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Fe+male Tech Heroes


Language: English
Date: 25 May 2021
Time: 09:00 - 12:30
Entry fee: Free



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Are you ready for the Female Tech Heroes Conference 2021?! In two mornings you will be inspired by international role models on topics as the future of tech, entrepreneurship, leadership, diversity and equality. From keynotes to panel discussions with a lot of interaction with our viewers from home.

Register now!

Day 1 (May 25)

09.00 - 09.10 Introduction by Female Tech Heroes founders Ingelou Stol & Hilde de Vocht

09.10 - 09.40 Finding unicorns in a male dominated tech world by Eva de Mol, Venture Capital investor and Managing Partner at CapitalT

Eva is a founding partner at CapitalT a venture capital fund investing in early stage software technology startups in Europe. She has a PhD in economics from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business. For her research Eva collected the data of more than 1,000 entrepreneurial teams over time to identify what made the most successful teams stand out. Her work is published in top tier scientific journals and she’s a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review. Eva is a strong supporter of more diversity in venture capital and one of the initiators of #Fundright, a self-imposed quota for venture capital investors to improve inclusion in the investment ecosystem. Eva is a columnist for Eva Jinek where she writes about working in a male dominated industry. She lives in Amsterdam with her husband and two kids.

09.40 - 10.10 From sick care to health care by Nicole Papen Botterhuis, coordinator Research and Innovation at Máxima MC 

Nicole Papen-Botterhuis is a Biomedical Engineer with a mission: accelerating change in healthcare. After studying Biomedical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Nicole did a PhD on Polymers in Nanotechnology in the group of Bert Meijer and Rint Sijbesma. She worked as an innovator at TNO, where she was selected for the Potential Program and became team leader of the Encapsulation & Controlled Release team. In 2016, she made career switch to get closer to research that truly makes a difference for patients and started at Máxima MC to professionalize the research group of the surgeons. Since September 2019 she is responsible for coordinating research and innovation at Máxima MC. Themes that she is currently working on are: prehabilitation, vitality, monitoring, Augmented Reality, eNose diagnosis, Value-Based Healthcare and Shared Decision making, nursing innovations, idea management and improving the innovation process at Máxima MC.

Coffee break 5 minutes  

10.15 - 10.45 Light as a Language – From Hardware to IoT by Hellen van der Plas, CEO Benelux at Signify 


Since April 2019, Hellen van der Plas (1976) has been CEO of Signify Benelux, formerly Philips Lighting. Van der Plas has a broad experience in Marketing and Sales in the B2B and B2C environments. She started her career at General Electric, where she worked for 11 years in various Marketing and Sales roles. After several years in the Food sector, she started at Philips in 2013. After two marketing roles with a clear focus on the shift to LED, Connectivity and Services, Hellen is now leading the home market in the challenging transitions that this 130-year-old and yet new company is going through. Key in this for her is the diversity of innovations, including LiFi and UV-C, as they are instrumental in Signify’s relevant contribution to a smart and sustainable future.

10.45 - 11.15 Overcoming bias to create successful leaders by Marry de Gaay Fortman, partner and lawyer at Houthoff 

Marry is involved in public-private regulatory matters and specialises in public economic law and corporate governance for large companies. She is a trusted boardroom adviser, focusing on the governance dynamics of executive boards and supervisory boards, shareholders, and other stakeholders. Marry's expertise ranges from research issues to advising on the effects of proposed legislation, regulatory aspects related to the regulatory authorities, the enforcement of existing laws, and conducting various proceedings. An example of her expertise is the leading role she played in the widely discussed liquidation of Vestia's EUR 20 billion derivative portfolio.

Marry combines her legal work with non-executive director roles, such as a supervisory director for De Nederlandsche Bank and KLM. She also gives lectures on boardroom dynamics at the Governance University and organises round table meetings for supervisory directors. Marry is chair of theatre production company Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and board member of the Dutch Lawyer’s Association. Marry has previously served as a member of the supervisory board director for Royal Haskoning DHV, GVB Amsterdam and the health insurer VGZ.

11.15 - 12.00 Panel discussion: Entrepreneurial spirit in the tech world

Marry de Gaay Fortman, partner and lawyer at Houthoff 

Helena Samodurova, CCO & founder Incooling   
I was born in Latvia but moved with my family to the UK at the age of 15. There I took a path in studying international business whilst adding Spanish to the list of spoken languages. After having done exchange year in Valencia, I decided to follow my passion for environmental sustainability and went to study Climate Change mitigation at the master's level in Barcelona. After graduation, I started a sustainability project geared towards entrepreneurship with EIT Climate and Innovation Community. There I came across an opportunity to join the Hightechxl venture building program and work on initiatives that matter. Little did I know that one of the initiatives will result in founding my own company with other cool and like-minded people - and that's how Incooling was born. Currently, at Incooling, I am taking the role of CCO however as in any start-up your title says little about what you actually do on day to day basis. 

Betsy Lindsey, CFO & founder Aircision    
Betsy Lindsey is Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer of Aircision. A CERN spinoff, Aircision has developed a next generation free space optics device for the backhaul of telecommunication. Betsy is a financial advisor and investor with a great passion for innovation and deep-tech. In the United States and Hong Kong, she worked in banking with technology startups and scaleups at Silicon Valley Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. In total, she brings over 20 years of international high-tech finance management and investment experience to the table. Prior to joining Aircision, Betsy was the Managing Director of Investor Relations at HighTechXL, a deep tech venture builder based in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. She’s guided over 60 teams through the fundraising process and growth phase of their development.  

Chantal Linders, CEO & founder Greenhabit 
Chantal Linders followed a sports education but had to choose another profession because of a back operation. She became a business analyst and worked for more than 20 years in the software industry. Her drive to help people with self-management and empowerment comes from her own experience. She believes in the power of positive psychology and behavioural change based on brain learning. She developed a training game that helps people develop self-confidence, awareness and resilience.  She focuses on prevention but also on patients who need to recover. The game improves the quality of life and social inclusion. Her mission is to help as many people as possible in Europe with healthy ageing. 

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Day 2 (May 26)

09.00 - 09.10 Introduction by Female Tech Heroes 
09.10 - 09.45 Blast off! Train like an astronaut for success on earth by Mindy Howard, future astronaut 

Dr. Mindy Howard has set out to passionately achieve her dream of going to space. After her 21 year career in the oil industry, working in 35 different countries as a trainer, senior leader and engineering advisor, Dr. Howard harnessed her academic and professional skills to create the first and only psychological space training program, “Inner Space Training”.  Dr. Howard is in discussions with several organizations to train, coach, and accompany commercial astronauts to space. In addition, Dr. Howard is working for Blue Abyss Ltd., the world’s first commercial astronaut training center as the Director of Inner Space Training. She has appeared on the Discovery and Travel Channels, and on the radio both in the United States and in Europe as a space correspondent and commentator. Dr. Howard is also a TEDx speaker (“Train your fear away, like an astronaut”) and is a Guest Lecturer at the International Space University. She is the author of her book entitled, “Blast off! Train like an astronaut for success on earth.”  Blast Off! is the first book to use the techniques of commercial astronaut training to help people right here on earth maintain the anxiety-free emotional equilibrium and sustained mental focus needed to successfully overcome the day-to-day challenges and obstacles in their personal and professional lives. 

09.45 - 10.00 Why diversity matters by Sepideh Khandan Del, Technical Project Lead at SMART Photonics

Sepideh was born and raised in Mashhad, Iran. In 2010 she moved to Stockholm, Sweden to peruse her master studies in Materials Science at KTH-Royal Institute of Technology. Over the years, she gained experience in the field of Micro/Nanotechnology in different research institutes in the USA and Germany. In 2018, she moved to the Netherlands to join TNO as a senior Process Engineer and since August 2020 she is working as a Technical Project Lead at Smart Photonics, a leading company in the field of InP-based Integrated Photonic Circuits.

10.00 - 10.30 The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) puts female applications on top of the stack by Frank Baaijens, Rector Magnificus TU/e

Frank Baaijens is a full professor of Soft Tissue Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His areas of expertise include computational (bio)mechanics, rheology and regenerative medicine. Frank Baaijens currently serves as Rector Magnificus at TU/e. His focus is building on the TU/e’s strengths with the entire community, strengthening the university’s international position and working on finding solutions to current and future societal challenges, bridging education and research. Frank Baaijens is committed to the future vision and mission of TU/e, outlined in the strategy 2030 plan. This plan aims to further excellence of the university in education and research, and impact on society. The university will strengthen its foundations, foster cross-disciplinary research, and will continue to innovate our educational methods and programs to educate next generations of engineers and scientists.

Coffee break 5 minutes  

10.35 – 11.15 Panel discussion How to make diversity work

Frank Baaijens, Rector Magnificus Eindhoven University of Technology

Mindy Howard, future astronaut

Arnaud de Jong, managing director TNO industry 
Arnaud de Jong has been Managing Director TNO Unit Industry since 1 October 2019. With a team of 530 professionals in the Netherlands, the Unit Industry innovates in the areas of employment, prosperity and well-being across Dutch industry as a whole. Prior to taking up his position as Managing Director TNO Unit Industry, Arnaud was Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands B.V., the largest space company in the Netherlands and a supplier of high-tech products and services for the international space market. Arnaud has held several positions worldwide and has worked and lived in four countries since 1996. In addition to his daily commitment to the teams of TNO, Arnaud is member of several councils (e.g. Delft University of Technology, SRON and Eindhoven Engine).

Helen Kardan, sr. Account Manager for ASML
Helen Kardan received a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and M.Sc. in Computer Sciences from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. After working for several years in various positions in innovation management and business development in high-tech industries, including Semiconductor and Flexible Electronics, she has joined ASML as part of New Business Development team responsible for identifying new business domains for ASML’s future roadmaps as well as supporting high-tech eco-system and start-ups in the Eindhoven region. Since 2021 she has a new role within ASML: sr. account manager for Japan. In all her functions she actively promotes diversity and inclusion as a driving force for collaboration and innovation, supporting initiatives that redefine leadership and new approaches to match the needs of current high tech industry. 

11.15 - 11.45 Time for new leadership: why equal isn't the same as equality by Evita Stoop, Chief Marketing Officer Benelux at IBM

Evita has a heart for driving change and putting people in the center of that change. Before joining IBM as Chief Marketing Officer for the Benelux market, she has had several international management functions at Philips Electronics with fifteen years of experience in Business Innovation, Strategy, Global Product marketing and Regional marketing & sales. At World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) she repositioned marketing from fundraising focus to segment-needs focus, changing branding, communication, channel strategy and proposition development. When returning to the enterprise world, Evita has driven the digital transformation of marketing at Microsoft in the Netherlands. In 2018 she joined IBM as the Chief Marketing Officer for the Benelux to again elevate the business by embracing Digital marketing and People experience as key drivers for change. By leveraging the new opportunities that data and digital provide, marketing has become a solid and predictable marketing machine that drives and progresses relevant sales leads.

Next to the opportunities that Digital Transformation brings to businesses, Evita is highly interested in the impact it has on society and how it serves as a driver of the dialogue around Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion. As a Board member of the Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, she also supports the societal dialogue around Tolerance and Diversity. Evita Stoop holds a Master of Science degree from Delft University of Technology and an MBA from London Business School.

11.45 - 12.25 Panel Equality Can’t Wait 

Evita Stoop, Chief Marketing Officer Benelux at IBM

Astrid Balsink, Global Director Inclusion and Diversity at Philips 
My greatest passion is tied to moving people and shifting paradigms. In a transparent world a strong reputation can only sustain, with the right organisational culture. Leaders who walk the talk -driven by a clear vision and strong values- will engage diverse stakeholders to progress together and -as a result- grow. Diversity is not an HR thing nor is it about women or people with purple earrings. It's about how we -as unique individuals- can be our best self and by doing so, inspire others to do the same to create high performing organisations that can truly help the world move forward.

Samira Rafaela, D66 member of the European Parliament 
Samira Rafaela a Member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Democrats D66. She is Coordinator for Renew Europe in the Committee on Women’s rights and Gender Equality. Samira is also Member of the Committee on International Trade where she is the Vice-Coordinator for Renew Europe and she is a Member in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Human Rights. She has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2019. Prior to her election, Samira advised the Dutch police force on inclusion and diversity.

Sheila Leenders, Vice President EUV Factory at ASML 
Sheila's motto is: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Sheila Leenders was born in the Netherlands. She did her masters Industrial Mathematics & post-masters Industrial Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Sheila has more than 25 years of experience in High Tech Operations (semiconductor, lighting, biotech, printing) in companies like Philips, Amgen, Océ and ASML. In roles as VP Operations, Head of Global Supply Chain, Head of Customer Service, Operations Strategy & Excellence and since 2015 as VP EUV Factory at ASML. Sheila is married and a proud mother of 2 young adults. 

12.25 - 12.30 End 

Female Tech Heroes 
Female Tech Heroes is a platform supported by High Tech Campus Eindhoven that brings people together, creates awareness in the media (for example by putting female and male role models in the spotlight) and exerts a positive influence on, for example, the diversity policy of companies. More than 2000 women and men already joined the Female Tech Heroes movement to create more diversity in the tech world. And you can join too!

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