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Disturbed times require drastic actions. If we consider the Chinese meaning of the word ‘crisis’, the adverse circumstances we live in at present can also be seen as an opportunity to change the status quo. It is high time for women to stand their ground and raise their voices for their equal share of the world. According to the UK Office of National Statistics in February 2021 31% of UK tech jobs are currently held by women.

This figure definitely demonstrates certain progress compared to the situation just a few years ago, but we should consider it just as a starting point for the bigger change that needs to be achieved. There are certain steps that should be taken to overcome the existing gender inequality in the world and in the domain in technology in particular.

Firstly, stereotypes should be broken. If we consider the way women are presented in media, advertisements and even in computer games, a lot needs to be reformed. The stereotypical thinking is at the root of the problem of misconception of the role of women in society, the jobs and activities that are ‘appropriate’ for them. Bridging the gender gap is the next big change that must be called for. This gap exists in career opportunities, often easily noticed when comparing the number of women who studied in the field of STEM and the number of women who have real-life professional realization in the same area. Part of the existing gender gap is the pay gap which even official statistics categorically demonstrate. Thinking about the foundations of women equality, we should point out equal learning opportunities as one of the major pillars.

In fact, this issue is closely interwoven with the deeply-rooted stereotypes concerning not only gender, but also geographical region, social status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. When the efforts for breaking these stereotypes are successful, there will be more girls who choose to study STEM subjects at school or university. A crucial means this aim to be achieved is the support of young talents – both moral and financial. This support should start from the family, but the society should also be active in aiding the future professionals in the area and the aspiring female leaders of the world. The good example in this direction is already set. We will talk about examples of organizations which give women and girls access to educational resources and offer a lot of learning opportunities.

In order real equal opportunities to be granted for all, businesses should strive to assure greater work-life balance for all employees. This will give women the chance to find their professional fulfilment besides their realization as mothers and wives. IoT devices can be valuable aids for doing household chores, thus enabling women to devote their time to professional engagements and other things they like doing. Seeing more women in top management positions is a vital part of the equality, diversity and inclusion movement. Women are gentle and fair and such is their power. It is time for more power in women’s hands so that the world can become a more pleasant place to live in.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Elitsa Krumova is a recognised professional both in Marketing and Advertising and in the IT industry. Her diverse educational background, with BA of Honours in Advertising and Marketing Communications from London Metropolitan University, MA in Creative Advertising from Southampton Solent University and Bachelor’s Degree in IT and Computer Sciences, is her unique tool which enables her to foresee the trends not only in consumer behaviour and technology, but also to predict the future projections of current tendencies in society and life in general.

In December 2021 she was given the award ‘IoT Premier League Woman of the Year Award 2021’. She also ranked 3rd in the ‘IoT Premier League Top 100 Thought Leaders and Influencers 2021’ rankings. Elitsa Krumova was also named among the ‘Top 25 Industrial IoT Influencers for 2021’ by CBT in December 2021. In 2021 Elitsa Krumova received several recognitions from the industry: • Top 50 Women in Tech Influencers to Follow 2021 by The Awards Magazine • 5 IoT Influencers You Should Follow in 2021 by Davra • Who’s Who in IoT Connectivity – IIoT Voices by Onalytica 2021 • Who’s Who in Digital Experience – AI Sector by Onalytica 2021 • Who’s Who in Data Science and Machine Learning – Social Amplifiers by Onalytica 2021″

Visit Elitsa’s website to view all her services as a Tech influencer and thought-leader- Here.

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Session Transcript

Elitsa Krumova
Hey everyone, it’s so nice to see so many your faces in my audience. Unfortunately, this act of seeing happens only in my mind’s eye. Nevertheless, it’s so inspiring to meet like minded people and have the opportunity to discuss problems that we’re passionate about. We’re all gathered here to celebrate women’s power to emphasise the role of women in the world of technology, and join our efforts to make our voices more audible. My name is Elitsa Krumova, and I’m an independent professional Tech Influencer and Thought Leader. Over the last few years, I have been developing my personal brand. My previous experience includes working for some of the biggest tech companies genuine Imagine that. At that time, I was the only woman at the enterprise hardware department of IBM in Bulgaria. This was in fact a steep but positive learning experience for me. However, I chose to stop being connect with the big tech enterprise world. I decided to take this step and make this radical shift in order to manage to preserve my intellectual independence, and to be able to convey my beliefs and ideas to an audience that I tried to enlarge day by day.

Elitsa Krumova
Some of you that have come across my media activity might have noticed the number of grants that I constantly give to various women and girl visitations around the world. Some Twitter members who don’t know what grep means, think that the posts are written by robots, and even Twitter algorithms of mistakes that pose for spam. I do it with the sole purpose to increase the digital presence and credibility score of such organisations and to popularise their causes among people. This is just a simple example, how a simple act of acknowledgement and respect to the others can lead to bigger positive development. The mere fact that we are meeting virtually and not face to face is a telltale sign of the dramatic times we live in. Disturbed times require drastic actions. If we consider the Chinese meaning of the world crisis, the adverse circumstances we’re live in the present can also be seen as an opportunity to change the status quo. It is high time for women to stand their ground and raise their voices for their equal share of the world. It is a widely acknowledged fact that women are underrepresented in a number of important spheres of our lives.

Elitsa Krumova
According to the UK Office of National Statistics, in February 2021 31% of UK tech jobs are currently held by women. This trigger definitely demonstrates certain progress compared to the situation just a few years ago, but we should consider it just as a starting point for the bigger change that needs to be achieved. There are certain steps that should be taken to overcome the existing gender inequality in the world. And in the domain of technology in particular. Firstly, stereotypes should be broken. If we can see that the way women are presented the media, advertisements and even in computer games, a lot needs to be reformed the stereotype stereotype because thinking is at the root of the problem of misconception of the role of women in society, the jobs and activities that are appropriate and output that the birth brackets for them. Bridging the gender gap is the next big change that must be called for. This gap exists in career opportunities often easily noticed when comparing the number of women who started in the field of stem.

Elitsa Krumova
Part the existing gender gap is the pay gap. I just share with you my personal experience and my real shock when after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from London Metropolitan University, I started looking for a job in advertising and marketing in London area. And I came upon a lot of online job advertisements directly stating a different salary for the same position for male and female employees. As I said, it was shocking for me to see such adverts, because of my home country, Bulgaria, which some people might know as good holiday destination, especially for wild youth. Such pay gap factually does not exist. And it has never existed in the last 60 years or so. This fact might have some historical and political explanation, but we are not going to discuss it now.

Elitsa Krumova
However, this gender pay gap does exist, even in the most developed countries, and even patient statistics categorically demonstrated. Doctor under chamberlayne, Glassdoor chief economist in 2017, conducted a separate study based on Glassdoor salary data. I will share with you some direct quotes from the executive summary of the self study, because it is crucial for our discussion. This study examines the gender pay gap using a unique data set of hundreds of 1000s of Glassdoor salaries, shared anonymously by employers online. Unlike most studies, we include detailed statistical controls for specific job titles and company names. We estimate the gender pay gap in five countries, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and France. main takeaway, the gender pay gap is real, both in the US and around the world. men earn more than women on average in every country we examined, both before and after adding statistical controls for personal characteristics, job title, company, industry, and other factors designed to make an apples to apples comparison between workers. How large is the gap based on more than 505,000 salaries shared by full time, US employees on Glassdoor men earned 24.1% higher base pay than women on average. In other words, women earn about 76 cents per dollar manner.

Elitsa Krumova
This is consistent with official sources that young women earn on average 75 to 80 cents per dollar earned by man. However, comparing workers with similar age, education and years of experience shrinks that gap to 19.2%. Further comparing workers with the same job title, employer and location, the gender pay gap in the US falls to 5.4%, which is 94.6 cents per door. We find a similar pattern in all five countries we examined. A large overall or adjusted gender pay gap, which ranks to smaller adjusted pay gap was statistical controls are added. So this is the sad reality in some of the most developed countries. And as we see statistical Davis evidence for it, even though as stated in the report, even though it is just this act of inequality is one of the reasons that may take the decision to return to my home country and start working from there.

Elitsa Krumova
Thinking about the foundations of women equality, we should point out equal learning opportunities as one of the major pillars. In fact, this issue is closely interwoven with the deeply rooted stereotypes concerning not only gender, but also geographical region, social status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Recently, I came across a very insightful article COVID Girl, young women see decades of progress undone by pandemic by Bloomberg. The article says the following. Before COVID The story of girls progress over the past quarter century was largely a positive one.

Elitsa Krumova
Although only about half of the world’s girls were enrolled in school in 1998 25 years later, that proportion just searched to do in three, and gender gap in education, which reflects the stubborn parental preference to invest in a sense education but not daughters, yet closed in most countries. It’s no longer the case that young men are significantly more likely than young women to be literate. However, the situation change dramatically when COVID-19 struck. The article points out that Kenya like most countries in Sub Saharan Africa, has so far been spared the worst of COVID the extent of the indirect damage COVID has brought is difficult to measure. What’s known so far, though, suggests that it could outweigh the disease direct effects in Kenya and many other African nations. The economic and social fallout of shutdowns is concentrated among the young and almost a quarter of Kenya’s population is between 10 and 19. Young people have been hit by a shadow epidemic ripping for developing countries. It has had a devastating effect, especially on young girls, who have been pushed out of the special shelters schools organised for them, just decreasing their earning potential, putting them at greater risk of violence and potentially shortening their lives and those their children.

Elitsa Krumova
The above mentioned article describes the worrying situation is Sub Saharan Africa, but it is sadly true for all developing countries. When the efforts for breaking stereotypes and ensuring equal learning opportunities are successful, there will be more girls who choose to study STEM subjects at school or university. A crucial means this aim to be achieved is the support of young talents, both moral and financial. This support should start from the family, but the society should also be active in aiding the future professionals in the area and the aspiring female leaders of the world. The good example is already set in this direction. There are already numerous examples of organisations which give women and girls access to educational resources and offer a lot of learning opportunities. Some of these organisations which I have interacted with on social media include she’s the first girl effect, Girls Inc. Girls Who Code Black Girls CODE Latinas in tech women who go and others. However, an article from Fast Company and think gives the disappointing fact that out of the 1.3 million active charities registered registered in the United States, only 45,000 are focused on women and girls.

Elitsa Krumova
That means that nonprofits working to help women overcome the various inequalities they face received just 1.6 of charitable giving. This means that a lot more needs to be achieved in order to achieve educational gender equality. The next pillar towards women equality is ensuring opportunity equality. In order designed to be achieved, businesses should strive to assure greater work life balance for all employees. This will give women the chance to find their professional fulfilment besides their realisation as mothers and wives. This work life balance should be shaped by adequate parental leave policies. Businesses should be encouraged to support new parents and allow flexibility when they return from lay.

Elitsa Krumova
This can only be achieved through appropriate legislation, which is valid also as a means to overcome to pay their IoT devices can be vulnerable aids for doing household chores, thus enabling women to devote their time to professional engagements and other things they like doing. The blooming IoT devices market is also a huge opportunity for professional realisation of women in IoT, because they have the knowledge of what they need, and the imagination to create it. Seeing more women in top management and leadership positions, is a vital part of equality, diversity and inclusion movement.

Elitsa Krumova
A report from the International Labour Office about women in managerial and leadership positions in the G 20 From October 2020, states that only limited progress has been made in terms of women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership positions in the world of work over the past 10 years. None of the country’s with variable data reaches the target of 50% of women in senior and middle management position. Indicator 5.5 point two of the Sustainable Development Goals. The share of woman and in managerial positions is particularly low in occupations that are traditionally dominated by men.

Elitsa Krumova
Overall, the public sector seems to provide more management opportunities for women than the private sector. Let’s now talk about the IoT community Internet of Things community in particular, it has been organising the IoT Premier League competition for three years now. Each week, the IT community publishes a ranking of the top 100 standings in all three divisions across individual thought leaders, industry analysts, corporate channels, and media. We can notice a rise of the number of female participants in the competition in 2021. However, for the last two years, among the top 10 winners, there is just one female member. This fact speaks for itself. It means that more women should be encouraged to step into the industry. Talking about women in managerial and leadership positions, we must mention the names of women who can be an inspiration for us so it will focus only on the world of IoT.

Elitsa Krumova
We should mention the names of Kelly Irland Founders, CEO and CTO of CBT and vice chair of the women in IoT Centre of Excellence. Jane Colwell, Internet of Things, Product Marketing at SAS and member large of the women in IoT Centre of Excellence, Michelle Alo, principal product marketing leader Ansible automation at Red Hat and culture of the IoT communities, women in IoT Centre of Excellence and Professor Sally’s Chair of cyber dress and senior policy advisor for the Global Foundation of cyber status and research and CEO of aspirational futures. What really attracted attention about the women in technology is the fact that all the leading names in the sphere have multidisciplinary expertise and achievements in various areas. This might be due to the typical women ability for multitasking, or to the fact that the world of technology nowadays requires much more skills than just being good at mathematics. As I have already mentioned, A positive move towards increase in the number of girls and women in STEM is observed over the last years.

Elitsa Krumova
Towards the end of my speech, I’d like to share with you some examples that I have come across, which I find really inspirational. Some of the examples are in the highly ambitious futuristic space sector. The Space Generation Advisory Council in support of the United Nations programme on space applications is a global non governmental nonprofit us 501 C three, organisation and network, which aims to represent university students and young space professionals, ages 18 to 35 to the United Nations, space agencies, industry and academia, the lgac network of members, volunteers and Alumini, just grown to more than 16,000 members representing more than 165 countries. This cancel granted the diversity and gender equality i our giant leap project group in 2021. The project group works on the topics of diversity, inclusion and equality within the aerospace sector. space for women project launched by the the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is another positive example aiming at bridging the gender gap and ensuring that women and girls play an active and equal role in space science, technology, innovation and exploration.

Elitsa Krumova
A remarkable Boeing Company initiative is the girl STEM pathway initiative. The girls STEM pathway initiative is dedicated to engaging girls with 21st century skills to fuel their imaginations, and provide authentic learning experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. The aim of the initiative is to give opportunities to girls to venture into the intriguing world of Space Science. Another word mentioned project is led by NASA. NASA is collaborating with a well known though and book company to inspire children to dream big, and to reach for the staff. Through a Space Act Agreement, NASA partnered with American girl to share the excitement of space with the public and, in particular, inspire young girls to learn about science, technology, engineering and math. Girls in Tech is a nonprofit organisation. It conducts greater hackathons. Girl syntax, virtual hackathons are designed to provide girls with Canton technical experience. The hackathons are two week long event that invite girls with a variety of skill sets, to work together online, and use technology to solve real world problems and tidy solutions are often in the mix. One example of a result achieved during the hackathons is that in 2020, the winning group develop an IoT bio sensor system that lets healthcare staff get accurate, real time high temperature alerts without wasting PPE during the COVID 19 pandemic. This is a bright example of girls immersing themselves in the world of IoT. And now a positive example from my personal experience resulting from my encounter with bright and inspiring women. Recently, I joined an empty project called Cyber Cosmos world. The project is founded by a gift of the car and is based on 10,000 NFT randomly generated digital cyber avatars of various rarity living on the EDrum blockchain side Cosmos characters are all female characters, and they resemble a cross between Siena warrior princess and the Black Widow.

Elitsa Krumova
They come complete with a detailed science fiction cybersecurity mythology, in which intergalactic Amazon in the year 2070. For a team which battles to change mindsets about women in the cyber field, and the capability of women to provide cyber security. The 10,050 cyber warriors represent Ethel’s of strength, fairness, and equal opportunities for women. The public sale starts on March the 31st 2022. For more intriguing details, you can explore the world cyber Cosmos at cyber Cosmos dot world. One particular reason for launching the project is the lack of gender diversity in cryptocurrency, more specifically non fungible tokens. The token industry has become a highly exclusive space for males.

Elitsa Krumova
The founder of the project believes that the cyber Cosmos NF T’s Gen achieve three goals in one the girl power flavour of the artwork attached to each entity could catch the attention of school leavers. Women taking over a manatee should get returns on their investments, and teach cyber cause insanity increases the representation of women in STEM. The women in the project believe that the future is female. We’re excited. And I say we because I, as I just mentioned, I joined this project as well to lounge and build a global community of strong females. We’re not simply talking about women’s right here. Rather, we want to focus on all the different things that make a woman Great. her strength, her silence her ambition. The aim is to create a long term brand and community which benefits everyone as the project grows, but especially women. With the lounge of the NFT collection, we intend to raise funds that will be used to donate to charities at 50% sale, to organise awareness campaigns, conferences, and to set up a support group that will help young women across the globe looking to have a career in STEM. We are on a mission to bring 100,000 women into STEM by the end of 2022 and create job opportunities for this project and increase the representation of women in the industry. I would appeal to everyone who is already intrigued by this exciting and inspiring project to promote it so that more people get to know about it and become owners of one of these unique cyber warrior characters. We would appreciate any kind of help to bring life to powerful female representation in the metaverse and krypton identity world. I would like to conclude with the statement that women are gentle and fair and such as their power. It is time for more power in women’s hands so that the world can become a more pleasant place to live in. Thank you very much for your attention. In case you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Georgia Harris
And we have some questions for you if you have time to answer them. You mentioned about your projects. And I was just wondering how it’s going on your mission to get all those women together in STEM.

Elitsa Krumova
As I mentioned, the public sale is about to start in March. But we’re actually hoping to make the the public well aware of the project even before the public sale. So far, we have contacted the major charity organisations and including, well, the ones which I mentioned during my speech. Unfortunately, so far, we still don’t have replies, I guess. Such organisations do get a lot of requests for partnership and funding. Well, in our case for our project, I would say that jabbing the tension from different media outlets and industries and influential individuals will be enough. Because the NFT cyber warriors are actually a good that if the collection too old, and carried in mind the bus around Metaverse mentality, I think that a lot of women should be highly excited to all such pieces.

Unknown Speaker
Absolutely, absolutely. And thank you also for sharing with us some of the women that inspire you within the industry, especially Kelly Ireland, who is actually speaking this afternoon as well. So make sure you stick around for that one. We have some more questions for you. And one of the ones we have are what are Did you face any significant barriers? As a female starting your career in tech? And if so, how did you overcome those?

Elitsa Krumova
Um, well, I would say that I didn’t have to face any barriers, given that I’m good at psychology. And it is also part of my education. Yeah. Another thing as a personal trainer is that I have always been able to manage to immerse myself in male environment being one of the guys. So even in a drastic situation, like, as I mentioned, as hardware engineer in IBM, I was the only female among 31 males. Yes. Wow. Even in that situation, I was able to immerse myself in the conversation and just being part of the Yeah. However, for young girls, I would say that I do see, apart from hoping this to have different effects in the future, and to check more women in STEM tech. I do see, actually more women in strictly male positions, like for example, hardware engineering. Yeah. Because well, women often prefer more soft tech industries, like cold, the design products and so on. But I did see a positive change in that direction, too, compared to 10 years ago. So time cures everything, obviously. And we hope for seeing more of these effects. Definitely actually happening in fast paced. Because, yes, it is urgent to have more representation in the industry. And for young girls. I would advise them not to be afraid to try because Well, anyone can make changes in their careers and life paths, but not trying. Anything could be worse than not trying to do.

Georgia Harris
That is so true. Yeah. That’s a really good piece of advisor. And that’s it for all the questions. Thank you so much for joining us ellipses. Brilliant. And we actually have another tool Starting now well in the next 10 minutes, and that is with Ramona Marfievici from Digital Catapult and she is going to be talking about benchmarking your IoT solutions. So if you want to head back to the lobby, you’ll be able to join that session very soon. Thank you so much, Elitsa. We hope that you stick around and join us for the rest of the day, but if not, we’ll see you soon.

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