Inspiring Fifty Europe 2016

Press Release


The top fifty most inspirational women in European technology for 2016 are revealed today by Inspiring Fifty, highlighting leading women from across the sector – including influencers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics and policy makers.

In this year’s list 11 countries are represented: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Once again, the UK leads other countries with 23 finalists, France follows with seven, the Netherlands with five, and Germany and Italy with three each.

They join last year’s formidable Inspiring Fifty: Europe who were celebrated during an event hosted by the UK Prime Minister’s office at 10 Downing Street in March 2015.

Today’s announcement follows a public nomination process during which hundreds of nominations were received. A prestigious panel of judges from Europe and the US then had the difficult task of selecting the final fifty.

“What a fantastic group of inspirational women. It was a tough selection process as we had hundreds of impressive nominations, but these fifty stood out for their experience and achievements, particularly over the past year. One thing they all have in common is a very obvious passion for the tech industry, which make them the perfect role models to inspire other women looking to build a career in the sector”, said Shari Yoder Doherty from Atomico. “I’m also delighted to announce we have secured a partnership with Inspiring Fifty to support their goals going forward”.

Later this year, Inspiring Fifty will launch Local Stars lists for UK, the Netherlands, DACH, the Nordics and France to unveil even more role models at a local level. Together with its partners Facebook and Atomico, Inspiring Fifty will organise several events throughout the year including its main event in May 2016. The event in May will be held during the Dutch EU Presidency in Amsterdam on invitation of special envoy for startups at Startup Delta Neelie Kroes.

“Looking at the Inspiring Fifty of this year really makes me proud” said Janneke Niessen, co-initiator of Inspiring Fifty. “These fifty women are the best-of-the-best, with truly inspirational careers. The ultimate aim of Inspiring Fifty is to address the gender imbalance in tech, so the more women we can celebrate and showcase, the more we can demonstrate to young girls and women that a career in tech is one of the most rewarding paths you can choose. We look forward to working with these brilliant women to help us do just that. ”

Inspiring Fifty co-initiator Joelle Frijters added: “We had an overwhelming response to our call for nominations and later this spring, we look forward to announcing Local Stars to highlight the leading women in individual countries, to provide role models at a very local level.”

The following list of the Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2016 finalists is arranged alphabetically. It in no way reflects any ranking or scoring by the judges.