

Facebook Campus is like a small town, on the picture an ice-cream café.

Facebook Campus is like a small town with restaurants, dry cleaner, child care facilities and a library.