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Unfolding Tomorrow

Unfolding Tomorrow — Gender equality in entrepreneurship

Event info

Women make up for 39% of the global workforce but hold only 28% of the managerial positions. Globally, only 20% of startups have even one woman in the founding team, and a meager 2,3% of VC funding goes to female-only teams. Why is this happening? What can we do about it?

At Aalto University, we believe in solving problems related to sustainability through entrepreneurship, in facing problems rather than pretending they don’t exist, and in educating ourselves rather than using the lack of knowledge as an excuse. And we believe in you.

Unfolding Tomorrow is an event series that brings the brightest minds in business, academia, and government together to talk about what we can do today to make tomorrow better. The event topics come from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and their targets and indicators.

The second Unfolding Tomorrow session is about SDG 5: Gender Equality, and more specifically about Target 5.5: ‘Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.’

We’re joined by representatives from academia, the startup world, venture capital, and politics for brief introductory talks followed by a panel discussion. You’ll learn why female representation matters, what the situation is in Finland and how we can make the business world more accommodating for women.

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Unfolding Tomorrow is organized together with Aalto Entrepreneurship Society.

Meet the speakers

Piia Kuosmanen

Co-founder of Velbi

Piia Kuosmanen is a co-founder of Velbi, an early-stage startup that aims to eliminate burnout by building workplaces where everyone wins. She has worked on four continents, helped build one of China's most successful startup ecosystems with Slush China, given speeches to live audiences ranging from a few people to tens of thousands, taught coding in the African countryside, been the elected leader of the Finnish national student movement, awarded Global Top 5 in NASA's Space Apps challenge, and won multiple national championships in ice hockey.

Saija Katila

Adjunct Professor and Senior Lecturer of Management at Aalto University

Saija Katila is an Adjunct Professor and Senior Lecturer of Management at Aalto University School of Business. Her research interests deal with the socio-material practices of gender, diversity, management, and entrepreneurship in different organizational contexts. Her latest research focuses also on the spatial aspects of organizing as well as the gendering of the gaming industry.

Jyrki Pulkkinen

Ambassador for Innovation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen is the newly-appointed Ambassador for Innovation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Prior to this assignment, he has worked in many other positions at the Ministry including for example the Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Cameroon and ECOWAS. Prior to joining the Ministry, Dr. Pulkkinen held several academic positions, including an Assistant Professor, a Research Manager, and a Lecturer for 15 years on behavioral sciences and educational technologies at the University of Oulu, Finland. He finished his Ph.D. in e-Learning in 2004.

Ekaterina Gianelli

Partner at Inventure

Ekaterina Gianelli is a Partner at a Nordic VC firm Inventure. An operator-turned-VC, Ekaterina loves working closely with founders to help them build their teams and scale globally. Based out of Helsinki, Ekaterina focuses on consumer businesses, having a special interest in digital health, foodtech, and conscious consumption. Prior to joining Inventure, she was part of the team scaling Fjord from a small consultancy into a world-leading design and innovation firm. She has also worked on product and sales at an adtech startup.

You don't need to be in a managerial position, but just a colleague, to take a stand.

Saija Katila, Adjunct Professor and Senior Lecturer at Aalto University