India and Sweden have long-standing diplomatic and trade relationships. Both countries are committed to the '2030 Agenda' and have respectively played important parts in shaping the goals. Whilst Sweden is the first country in the world to pursue a feminist foreign policy, India actively works towards achieving the fifth Sustainable Development Goal (‘Gender Equality’) for example through girls’ education and increasing female labour force participation.
Ms. Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH Royal Institute of Technology said “Even in tech-savvy Sweden, we struggle to engage females in technology. The mission to attract more women and girls to STEM studies and careers is about tapping into as much human talent and potential as possible. The longer this imbalance persists, the more society loses. Encouraging an early interest in technology cuts a path toward strengthening our society and ensuring that our university can develop competence and produce research at the highest possible levels.”
Encouraging a girl's early interest in technology cuts a path toward strengthening our society and ensuring that the initiative can develop competence and produce research at the highest possible levels. The Tekla Festival was founded by Swedish recording artist Robyn 2015 in partnership with KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm with the aim of getting more & more girls involved in STEM.
“Tekla is a Swedish initiative, but the values of Tekla are universal. The global gender gap within the tech world represents lost opportunities for millions of girls and women. But it’s not only a question of gender equality. Surveys show that the economy will grow if women get to contribute. Our mission is to attract more girls and women to participate in the tech sector. For the benefit of us all,” Ms. Madeleine Sjöstedt, Director-General of the Swedish Institute added.
This year, under the guidance of Caroline Dahl, PhD, Technology Innovator at RISE, Chairman at Stockholm Makerspace and Board Member of Makers of Sweden the Tekla organized a workshop, where girls of age between 11 and 15 from schools of Mumbai took opportunity to explore, learn and enjoy STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
“It is important to introduce girls to different kinds of technologies and logistics for them to both explore and work in STEM. Tekla’s vision is to make girls learn about electronics.” Ms. Dahl said.’
The workshop was followed by Tekla and Gender Parity Dialogue on underrepresentation of women in technology and ways of empowering women and girls within the STEM sector with key speakers including Ms Caroline Dahl, Madeleine Sjöstedt - Director General of the Swedish Institute, Ms Harjinder Kaur Talwar - President of FICCI-FLO, Ms Ylva Berg - CEO of Business Sweden, Ms Anjali Raina - Executive Director of Harvard Business School, Ms Ingrid Eelde Koivisto - Secretary General and Founder of Pratham Sweden, Mr Peter Betzel - CEO of IKEA India and Ms Srimathy Kesan - PhD, Founder and CEO of Space Kidz India.