The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency), alongside the Office of the NATO Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Office organized NATO's International Women's Day event on 8 March 2023.
The theme of the event, which took place at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, was "Innovators and Game Changers: Women in Tech Shaping the Future". The conference brought together participants and speakers from NATO, National officials, academia and industry to discuss the intersection between gender and technology.
To mark the significance of this day, NCI Agency General Manager Ludwig Decamps took part in a panel that discussed the importance of institutional and cultural change as well as NATO's efforts to include and encourage women in technology:
"It is important in our fight for balance that we offer an environment that is inclusive, friendly, and reflects who we are," said General Manager Ludwig Decamps.
Panellists from the NCI Agency also included Legal Adviser Sujin Chan-Allen, Head of Space Office Laryssa Patten and Chief People Officer Sandra Oosterveer.
"As lawyers, we can't underscore the criticality of robust legal frameworks enough, as this is the foundation of decision-making right from day one. It is also the barometer for right and wrong in crisis situations," said Sujin Chan-Allen during a discussion on the legal implications of gendered technologies.
"Opening up about the misconduct happening in a company, and not just sharing its successes, is a way to attract new talent through transparency," said Sandra Oosterveer, Chief People Officer of the NCI Agency during a panel about the challenges of retention and recruitment of women in STEM.
"It's extremely powerful when you have a hero that you can relate to. And when we skip including diversity, what we are doing is omitting the hero and removing the representation that future generations need as inspiration," said Laryssa Patten, Head of Space Office during the panel "A Gender Approach to Space".
The event also saw the participation of NATO Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security Irene Fellin, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană and Chair of the Military Committee Admiral Rob Bauer. Participants explored the opportunities and challenges facing women in the current technological environment.
If you would like to watch a recording of the conference, click here and here.