Expert Article

Women in Leadership Positions and how the Ecosystem can contribute to normalization, by Liliana Castro

Women in Leadership Positions and how the Ecosystem can contribute to normalization, by Liliana Castro

Women in Leadership Positions and how the Ecosystem can contribute to normalization

Written by Liliana Castro, Co-Founder of Portuguese Women in Tech and Founder and CEO of FES Agency


Although there are numerous factors that impact the evolution of women within the industry, the truth is that the entrepreneurial ecosystem plays a key role in promoting female leadership. By normalizing this evolution in women’s careers, the more quickly this exception will become the norm.

However, there is a way to go and there are initiatives that can be implemented so that this path to leadership can be achieved more quickly and safely. With this in mind, here are a few suggestions that I think could help:


Mentoring and networking

Facilitate mentoring programs and networking events that connect women entrepreneurs with experienced leaders and other influential members of the ecosystem. These connections can help with guidance, support and learning opportunities that become essential for these professionals.


Training and education

Offer training and education programs that are geared towards the specific needs of women, addressing topics such as leadership, business/management, financial management and personal development.


Inclusion in a leadership context

Promoting the inclusion of women entrepreneurs in leadership spaces within the ecosystem, such as advisory boards, selection groups/judges for accelerators and incubators, and high-profile events such as speakers, for example.


Culture and awareness

Fostering an inclusive and conscious culture within the entrepreneurial ecosystem that recognizes and values the contributions of women entrepreneurs, combating gender stereotypes and promoting equal access to opportunities.


These are just a few suggestions on how the entrepreneurial ecosystem can collaborate in promoting female leadership – which I have no doubt will contribute to their success.

Taking the USA as a reference point: Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures and Whitney Wolfe Herd of Bumble are women entrepreneurs who have given their career a boost, managing to overcome limitations imposed by investors and other challenges faced by women in technology. On the other hand, Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Facebook, has had the opportunity to contribute to the company’s evolution, delivering clear results that are essential to the success of what META is today.

These three names are small examples of the success that women in leadership positions can have, as long as they are given the opportunity to showcase their skills, experience and knowledge.

As we often say at Portuguese Women in Tech, the future starts now and there is still a lot of work to be done so that the future of women in leadership positions is the norm and not the exception.


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Startup Portugal Team • March 8, 2024