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Day two of the Global Forum began with a lovely breakfast and discussion on the topic of women in leadership roles in the digital age. Panelists included, moderator, Thaima Salaam; President WIL – Women in Leadership in Europe, Partner & Associate Lawyer, Samman Law Firm, France, opening keynote delivered by Maureen K. Ohlhausen; Federal Trade Commission-FTC, USA, and other presentations given by Myriam El Ouni; Alliance Manager Microsoft, France, Eliane Fiolet; CEO, Ubergizmo, USA, Gabrielle Gauthey; Executive Vice President Global Government & Public Affairs Alacetel – Lucent, France, Marcella Logli; Director, Corporate Identity & Public Relations; General Secretary Telecom Italia Foundation, Italy, Claudia Selli; E.U. Affairs Director, AT&T, Belgium, Marta Turk; President of the Board & Director, CCI Ljubljana, Regional Chamber of Commerce, President Founder of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs GIZ Pdjetnost (Member FCEM), Slovenia.

The theme of the discussion was improving a woman’s position in a primarily male profession. Women have made progress in the work force, but still in the Digital Age it is still much of a man’s game. When it comes to the sciences especially women are still in a minority.  Marta Turk gave us some astounding statistics of the woman’s involvement in entrepreneurship in Europe: 20% or less of European women hold patents or own their own tech companies. Italy is one of the few that can boast about 30% of women who do in fact hold patents or own their own companies in the digital world. In Slovenia the majority of self-employed companies are failing and women’s business stays small and micro.  Eliane Fiolet also contributed with 10% of women have success when it comes to tech start-ups. What Europe is lacking is the legislation to promote women in business, something that the United States already has. 

Aside from the difficulties that women have entering into the tech industry, the panel of eight women left us with some very wise and inspiring words. Moreen Ohlhaussen, Gabrielle Gauthey, Eliane Fiolet, Claudia Selli and Marcella Logli all put emphasis on the importance of women speaking up and out to let themselves be heard. They put extreme emphasis on networking and not waiting for your boss to give you an assignment, but rather you look for opportunities that will propel you forward and up in your profession. Build up those connections that are made while networking even if one serves as a mentor. Keep learning and building knowledge because in these situations knowledge is the weapon that you will use to succeed in this digital and tech age.