Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024

Marie Boran's avatar
Marie Boran
Cut out images of four speakers (from left to right): Sheila North, former MKO Grand Chief of Bunibonibee Cree Nation, Ayọ Tometi, creative entrepreneur, tech advisor and co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Sage Lenier, founder and climate activist at Just & Sustainable Future, and Sara Sabry, founder, CEO and astronaut at Deep Space Initiative.

On International Women’s Day, Web Summit celebrates the remarkable achievements and invaluable contributions of women worldwide by highlighting some of the amazing speakers at our events.

At Web Summit, we are fortunate to have a platform that amplifies diverse voices, and over the past year, an array of extraordinary women have taken to the stage at our events.

From Web Summit events in Qatar, Rio De Janeiro and Lisbon to Collision in Toronto, we have hosted visionary leaders, innovative thinkers and changemakers who have shattered glass ceilings and paved the way for future generations.

Web Summit Qatar 2024

Sara SabryDeep Space Initiative founder, CEO and astronaut Sara Sabry speaking on stage at Web Summit Qatar 2024. Image: Stephen McCarthy/Web Summit (CC BY 2.0)

Speaking at Web Summit Qatar 2024, Deep Space Initiative founder, CEO and astronaut Sara Sabry shared insights on the value of space travel.

“I truly believe that we need to be sending more people – more leaders, more politicians, more people of influence – to go to space, because it gives you this other perspective of the world, that we’re really all the same,” said Sara.

Web Summit Lisbon 2023

We hosted some high-profile speakers on AI and society at our event in Lisbon, including Signal president Meredith Whittaker, an outspoken advocate for AI and big tech regulation.

On the subject of automation and the future of work, Meredith said: “We need to be on the lookout for claims that AI is a magical technology that replaces workers, because that has not been borne out.”

Also speaking at Web Summit 2023, Just & Sustainable founder and climate activist Sage Lenier inspired fellow gen Z activists, pointing out the increasing threat of climate change to our collective future.

“If all we can do is ‘less bad’, then we are still failing,” said Sage, referring to what the founder sees as less than adequate efforts by governments and private industries around the world to tackle climate change.

Collision 2023

Image of a person (Catharina Lavers Mallet, former VP and general manager for Maxis and The Sims (Electronic Arts)), speaking on stage at Collision 2023. Catharina is wearing a headset mic and gesturing with both hands. Catharina appears to be speaking. Catharina is sitting on a chair. Screens behind the former VP bear the Collision logo.Catharina Lavers Mallet, former VP and general manager for Maxis and The Sims (Electronic Arts), speaking on stage at Collision 2023. Image: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Web Summit (CC BY 2.0)

Catharina Lavers Mallet, former VP and general manager of Maxis and The Sims (Electronic Arts), spoke about how video games – The Sims in particular – can be more than just a distraction, giving players space to express themselves.

“It’s not about the stories that we tell as developers. It’s about the platform and features that allow the users to represent their own imagination and creativity,” said the VP.

Also speaking at Collision 2023 was Sheila North, Former MKO Grand Chief of Bunibonibee Cree Nation, who offered inspiring insights on the lack of equality in the global tech ecosystem.

“When we collect data, we think about statistics. We’re unfairly represented in this space. It’s important to look forward on statistics.”

Web Summit Rio 2023

At Web Summit Rio 2023, creative entrepreneur, tech advisor and Black Lives Matter co-founder Ayọ Tometi shared how the social movement has progressed since its inception in 2013.

“We’ve raised a profound level of awareness. A new consciousness has taken over the globe,” said Ayọ.

Are you part of the women in tech community? If not, sign up here.

Main image: Web Summit

An image of a crumpled plastic water bottle against a solid background with a hexagonal shape placed directly behind the bottle.

Why recycling is not the answer to our plastic epidemic

Why is the fight against plastic pollution more urgent than ever? And why isn’t recycling a solution? Pl...

January 22
A person stands on stage, pictured from the waist up. They are smiling. They're wearing a headset mic, gesturing with both hands, and holding a presentation clicker in their right hand. The Web Summit logo is visible in several places behind them. This is Centre Stage at Web Summit.

Highlights from Day 3 of Web Summit 2023

AI saving the planet, psychedelics saving our health, and conspi...

November 16