European Women in Tech 2023

Beyond Algorithms: Explainable AI

European Women in Tech 2023

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(And of course, this blog is written with the help of AI)

In the ever-evolving world of technology, the European Women in Tech in Amsterdam shed light on some crucial insights and perspectives. From the wise words of Elisabeth Theophille, who emphasized the importance of embracing change and enjoying the journey, to the valuable lessons learned from industry leaders like Heineken, Ikea, and ING, the event provided a unique opportunity to explore the complexities of digital transformation and AI.

This blog post delves into the key takeaways from the event, highlighting the importance of responsible AI, organizational transformation, the role of data-driven decision-making, and Ikea’s contribution to the realm of Explainable AI.

The Gender Gap in Tech

Elisabeth Theophille, Chief technology transformation officer at Novartis, opened the event by addressing the gender gap in the tech industry, emphasizing that only 24% of tech professionals worldwide are women. Despite the challenges, she encouraged women to embrace change and enjoy the journey of growth, highlighting the importance of finding comfort in discomfort. In a world where diversity and inclusion are becoming increasingly vital, her message resonated with many.

Heineken’s Transformation Journey

Heineken shared insights into their transformation journey, emphasizing that digital transformation is not about productivity but about seizing new business opportunities. They acknowledged the high risk of failure but stressed the importance of learning fast and adapting even faster. Their three focus areas—focussing on customer value, empowering employees, and unlocking data—were key drivers of their success. They also highlighted the significance of attracting and retaining talent in the tech industry by offering creative solutions and fostering new skills.

Implementing Tech in Non-Tech Businesses

Heineken’s experience demonstrated that tech transformation is not limited to tech companies. Even non-tech businesses can benefit from these strategies. Their “evergreen” strategy, focused on becoming the best-connected brewer, showcased the importance of adapting to new technologies and trends continuously.

Heineken’s journey taught us that transformation is an ongoing process that requires growth and adaptation. To outcompete in the digital age, organizations must not only embrace technology but also foster a culture of learning, innovation, and inclusivity.

Explainable AI at Ikea

Ikea, a prominent name in the world of retail and home furnishings, also contributed to the discussions at the event. They highlighted the significance of Explainable AI. This concept revolves around ensuring that AI systems are transparent and can provide clear explanations for their decisions and actions. In an era where AI is increasingly integrated into various aspects of our lives, the ability to understand and trust AI-driven decisions is paramount.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

The event also touched upon the importance of data-driven decision-making. The value of data lies in the actions it enables. Trust is at the core of data-driven decision-making. Understanding why and how data is used is crucial, and data quality is paramount.

The Three ROIs of Data-Driven Decision-Making

  • Reducing Costs: Data-driven insights can identify areas where costs can be reduced.
  • Increasing ROI: Data can uncover opportunities to enhance returns on investment.
  • Saving Time: Data-driven decision-making streamlines processes and saves time.

Organizational Models for Data Teams

Different organizational models for data teams were discussed, ranging from centralized teams to decentralized approaches. The choice of model depends on the specific needs and goals of the organization.


The European Women in Tech event 2023 in Amsterdam provided valuable insights into the ever-evolving world of technology, digital transformation, responsible AI, and the importance of Explainable AI. Embracing change, fostering diversity and inclusion, adopting data-driven decision-making, and ensuring the transparency of AI systems are key elements for success in this era of gardening the digital transformation. As technology continues to shape our world, staying informed, being adaptive and responsible is crucial for individuals and organizations alike.

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