The Gladys Award, which recognises the work of women in the Basque digital environment, has been launched

  • The Gladys Award aims to reward the career developed by women of 40 years of age at the most and to promote the projection of female referents.
  • The deadline for submitting nominations will be 20 June 2023 and candidates can submit their candidacy or can be also proposed by an organisation or company.
  • This year, as a novelty, the winner will receive a prize of 4,000 euros, and she will have the opportunity to give several conferences to publicise her work.

Organised by PUNTUEUS and the Faculty of Computer Science of the UPV/EHU, with the support of the Equality Body of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and Emakunde, the Basque Women’s Institute, and the collaboration of the industrial group Danobatgroup and the UPV/EHU’s Equality Department, they have presented the third edition of the Gladys Award.

The award recognises the role of women working in the Basque digital environment, rewarding their career and projection. The aim is to encourage young women to embark on their technological journey, in order to create new Basque referents.

The initiative was presented today at a press conference in the press room of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, sponsor of the award. Present were Lorea Arakistain, Marketing Director of PUNTUEUS; Olatz Arbelaitz, member of the Equality Committee of the UPV/EHU’s Faculty of Computer Science; Nerea Isasi, Director of Equality of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa; Miren Elgarresta, Director of Emakunde and Iker Usabiaga, Director of Social Management of the Danobatgroup industrial group.

They have explained the steps for submitting nominations, as it can be done by the candidate herself, or an organisation can propose the name of the candidate. In the latter case, they will have to explain the candidate’s merits when submitting her candidacy.

The registration period for the Gladys Award will be open until 20 June 2023 on the website

Prize of 4,000 euros
This year’s prize money will be higher than last year’s, as last year’s winner received 3,000 euros, while the 2023 winner will receive 4,000 euros. In addition, the winner will record a short video in which she will explain her work to expand it among young people. She will also give motivational talks at schools agreed with the organisers and at the competition prize-giving ceremony.

The Director of Equality of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, Nerea Isasi Bedayo, has highlighted the importance of the Gladys Award and the need for this type of project: “We have to guarantee the presence of women in future professions and, to do this, we have to visualise the STEM protagonists. The contribution that the Gladys Award can make in this field is very important because it allows us to get to know the work done by women computer scientists and shows us innovative and cutting-edge work. We must reverse the presence of women in the fields of work and knowledge related to science and technology to make progress on equality”.

Miren Elgarresta, director of Emakunde, has added that “this award gives visibility to women scientists and is something that this society needs, above all, because it is very important for young women to have role models in the world of science. In other words, it is important to be role models in all fields and areas, so that they feel that they can be whatever they want and also, that there are no limits set by gender when it comes to choosing their future. In fact, we know that stereotypes greatly influence one’s self-concept and that, among the mandates women receive, it is stated that the world of science and technology is mostly for men”.

Many profiles in the sector
Lorea Arakistain, from PUNTUEUS, explains, “the award has a wide variety of objectives, including the existence of numerous profiles in the STEM fields. In fact, both the professionals working in these sectors and the women who present themselves for the Gladys Award have very different day-to-day tasks”.

When it comes to selecting the winner, the jury takes into account a number of criteria. “It is aimed at women up to the age of 40 and the jury will take into account the impact that the candidates’ personal situation has had on their professional career,” has said Arakistain.

The representative of the Faculty of Computer Science, Olatz Arbelaitz Gallego, has talked about the importance of creating new female role models in these sectors both for the Faculty of Computer Science and for society as a whole: “It is clear that everyone projects herself more easily in someone similar to her, and for this we need role models who are close to us”.

“In fact, in the last few years, the low number of women who have approached studies related to Computer Science and Technology, which for many years have been below 15% both in our territory and worldwide, has a direct influence on the number of women who will dedicate themselves to the digital field in the future, on women’s access to new professions in which they are on the rise and, consequently, on their contribution to society”, explains Arbelaitz.

The Gladys Award was created in 2021 by the PUNTUEUS Foundation and the Faculty of Computer Science of the UPV/EHU, with the support of the Body for Equality of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and the industrial group Danobatgroup. In this edition, Emakunde, the Basque Women’s Institute, has also joined as a sponsor of the award. In last year’s edition, 20 candidatures were evaluated and the organisers have pointed out that “the proposals submitted showed a very high level and we believe that it is an award that is here to stay”.

Ane Iturzaeta, first prize-winner
Ane Iturzaeta Agirre (Donostia, 1995) was the winner of the first edition of the Gladys Award. She studied a double degree in Business Administration and Management + Computer Engineering at the University of Deusto. She currently works as a Custom Engineer and is responsible for helping her clients’ companies, both in the public and private sectors. To do so, she tries to respond to day-to-day challenges using artificial intelligence and data.

Olatz Perez de Viñaspre, winner in 2022
Olatz Pérez de Viñaspre (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1987) was the winner of the Gladys Award 2022. As for her academic career, she is a Technical Engineer in Computer Systems and a Computer Engineer, studies she completed at the Faculty of Computer Science of the UPV/EHU. Subsequently, she completed a master’s degree in Language Analysis and Processing (HAP) from 2011-2013.

Finally, in 2017 she completed the PhD programme in Language Analysis and Processing at the Faculty of Computer Science of the University of the Basque Country, in Donostia. She is currently an assistant lecturer in the Department of Computer Architecture and Technology at the Faculty of Computer Science of the UPV/EHU and also works in the world of research.

About the Gladys Award
The aim of the award, named after the computer scientist Gladys del Estal, is to reward young Basque women working in the digital environment, to create new referents for young people and to disseminate their work. This scientist studied at the Faculty of Computer Science in Donostia and remembering the work she did is also one of the project’s objectives.