Hack4Her 2024: A Celebration of Women in Tech and Innovation

Amsterdam, June 10, 2024 — The third annual Hack4Her event successfully concluded on June 9, 2024, at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam- sponsored by the Network Institute amongst others. Over three transformative days, Hack4Her 2024 brought together more than 100 participants from all over the Netherlands, including students, professionals, and industry leaders, all united in their commitment to creating women-centered tech spaces and promoting gender diversity in technology.

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Event Overview and Impact

Hack4Her 2024 was designed to empower women in technology through a blend of collaborative innovation, hands-on learning, and professional networking. The event provided a platform for participants to develop cutting-edge solutions, expand their technical knowledge, and forge meaningful connections with industry experts.

Keynote Highlights

The event featured compelling keynote speeches from professionals and academics, each addressing critical issues related to women in tech:

  • Shirley de Wit, PhD Candidate at TU Delft, opened the event with her talk, “But Girls Just Don’t Like Tech.” She explored the gender gap in computer science, discussing stereotypes, interest development, and gender-inclusive education. Her insights provided actionable strategies to attract more women to the field.
  • Ana Clara Cassanti, Lecturer in Sustainability at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, delivered a session on “Diversity and Inclusion through the Lens of Identity Markers and Intersectionality.” She emphasized the importance of understanding multiple identities and their impact on creating inclusive environments.
  • Viktoriya Li and Arshana Ramautar, students at VU Amsterdam, presented “Programmed Inequality: The Story of Margaret Masterman.” Their talk highlighted the significant contributions of Margaret Masterman in computational linguistics, underscoring the historical challenges faced by women in computing.

The event featured talks and workshops from speakers outside of Amsterdam


Hack4Her 2024 offered an array of workshops led by industry professionals, providing participants with practical skills and knowledge on various cutting-edge topics including:

  • JAX Programming by Samuele Papa (University of Amsterdam) covered the fundamentals and advantages of JAX, a fast and flexible programming framework. Participants learned how JAX handles compilation and its functional programming framework through a hands-on example.
  • Model-based testing by Machiel van der Bijl and Lou Ottens (Axini) introduced participants to next-generation test automation techniques. This workshop provided a hands-on demo of how tests are generated, not programmed, and their application in real-world scenarios.
  • Demystifying the Technical Interview by Hilary McReynolds (Booking.com) demystified the technical interview process, offering valuable tips and strategies. Attendees gained insights into the goals of interviews, common formats, and how to approach programming tasks confidently.
  • Using Data to Build Great Products by Aida Rikovic Tabak (ServiceNow) taught participants how to leverage usage data to enhance product development and user experience. The workshop covered methods for collecting and analyzing data, setting data-driven goals, and implementing iterative improvements based on user behavior insights.
  • Logic Synthesis for AI by Prof. Dr. Marcel Walter (Uni Bremen, TUM) explored how to design custom FPGA accelerators for neural network inference, showing the important intersection of chip design, logic synthesis, and AI.
  • Changing the Perspective of Cybersecurity: From the Risk Conversation to the Goals-Driven One by Ilse Parra (Microsoft, Women4Cyber) focused on helping participants identify their company’s main business objectives, recognizing the assets supporting those objectives, understanding potential threats to these core assets, and exploring the role of board members and management in making security a competitive edge.

Hackathon Highlights

The centerpiece of Hack4Her 2024 was its hackathon, which featured four major challenges designed to inspire innovative solutions:

  • ServiceNow Challenge: Teams developed applications to combat gender discrimination in the workplace using ServiceNow’s platform.
  • Booking.com Challenge: Participants created networks to enhance safety and experiences for solo women travelers.
  • DuckDB Challenge: Teams built a community-driven app providing safe walking routes in Amsterdam using DuckDB’s data processing capabilities.
  • Optiver Challenge: Participants worked on solutions to increase women’s participation in the stock market.

Attendees could win prizes working on solutions for greater inclusivity in tech

Winning teams received prizes, including JBL headphones, tickets to the EU Women in Tech 2024 conference, Apple Airpods, and VVV gift cards.

Participant Testimonials:

“I’ve met fantastic, like-minded people, exchanged ideas, and got inspired to learn, grow, and support my fellow women in tech. And above all – I had a lot of fun.” said one participant.

Networking and Community Building

Hack4Her 2024 placed a strong emphasis on community and networking. Participants enjoyed multiple networking opportunities, including a special Friday evening session, which facilitated connections between attendees and industry leaders. Complimentary meals and refreshments throughout the event further enhanced the collaborative and inclusive atmosphere.

On Friday evening attendees were able to interact with industry leaders


The event benefited from sponsors including the VU-CS Department, Service Now, Booking.com, The  ELLIS Unit Amsterdam, The UvA FNWI Grassroots Science4All Foundation, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Faculty of Science, The AYA Recognition Fund, DuckDB, University of Tilburg CS-AI, VERSEN, Network Institute, Optiver, Qualcomm AI Research, and Axini. We also recognize the invaluable contributions of our volunteers and partner organizations.