By Denise Ruffner, Cambridge Quantum Computing

The Women in Quantum Event, hosted by OneQuantum brought together more than 650 people from 23 countries and 4 continents for 3 days of digital, women-led content to launch its Women in Quantum chapter, organized by Denise Ruffner, Chief Business Officer, of Cambridge Quantum Computing. Denise commented “This event establishes a worldwide forum for women in quantum computing called “Women in Quantum” to highlight our contributions and also to provide a community for sharing and mentoring each other.  Together we can achieve great things and we will continue to hold events to highlight and educate”.

The goal of this inaugural event was to provide a mix of experienced and aspiring leaders, academics, entrepreneurs, government and investors, and make sure to give a platform to women in quantum globally who don’t always shine in the spotlight. This led to some amazing, personal stories of women in doing quantum computing and how they ended up at the top of their fields – and the struggles and victories along the way.

The opening keynote talk, given by Chief Scientist Patty Lee from Honeywell Quantum Solutions, event sponsor, talked not only about the technological expertise and quantum computing program within Honeywell, but also the large team of women in quantum at Honeywell and their organizational emphasis on inclusion and diversity.  Celia Merzbacher, Deputy Director of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium, and Yewon Gim, Senior Technical Staff Member, AT&T Foundry, also gave keynote talks describing the quantum initiatives in their organizations.

Some of the leading QIS startups in the world are co-founded and led by women in quantum and we were lucky to hear from Ilana Wisby, CEO of Oxford Quantum Circuits, and Cristina Escoda, President & Co-Founder Orca Computing, who shared her insights on fundraising in QIS.  We also had amazing presentations from Tina Anne Sebastian, co-founder of Quacoon, Paulina Mazurek, CEO of Beit.tech, Naimeh Schuetter, CEO Avanetix and Antia Lamas-Linares, CTO of Quantum Technologies.

Academia was represented by Agata Branczyk, PSI Fellow at the Perimeter Institute in Canada, Maud Vinet, Hardware Program Manager at CEA Leti and Laura Schulz, Head of Strategic Development and Partnerships at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Bavaria, Germany and Jody Burks, IBM Q Academic Partner Technical Leader.

One of our missions at OneQuantum is to be inclusive of all experience levels and we are excited to have been joined by female students and young professionals, many of whom, through our one-on-one networking and individual matchmaking, made invaluable connections with some of the leaders in the field. This is true career acceleration with a personal touch.

Lastly, we explored regional efforts within with talks by Sharon Rehbinder and Maud Vinet about quantum efforts in France, as well as Jessica Richman and her great overview on the quantum market in Australia.

We are humbled by the way the global Quantum Ecosystem came together around this first of many Women in Quantum events, which reached over 150,000 across social media and our newsletters. The next Women in Quantum Event will be held in 2 months.  Sign up at www.onequantum.org or womeninquantum.substack.com to stay in touch.

August 10, 2020