Technology is essential in all areas of society. Yet, women are not currently benefitting from the opportunities offered by the growing digital economy. The gender gap represents lost opportunity for millions of women. For the world in general, this trend represents a painful waste of talent.
It is to better this situation that the Tekla Festival was created. It is part of a two-day event organized by the Swedish embassy in Brazil, Swedish Institute and KTH, Royal institute of technology. Tekla was founded by the Swedish artist Robyn with the aim of getting more girls involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and is organized on a regular basis in Stockholm by KTH since 2015. After the United States, Brazil is the second foreign country that receive the Festival.
The aim is to involve more teenage girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by providing them with a fun and creative opportunity to explore and learn about tech. “Tekla is a place where girls can explore tech in an environment where all the roles are available to them, where they get to meet female role models and where their confidence and curiosity towards the world of technology can grow”, says Robyn. In her experience as an artist and performer, Robyn has observed that when boys leave the room, girls start filling all the roles that boys would typically assume. Tekla Festival is designed in a way that encourages this uninhibited exploration. Tekla isn’t a girls’ tech festival. It’s simply a tech festival that invites girls. But, why not invite boys, too? The answer is simple – because boys do not need a tech festival the way girls do.
The Workshop in Brasília will offer an opportunity for 30 girls from public schools to create, test and build with technology in a fun and encouraging environment together with one of Tekla’s workshop facilitators. The girls will also have a lunch with Juliana Estradioto, the 18- year old Brazilian girl that won more than 45 national and international awards, being the first Brazilian to win first place in the Material Science category at the world’s largest Intel ISEF (Pre-University Science Fair) and receiving 2018 Young Scientist Award (National Council of Research – CNPq). She will be the first young Brazilian woman to represent Brazil at an international seminar in Stockholm, where she will attend a dinner with the Swedish royal family and the 2019 Nobel laureate ceremony.
Tekla Workshop will take place the 17th of September in Brasília and will gather 30 girls from public school.
The objective of this Dialogue is to address the problem of underrepresentation of women in technology and ways of empowering girls and women by strengthening roles and opportunities. The discussion will challenge norms and stereotypes in the tech industry: “Who gets to shape our future? What are the roles and responsibilities in closing the gender gap? How can universities and tech companies attract more women? And how do we inspire more young girls to explore technology?
On the 18th of September, the University of Brasília will host the Dialogue. The moderator is Rosana Hermann, physicist, producer and writer. She will be accompanied by Marcela Fujiy (Be.Labs Aceleradora), Semida Silveira (KTH), Carine Roos: (UPWIT), Déborah de Mari (Força Meninas), Juliana Estradioto, Aletéia Araújo (University of Brasília, UnB) and Silvia Lins (Ericsson).
Subscribe for Tekla Dialogue here.
Ana Carolina & Jacob