GSMA Diversity4Tech APAC Community Call for Write-Ups on International Women’s Day

8 March 2023, Hong Kong: On International Women’s Day, the GSMA’s Diversity4Tech APAC Community is pleased to announce a Call for Write-ups where authors are invited to share their experiences and contributions in the field of digital technology.

“GSMA has always been committed to inclusion and diversity in digital technology. As per GSMA’s Digital Societies Index, there are glaring gender gaps in the use of digital technologies and women in leadership roles. Countries will not be able to succeed in fulfilling their ambitions of becoming full fledged digital societies and nations unless they take positive action to address the gender gap. The GSMA firmly believes that institutions, corporations and governments around the world need to focus on the importance of inclusion, and actively seek to combat such inequalities, which goes in line with this year’s UN Women theme for International Women’s Day – DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” said Julian Gorman, Head of Asia Pacific, GSMA.

Gender equality is one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as an important priority area for G20. The latest UN Women Reports show that COVID-19 had a devastating impact on women’s economic opportunities and labour force engagement. In 2022, women’s employment rates have still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels in most countries. Today, more than 380 million women and girls live in extreme poverty, on less than USD 1.90 a day.

Women’s representation in positions of power and decision-making remain below the parity threshold with just 26.4 per cent of parliamentary seats globally, and 28.3 per cent of managerial positions. Furthermore, as per GSMA gender gap data, after years of progress towards women’s equal digital inclusion, we are now seeing a slowdown and, in some cases, a reversal. Women remain 7% less likely than men to own a mobile phone,  and are 16% less likely to use mobile internet.

Bringing women and other marginalized groups into technology results in more creative solutions and has greater potential for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality. Their lack of inclusion, by contrast, comes with massive costs. As per a recent UN report, women’s exclusion from the digital world has shaved $1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries in the last decade- — a loss that could grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025 without action.

The latest GSMA APAC Digital Societies Report emphasizes on the theme of digital nation building and the role of inclusive digital development by bridging gender inequality in the access and use of digital technology.

In the field of technology/STEM, gender disparity has historically been prevalent in both education and professional choice. This along with women’s leadership and empowerment in the private sector constitutes a part of the priority agenda under India’s G20 Alliance for the Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation (EMPOWER) for 2023.

About GSMA Diversity4Tech :

The GSMA Diversity4Tech APAC Community provides a forum for women working in the tech industry to discuss issues and provide real-life solutions to address the gender and overall diversity gap in the industry and maximize value and leadership skills for working-level women and their careers. The first event of Diversity4Tech APAC Community was the Women4Tech Leaders Reception on 24 September 2019 at the Mobile 360 Digital Societies event in Kuala Lumpur.

Themes for the write-up:

  • Use of digital technology
  • Emerging technologies such as AI, ML, Big Data
  • 5G deployment and use
  • Digital skills and literacy
  • Other relevant areas in the advancement of digital technology

In addition to sharing your contributions to areas of focus outlined above, we encourage you to share accounts of your journeys in the pursuit of technology as a study and career choice, including opportunities for advancement, workplace environment, societal pressures, family support and other factors. The write-ups should be brief and not exceed 600 words.

Email your submissions (write-up and a short bio with picture) to Natasha Nayak (Senior Policy Manager, GSMA) at [email protected] at the earliest. The submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis and selected entries will be published on the GSMA blog on an on-going basis. Top 3 blog posts will be felicitated at the annual GSMA Mobile 360 APAC event (September 6-7, 2023, South Korea).