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What International Women's Day means to female tech leaders in Cyprus

As the world marks Women’s Day, seven leading female members of Cyprus’ thriving tech scene spoke to CBN about how they view women’s role in the tech industry. They also shared their advice to other women aspiring for a career in the sector.

The overall message was one of encouragement for other women and optimism for the future.

Tetyana Romanyukha

Tanya Romanyukha, Head of Operations, TechIsland & Women In Tech Cyprus Director:

As we celebrate Women's Day, let's highlight the transformative growth of Cyprus's tech sector, which contributed over 3 billion euros to our economy in 2022. This is not just about numbers; it's a testament to our potential to be a beacon of innovation and progress. Yet, the heart of innovation lies in diversity and inclusivity. It is crucial to integrate different voices and diverse perspectives to enable true innovation. The vision for the future is not just to increase female participation in tech but to empower women to assume key leadership roles. And for this we must shine a spotlight on those women who are paving the way, serving as role models and inspiring a new generation to dream bigger and aim higher. At the same time, we recognise the need to challenge and shift societal and gender biases, ensuring that both men and women can choose their own paths and pursue their careers in the tech world. This mission goes beyond today; it's about creating a foundation for a tech industry that fosters equity, celebrates diversity, and drives sustainable growth. By embracing this ethos, we can build a future where every individual, regardless of gender, can thrive and contribute to making the tech sector more vibrant and inclusive. Let's inspire action towards a more equitable tech landscape in Cyprus and beyond.

Marianna Prokopi

Dr. Marianna Prokopi-Demetriades, Founder, Theramir Ltd, Promed Bioscience Ltd, RSL Revolutionary Labs Ltd:

In my role as a biotech entrepreneur and researcher, the intersection of personal experience and professional endeavor has given me a unique vantage point on the importance of diverse perspectives in the tech industry. My own path was shaped by personal loss to cancer, a journey that honed my determination and inspired a deeply empathetic approach to innovation. Particularly, women, who are often the cornerstone of caregiving, contribute essential insights born from compassion and patient advocacy. Their influence extends beyond fulfilling diversity requirements; it ensures that our technological innovations genuinely capture the multifaceted nature of life and address genuine human needs. On International Women’s Day, while we celebrate the strides made by women in technology, we are also reminded of the ongoing need to foster their advancement. Women's participation is key to unlocking potential and incorporating varied thoughts, steering the industry towards a future marked by fairness and opportunity. My experience in developing innovative solutions for oncology patients highlights the undeniable impact of women's contributions. Through leadership, we aim to foster an equitable, talent-nurturing, and development-driven workplace. Reflecting on my ventures, the significance of women in shaping a future where innovation is as humane as it is scientifically advanced is paramount. Investing in women not only empowers them to excel, which in turn drives financial prosperity, but it also upholds a fundamental human right, transcending the narrative of gender equality from a mere business argument to an ethical imperative. By defying traditional norms and diversifying our technological landscape, we strive to build a society that mirrors the rich tapestry of its people.

Luba Pashkovskaya

Luba Pashkovskaya, Co-founder of Verv Group:

In today's rapidly advancing technological landscape, the inclusion of women in the tech scene is more crucial than ever. With most current challenges being tackled through technology, it is essential to have diverse gender perspectives at the table to ensure that all voices are heard and all problems are addressed. By promoting gender diversity in the tech scene, we can create a more inclusive and equitable industry that is better equipped to address the complex challenges of our modern world.

Ugne Buraciene payabl (2)

Ugne Buraciene, Group CEO of payabl.:

In the current business climate, women play an indispensable role. As businesses aim to better understand their customers and drive innovation, it is crucial to foster gender-diverse environments that mirror the diversity in the societies we live in. Representation plays a crucial role here. I draw inspiration from influential leaders like Christine Lagarde, who is tirelessly advocating for gender diversity and equality in leadership and reminds me of the profound impact that women have on the industries they work in. My journey to becoming CEO has been significantly influenced by the formidable women in my life when growing up, particularly my grandmother, who has taught me the value of resilience and leadership. To all women aspiring to make their mark in the business world, I say: embrace your unique voice and perspectives. Don’t be intimidated by the challenges ahead of you or the presence of established norms. Share your knowledge with confidence as knowledge is power and confidence is key. And remember that making mistakes is part of the journey towards success and every setback is a lesson learned. We can bridge the gender gap and create a tech industry that is truly inclusive by ensuring we make our voices heard.

Christina Shailas four

Christina Shailas, Founder & CEO of Gear Education:

Why is it important for women to be part of the tech scene? It simply doesn’t make sense any other way. Women equate to about half the global population. So, for technology to appeal to this significant amount of the market segment, it needs to incorporate women. And it’s not enough for women to just be part of the tech scene. To fully embrace the female perspective, women need to be threaded into every stage of innovation, from design to development.

Elena Georgiou Strouthos

Elena Georgiou Strouthos, Co-Founder & CTO of Cocoon Creations:

With two decades of experience in the tech industry, I am looking forward to a future in which women excel in this field. The tech sector, globally and here in Cyprus faces a significant shortage of specialised professionals, exacerbated by the historical underrepresentation of women. Yet, considering women constitute about half of the global population, incorporating this vast talent pool is key to bridging the current skills gap and ensuring the industry's robustness and sustainability. As a podcaster focusing on women's history in tech, I'm dedicated to highlighting their historical achievements and inspiring future female tech leaders, emphasising that gender diversity is not merely about social advancement but a lever for broader innovation and excellence in the industry. As an employer, I always strive and I am proud to say that 50% of our employees are women. Through initiatives, mentorship, and educational outreach, we should dismantle barriers and motivate more women to join the tech realm. The future of women in tech is not just a matter of equality; it's a catalyst for greater innovation and excellence in the industry as a whole.

Maria Terzi

Dr. Maria Terzi | Co-Founder & CEO of Malloc Inc.:

Break free from preconceived notions, pave your unique course, and let your passion for innovation guide you.

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