Estonian MEP Kaja Kallas named as one of the most powerful women in Brussels

The international political magazine, Politico, has named the Estonian member of the European Parliament, Kaja Kallas, as one of the most powerful women in Brussels.

Politico compiled a list of the most powerful women in Brussels, saying that “[n]ow more than ever, women in Brussels are driving Europe’s major political and policy debates”.

“As victims of sexual harassment and violence – overwhelmingly women – make their voices heard in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, a spotlight has fallen on gender power imbalances in and around European Union institutions,” the magazine said.

Kaja Kallas is named as one of the most powerful women in Brussels in a group called the “Tech Titans”, consisting, in addition, of Pilar del Castillo, Marietje Schaake, Dita Charanzová, Birgit Sippel and Julia Reda.

“I am glad that we are moving away from a time when women in politics could only have a say on so-called women’s topics – equal treatment, family policy,” Kallas said in a statement. “And sadly, this is often presumed. I have probably stood out as I actively deal with technological and digital topics and energy policy, which have traditionally been considered so-called manly fields.”

No shortage of women in the Brussels tech scene

Politico also pointed out there was no shortage of women in the top echelons of the Brussels tech scene. “The top five industry bodies are run by women: Lise Fuhr (ETNO), Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl (DigitalEurope), Afke Schaart (GSMA) Siada el-Ramly (EDIMA) and Angela Mills Wade (European Publishers Council),” the magazine said.

“The Brussels offices of Google (Lie Junius), Apple (Claire Thwaites), Amazon (Eirini Zafeiratou), and Intel (Kirsty Macdonald) are female fiefdoms. Three of the four European commissioners handling sensitive digital files are women: Mariya Gabriel, Věra Jourová and Margrethe Vestager.”

“The journalists covering tech in Brussels are mostly female, led by specialist tech writer Jennifer Baker, who also fronts the Brussels institution ‘EU tweets of the week’, as are the public relations specialists who deal with them, including Victoria Main at Cambre Associates.”

The magazine picked 20 individual women or groups of women as the most powerful ones in Brussels.

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Cover: Kaja Kallas (image by Stina Kase).

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.