The international cross-disciplinary forum in Sofia, Bulgaria, will gather prominent advocates of the green transformation coming from the worlds of tech, business, and arts.
Is it true that women-led companies invest more in renewable energy and demonstrate better financial performance? Is there an easy way to distinguish between corporate greenwashing and truly green companies when choosing a business partner or an employer? Which are the latest trends in green innovations and startups and what supports their development?
These are some of the important questions SHEleader@digital 2022, the conference dedicated to women in technology and innovation will try to answer. For the third time, on October 6th, 2022 in Sofia, Bulgaria, the boutique event will gather 20+ prominent Bulgarian and international business leaders and speakers for know-how exchange and heated discussions beyond the corporate cliches. The event is held under the patronage of Maria Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth. Co-organizers of the event are the Bulgarian Center for Women in Technology (BCWT), MOVE.BG, EDIT, and the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA).
“The transition towards greener and more sustainable models is one of the most important topics of our times. Moreover, it’s not a process that happens in isolation but penetrates all levels of the public sphere, business, and policymaking. On a global scale, 80% of the people displaced by climate change are women and this is one of the main reasons for women to be the engines of green innovations across sectors. Our goal is to showcase good practices and inspire the transformation of more organisations,” states Sasha Bezuhanova, Chairperson of the Bulgarian Center of Women in Technology (BCWT), the organizers of SHEleader@digital. Although women are the actual drivers of green initiatives in the public sector and business, their voices often remain unheard at forums where important decisions are made. Therefore, most of the speakers during this year’s conference are female, Bezuhanova adds.
Some important facts
From COP26 (39%) to national and international decision-making bodies (under 30%), to boardrooms (29.5% in EU), the startup scene (30% and receiving only 1% of funding), to the tech sector (19%), and VC teams (20%) – female decisionmakers are still a minority at all levels of conversations regarding climate change.
Yet there’s enough evidence of the vital role women play in the inevitable green transformation. Data shows that parliaments with more women pass more stringent climate change policies. Companies with more women on their boards are more likely to invest in renewable power generation, low-carbon products, and energy efficiency shows a study by UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. Thus female leadership strengthens business, attracts the best talent (50% of Gen Zs want to work for ethical companies), and increases profitability by up to 18%. Furthermore, according to the Boston Consulting Group female entrepreneurs are more likely to start businesses with impact and bring more than double returns to their investors.
Among this year’s speakers is Lubomila Yordanova, founder of the company Plan A and the global GreenTech Alliance, a global network of green ventures. Her company uses the power of data to help businesses lower their carbon footprint. Kim Andreoli-Paske, Senior Director at Cisco, will shed some light on what it actually means to make a corporate structure greener and more sustainable. European Commissioner Maria Gabriel and Sasha Bezuhanova, founder of the think-tank MOVE.BG and BCWT Chairperson will talk about the values of the green transformed economy and policymaking. In the next weeks, the SHElaeder@digital team will reveal more exciting names on the list of speakers who will share their thoughts and experience on how nature inspires creativity across sectors – from arts to product development to new business models.
Interactive panels, practical ideas that can be applied the very next day, inspiring keynotes, a sense of contact with nature, art performances, and surprises – this is what SHEleader@digital’s team is promising the audience. Tickets for the conference are already available for online purchase here. Due to the boutique format, there is a limited number of tickets for the live experience. The organizers have decided to also open up the forum to a wider audience via online streaming for a symbolic price.
SHEleader@digital 2022 is organized in partnership with Cisco, Master Card, Bulgarian Stock Exchange, HPE operated by Selectium, Evedo, SuperHosting.