Commerce Concludes Women in Tech Trade Mission to Europe
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2022
Contact: Office of Public Affairs
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WASHINGTON - Last Friday, Under Secretary for Commerce of International Trade Marisa Lago concluded her trip to the Netherlands, Portugal and France, where she led a delegation of more than a dozen U.S. women tech executives and a state economic development organization as part of the Women in Tech Trade Mission. It was the agency’s first-ever trade mission focused specifically on women-led and women-owned businesses.
“The extraordinary women who comprised this delegation represent the best of U.S. innovation in technology, a sector with enormous potential to solve the global challenges of today and create opportunities for the women leaders of the future,” said Under Secretary Lago. “At Commerce, we know that prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility makes firms more competitive, and that women are vital to the value chain of businesses of all shapes and sizes and in every global market.”
Under Secretary Lago also held meetings with foreign government officials, private sector representatives and U.S. Ambassadors in each country. The recurring theme throughout the trade mission, both in government meetings and private sector engagements, was exploring opportunities to expand and support businesswomen in technology sectors and to encourage the next generation pursuing an education or career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
While in Amsterdam, Under Secretary Lago met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Hanneke Schuiling and discussed ongoing collaboration including within the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) and the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework, as well as coordination on export controls and building stronger global supply chains. Lago and Schuiling also joined U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Shefali Razdan Duggal and the Netherlands Women in Tech organization to discuss with mission participants the challenges and opportunities women in the tech sector face in both countries. Other highlights from the Netherlands trip leg included a panel session with local women executives sharing experiences overcoming diversity challenges and business-to-business networking events for the delegation.
During the second stop in Lisbon, Under Secretary Lago met with Portugal’s Minister of Economy and Maritime Affairs António Costa Silva and discussed transatlantic data flows, cyber security, critical minerals, clean energy and strengthening U.S.-Portugal bilateral ties. Under Secretary Lago also led the delegation to Web Summit, one of the world’s largest technology conferences held annually in Lisbon. While at the event, the Under Secretary addressed a crowd of more than 500 in a fireside chat and highlighted several key issues for businesses in trade while promoting a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible (DEIA) business model. Specifically, Under Secretary Lago discussed the importance of startups and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises to modern, global economies; U.S. government resources to support scaling up on both sides of the Atlantic; and tech sectors with opportunities for growth such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, clean energy and space.
Later in Lisbon, she was joined by U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Randi Levine at the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation Web Summit booth where they met with Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Federov and Deputy Minister on IT Industry Development Alex Bornyakov and reaffirmed U.S. support for Ukraine including SelectUSA opportunities to support Ukrainian startups in the IT sector.
On the final stop in Paris, Under Secretary Lago met with the Ministry of Economy and Finance Deputy Director General Muriel Lacoue-Labarthe and discussed the upcoming U.S.-France Economic-Commercial Dialogue, collaboration in the TTC, support for Ukraine reconstruction and opportunities to further support women in technology in both countries. Under Secretary Lago also met with Club 21 Siècle private sector leaders and shared perspectives on further supporting DEIA efforts in France and the United States both in the public and private sectors.
Other highlights in Paris included the French Women in Tech organization sharing with the delegation and local companies programs to support women pursuing careers in tech sectors, and a presentation by Google France that showed how innovative technologies can increase accessibility and learning in sectors like art and culture.
About the International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has more than 2,200 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 75 markets worldwide. For more information on ITA, visit www.trade.gov.