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'Women are hardest on women' says Eva Longoria as she calls for conversation on gender roles in technology

It is women, not men, who blast other women who choose to give up their careers and stay at home after having children, actress and philanthropist Eva Longoria has said.

Speaking to Jemima Khan on stage at the 2014 Web Summit in Dublin, for which The Drum is media partner, Longoria, who founded the Eva Longoria Foundation, which focuses on helping women through educational programmes and entrepreneurial programmes, gave a rallying cry to females particularly within technology, science and engineering to "have a conversation" about the roles of women.

"Women are hardest on women. Women make those judgements not men; women are the ones saying, 'oh you have kids, you stay at home so you're not ambitious', and the ones who don't have kids [are told] 'you don't care about other things other than yourself'. I think there's a conversation to be had on stages like this or on the world stage as far as gender roles and women's identity and how can we be all those things."

Longoria urged women in the audience to team with younger females to help guide them through an industry which still has "prevalent sexism" and overcome the traditional "boxes" that women are placed in to.

"Traditionally the sexism in these fields is still prevalent," she said. "I did my masters thesis on specifically Latina women in STEM fields and I found that a lot of them continually were discouraged to go into these fields and that's something that we have to change in our education systems. It's very hard to navigate the educational system in general and even more so when you're a women interested in these fields and discouraged by it.

"People tend to put women in boxes, she's sexy, she's ambitious, she's young; women are very complex and the greatest advantage we have is that we're underestimated and so what we can do is just continue to prove people wrong because women are all of those things at the same time."

Longoria also spoke about her enthusiasm for politics and volunteering for various causes and revealed that as a 17-year old she was an active campaigner for former US president Bill Clinton.

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