hellatomasdottirWe all are inspired by people who stand up for injustice, equality and bringing attention to issues that are bad habits that we have inherited from our past. I believe the Gender Gap issue is one of those. Women are underrepresented in company leadership roles, boards, and governments. If you take the world of technology our track record is pathetic. I know that there is a lot of initiatives that are underway to close this gender gap.

It is really inspiring to see the momentum around Gender equality, Entrepreneurship and Startup Thinking around the world. Through the Startup Iceland events we have tried very hard to make sure our speakers or panels or discussions have always represented Women leaders, founders and entrepreneurs. In continuation of that tradition, it gives me great pleasure to announce Halla Tomasdottir, the founder of Audur Capital, Sisters Capital, TED Speaker, Investor and Change Catalyst as one of the Keynote Speakers in Startup Iceland this year. I have known Halla for quite sometime, that is no surprise given everyone knows everyone else in Iceland. The reason why I believe the timing is perfect for her talk in Startup Iceland is because she is hosting an event in Iceland on the above topic.

Halla wrote an article in LinkedIn, here is a small excerpt from it.

This summer we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in Iceland. To honour that occasion we are hosting a global dialogue on closing the gender gap in Reykjavik on June 18th and 19th. According to the World Economic Forum, Iceland ranks 1st in the world when it comes to gender parity. We are proud of our progress, but well aware that there is more work to be done, here and elsewhere.

We are calling our Global Dialogue, WE 2015. WE is symbolic for Women Empowerment as a key lever in driving economic growth, doing good business and building prosperous societies. WE is also symbolic for the need to engage both men and women in this on-going and important discussion, as further progress benefits everyone.

We are proud to be welcoming leading experts, practitioners and change catalysts from the US and Europe, to participate in an authentic and real dialogue about best practices towards closing the gender gap. We are also thrilled to be welcoming a passionate audience from around the world, eager to learn and to contribute their experiences and ideas in our participative sessions.

More information on WE 2015 can be found here

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Here is her TED talk.

As a father of a girl, I believe very strongly that the way to reduce the gender gap is to keep girls and young women involved in the world of value creation (startups), technology and future thinking. I believe we don’t encourage girls enough to dream big and be ambitious and actually take the leadership role at a young age. I don’t know why this is, but I have personally made an effort not to limit my daughter’s thinking. We all need to start early at home. IMHO. I am a big fan of closing the gender gap because it is no different than racial or any other form of discrimination. The best way to solve it is to talk about it in a public forum.  Iceland is the perfect place for it.

Have you bought your tickets to Startup Iceland yet?