On the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) and the #BreaktheBias theme, ARIS A Really Inspiring Space Startup Accelerator, founded by Deloitte Cyprus and the Bank of Cyprus, successfully organized the 2nd multiplier event of the European project FeSTEM, “Dare to STEM”, on Tuesday 15th of March 2022.

The project promotes Female Empowerment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Higher Education, aiming to encourage women to remain active in STEM. An Industry Toolkit has been developed, identifying the challenges faced by women pursuing careers in STEM professions, but also the best practices towards advancing gender equality and reducing the risk of women’s social exclusion. During the event, ARIS Manager Eliza Loucaidou, stressed the pressing need to increase the number of women on corporate boards at a faster pace, as well as the management of venture capital and female-led tech startups in her opening remarks. Dr. Xenia Loizidou, co-founder of ISOTECH Ltd and NGO AKTI Project and Research Centre, gave an inspirational speech with the message don’t be afraid to “STEM UP!”. Dr. Marianna Prokopi-Demetriades, Founder and Director of three startups in the biotech sector, was also there to shar her own story as a new entrepreneur and the challenges encountered by women in STEM from an industry perspective.

The event continued with an insightful panel discussion about the present and future of gender equality in STEM, facilitated by Christina Shailas, Educational Technology Integrationist, at The Heritage Private School. The panellists included Dr. Marianna Prokopi-Demetriades, Andreas Papallas (Maker Space), Dr Eleni Pashia (Cyprus University of Technology), Michalis Zinieris (Director of Enterprise, Technology and Performance at Deloitte) and Anna Pittalis (General Manager Shipping & Trading at Intergaz Chartering Ltd). The discussion focused on the experiences of the panelists and their views on how to bridge the inequalities in workplaces.

Attendees also had the opportunity to learn about the development of the FeSTEM industry-informed Toolkit by ARIS Operations Officer Anthi Chatzikyriakou, as well as the FeSTEM Community Platform by Eirini Christou from the Cyprus University of Technology. FeSTEM is a transnational collaboration project supported by the European Union through the ERASMUS+ Programme, between partners from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain and Slovenia. It is coordinated by the Cyprus Interaction Lab of the Cyprus University of Technology and the partners are the University of Macedonia, the European center of studies and initiatives CESIE, Magenta Consultoría Projects S.L.U., the Education Centre Geoss and ARIS. For more information, news, and updates, stay tuned at: