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Fe+male Tech Heroes Conference 2023

On 16 May, the world came to High Tech Campus Eindhoven to celebrate women in tech, their male allies and to get a preview of what the future holds. They were not disappointed.

The theme of the fourth annual Fe+male Tech conference was “Dare to Grow,” and that was the consistent message from speakers: be bold, embrace risk and find your career path in a tech world where women in leadership roles are still a rarity. Or, as ASML’s Wendy Gehoel van Ansem put it, an event meant to send you away “confident so that you kick ass.”

Watch the recording of the plenary program here
Fe+male Tech Heroes shares insights and tips for Male Allies

In February 2023, we hosted a one-time event for an exceptional audience: Male Allies. "We created a psychologically safe place where men can learn who we are, why it matters that they are part of this mission and give them tools to become better male allies for females in tech."

You can download the insights from the event, including a shortlist of books, articles, podcasts and documentaries on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that are worth looking into. 

More info

Why Fe+male Tech Heroes?

Founders Ingelou Stol & Hilde de Vocht: Fe+male Tech Heroes is an initiative by High Tech Campus Eindhoven that raises awareness about gender equality in tech. What began as a platform for women in tech has become a community welcoming all genders to get involved in building a more inclusive, diverse and equal tech world. With Fe+male Tech Heroes, we want to raise awareness about gender equality and diversity in tech by highlighting role models, organizing community-connecting events (conferences, mentoring sessions, dinners) and encouraging tech companies to embrace diversity in creating a sustainable future.

Join Fe+male Tech Heroes and stay updated!

Let's create diversity together

Check the recap of our Conference in 2022:

Interviews Fe+male Tech Heroes role models

In our online interview series we introduce inspiring female and male role models. 

Helen Kardan: ‘Role models show us what is possible’

‘Life is full of surprises. Whether you call them good or bad, depends on your mindset. If your mind is ready, the right opportunities will come to you’, tells Helen Kardan, Senior Business Development Manager at ASML. Helen initially wanted to become an engineer but was offered a marketing role in a tech company instead. Unexpectedly, the job turned out to be precisely what Helen’s social nature enjoys doing the most - ensuring the customer’s voice is reflected in the product. She shares her personal experiences living and working in different countries and tech firms, as well as her vision on the economic and societal value of diversity.

Read the article here
Gareth Thomas: ‘Diversity happens from within'

Gareth Thomas was born in South Africa in a family of mathematicians. Because of the apartheid, they moved to The Netherlands when he was a kid, and continued moving countries every few years. Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Portugal, Scotland. "I think the exposure to diverse cultures has been the greatest gift my parents could ever give me." Now, back in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, Gareth is running a startup called VersionBay, that empowers people by leveraging state-of-the-art software stacks.  

Read the article
Sepideh Khandan Del: ‘I wanted to prove that engineering is not only for men’

‘Who is gonna take you seriously? Did you think of the working hours? Are you prepared to work with guys mostly?'  The prospect of becoming one of the few women in the nanotechnology field did not discourage her; on the contrary - it stimulated her to prove them wrong. Born and raised in Mashhad (Iran), Sepideh Khandan Del’s ambition to pursue a career in engineering took her far across geographic and personal borders. At last, finding her way at TNO at the High Tech Campus, Sepideh is making footsteps in expanding her senior technical expertise to business development.

Read the article here

Watch the video of the plenary program of our second Mentor Edition.

Including a keynote by Natascha van Boetzelaer of Egon Zehnder. Curiosity is the key in becoming a good leader:

Some previous events


  • Fe+male Tech Heroes: Male Allies (February 2023)

We wanted to create a psychologically safe place where men can learn who we are, why it matters that they are part of this mission and give them tools to become better male allies for females in tech. We noticed that there is a barrier for men in the tech world to discover whether Fe+male Tech Heroes can also be a platform and community for them. And we want to lower that threshold. Currently, 90 percent of our participants are women. We fully embrace our female role models; they are the reason we started this initiative. But to achieve true gender equality, we need everyone. And that includes men. That's why we want to invite more men to participate in the Fe+male Tech Heroes mission. Curious about the insights and tips from the Male Allies event? Download it here.

  • Fe+male Tech Heroes Dinner (October 2022)

The Fe+male Tech Heroes dinner in 2022 had the theme of 'Mind Full or Mindful?' and brought together a sold-out crowd eager to explore the concept of mindfulness in their lives. The evening kicked off with a Good News show by founders Ingelou Stol and Hilde de Vocht, sharing inspiring stories of successful startups and award-winning role models. Ula Matlak of LUMO Labs led a mindful eating exercise during the Greek appetizer course, encouraging attendees to slow down and savor their food while being aware of their senses. The event incorporated elements like incense upon check-in and bird song audio in the restrooms to enhance the ambiance. Inspirational success stories, including those from Artie Debidien and Miranda Nouwen, were shared, highlighting both triumphs and lessons learned. The night celebrated women, men, diversity, and inclusion in the tech industry, with heartfelt gratitude extended to all who participated.

  • Fe+male Tech Heroes conference (June 2022)

At its essence, Fe+male Tech Heroes is about bringing together, then connecting, women (and men) in the Dutch tech ecosystem. So, with the end of the pandemic and the return of live events, 2022 is High Tech Campus’s break-out year. About 500 people registered for Fe+male Tech Heroes Conference 2022 at HTCE’s Conference Center. The full day of events included morning keynotes, seven parallel workshops, interviews and a panel discussion.  There were sold-out workshops and a full house for keynote speakers, interviews and a panel discussion for the first FTH in-person conference on Campus since 2019. Read and watch more.

  • The Mentor Edition - part 3 (February 2022)

How to grow as an individual? How to be an entrepreneur? How to get that dream job? In three mentor editions we already helped 400 professionals. Every mentor edition starts with a plenary program. On February 15th, Madeleen Stam (personal leadership and career coach) gave a very inspiring keynote about growth mindset. Watch here.

  • Fe+male Tech Heroes dinner (October 2021)

The theme of the evening was 'Is the sky the limit?' Well, there is no limit at all, And Oana van der Togt of TNO and Margot Nijkamp-Diesfeldt of ESTI told us all about it. Reaching for the sky, and going beyond. We started the evening with a crazy introduction round where we introduced EVERYONE (yes 100 people in less than 10 minutes, cool right?) and ended it with a Quiz by quizmaster Letícia Batista and a spectacular dessert by our catering hero Jeanine Konings and her team.

  • Fe+male Tech Heroes Conference (June 2021)

Fe+male Tech Heroes is connecting people to promote more diversity in tech. Owing to corona measures, getting together in person is not possible at the moment. However, in order to allow the conference to take place this year, founders Ingelou Stol and Hilde de Vocht decided to organize an online program. Over the course of two mornings, presentations by women in the tech world and panel discussions on achieving greater equality followed one another up. Watch the recordings and recap here.

  • Talkshow about entrepreneurship across borders, together with RVO (April 2021)

Watch the recording of our talkshow with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) about how to do business successfully across the border. Our guests Judith Heikoop of IME Medical Electrospinning, Iris Soute of Picoo and Anastasia de Vries of RVO shared their experiences about how to do business abroad in a successful way. How do you start? And what are the challenges they face? And how do they deal with those challenges? Watch here.

  • The Mentor Edition - part 2 (March 2021)

Today was the second edition of the Female Tech Heroes mentor sessions. More than 30 mentors talked with 120 talents about topics as personal growth, entrepreneurship and leadership. And about that last topic, we had an amazing keynote in the morning by Natascha van Boetzelaer of Egon Zehnder. Curiosity is the key in becoming a good leader. Watch the keynote.

  • Fe+male Tech Heroes in Japan and The Netherlands: 'For a sustainable and diverse future' (March 2021)

In two studios, more than 9 thousand kilometers apart, we organized a webinar today together with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Japan, Women in Technology Japan (WITJ), Japan Women Engineers Forum and High Tech Campus Eindhoven. Our inspiring speakers shared insights on diversity, technology and sustainability. Watch the webinar here.

  • The Mentor Edition - part 1 (December 2020)

During this digital event, 30 female and male role models shared their experiences with 120 professionals in the field of personal growth, leadership and entrepreneurship.

  • Dinner 'Food for Thought' (October 2020)

“Thank you for showing that networking is still possible, even at a distance of a meter-and-a half.” That was the greatest compliment Ingelou Stol was ever given after the Fe+male Tech Heroes dinner. Together with Hilde de Vocht, she hosted an event for over one hundred people at the Dutch High Tech Campus Eindhoven last week for the first time during this corona times. The dinner sold out within two days.

Stol and De Vocht launched Fe+male Tech Heroes in March 2019 because women are underrepresented in the tech sector. Fe+male Tech Heroes now boasts over two thousand members." Read more.

  • Dinner 'Tech & Design' (October 2019)

During the Dutch Design Week we hosted a special Tech & Design dinner. The atmosphere was so authentic and open. At the end of the evening people were spontaneously pitching on stage, although they weren't planning on doing so. During the dinner we talked about the future of the movement. How to make it grow and keep the quality high, how to make our role models more visible and how to attract more men into the conversation. Also we welcomed two great speakers: Claudia Lieshout of Philips Design and bio tech artist and Dutch Design Week ambassador Jalila Essaidi.

  • Fe+male Tech Heroes Conference 1 (May 2019)

What an amazing start of the Fe+male Tech Heroes Network on May 21st, 2019 at High Tech Campus Eindhoven. 500 women, inspiring keynotes, workshops and a lot of networking.