She created a network for women and is seeking women from Portugal
Lisbon 2018, Web Summit | 8th Mar 2019
Swiss Entrepreneur, Orphise Rodriguez, spent approximately 2500 euros to be in Lisbon for the Web Summit and does not regret it: “Portugal has a very vibrant and creative economy. I have met very creative people here.”
Orphise Rodriguez is not a mother yet but hopes to become one soon. She is aware that this may mean having to spend more time at home. To prevent losing out on work opportunities and new contacts, she created an international organization to promote and empower women worldwide and create synergies with non-government organizations. The name of her organization is Women of Five Continents (WO5C).
The website was launched in November 2017. It has 85 collaborators from Switzerland, UK, Spain, France, China, Philippines, Kenya, India, and the USA. In Portugal, WO5C has one collaborator by the name of Andreia. The objective to participate in the Web Summit is to expand the network, under the logo “Let´s get together” en route to it becoming self-sufficient/sustainable.
The startup of this initiative has not been easy for this honors graduate in Organisational Psychology, from the University of Capella, in Minneapolis. Orphise Rodriguez spent approximately 30 thousand euros to build the WO5C website. Regarding her expenditure to participate in the Web Summit, Orphise admits she has had to be “modest with her spending, but the Web Summit is an opportunity to learn about new technologies and to network. Portugal has a vibrant and creative economy. I have met very creative people here, ” she told the Economico Newspaper. During our conversation, she said, “look I have just received payment from a new member.” Platforms like the Web Summit help raise new members, so that WO5C can continue to provide ongoing business support, and online, and find new partners. Wo5C offers free and a premium package at a cost of 4.99 USD which gives members access to B2B and B2C products.
During our conversation, Orphise Rodriguez voiced some concerns, also highlighted during the Web Summit, such as, the majority of women who work in the field of technology (61%) attending the Summit feel they face pressure to prove themselves i.e. that they have the required competencies when compared with their male counterparts.
According to a study undertaken by the Web Summit organization of interviewed speakers, investors, business people, and entrepreneurs, less than half (37%) of the women interviewed, admit they receive equitable pay/remuneration when compared with men in similar job roles. 43% said they were treated in the same way as men.
Orphise Rodriguez is not alone at the Web Summit. The Swedish entrepreneur, Ihren, also attended the Web Summit, after winning a ticket from WO5C to attend the event.