Inspiring Fifty is a pan-European programme that identifies, encourages, develops and showcases women in leadership positions within the technology sector. The aim is to improve diversity for women in tech by appointing role models, creating visibility and spreading awareness. More diverse technology companies make for better business.

As seasoned entrepreneurs and founders of multiple high-growth companies, Janneke Niessen and Joelle Frijters know all too well how uncommon it is to find women in technology leadership positions. Further, they know first-hand how pervasive gender bias and negative perceptions can be at all levels.   In launching Inspiring Fifty, they set out to challenge the industry to see itself differently, to provide a platform for the many accomplished, fierce (and all-too-often overlooked) women in technology ‘closer to home’ and set a shining example for the future leaders and entrepreneurs that will be following in their footsteps.

We know that many women in tech, who seek female role models, currently look towards the most visible, headline-making personalities-  e.g., Salesforce’s Board of Directors, as well as member of Uber’s Public Policy Advisory board Neelie Kroes, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer. These women are incredible role models who have, without doubt, helped change the perception of women in technology.

Through events, speaking engagements, publications, and workshops, Inspiring Fifty has built a platform with the aim of motivating, educating and inspiring millions of women across Europe- and worldwide to take part in tech. We hope to inspire a new generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs, leading the charge in the tech industry to affect meaningful and durable change.