GSMA Makes Bold Commitments at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris

The GSMA has made bold commitments on behalf of the mobile industry to tackle the mobile gender gap and promote digital inclusion for women and girls at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris. The forum was convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France. It represented a landmark effort in bringing together governments, private sector, civil society, youth, philanthropies and international organisations from around the world to define and announce ambitious investments and policies around advancing gender equality.

These bold commitments led the GSMA to be selected as a Commitment Maker to the Technology and Innovation Action Coalition for Gender Equality.

Building on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Generation Equality represents the most visionary global agenda for accelerating women’s rights and female empowerment everywhere. As such, the Generation Equality Action Coalitions are an extraordinary platform, both in their approach and level of ambition. Each of the action coalitions brings together innovative, multi-stakeholder partnerships which are focused on addressing the most critical barriers to gender equality— from violence, to climate change, and economic systems that leave women and girls behind. Aimed at delivering concrete results and lasting impact based on commitments from across both public and private sectors over the next five years, the Generation Equality process is a pivotal moment for gender equality for the global community.

In partnership with its members and key international partners, the GSMA has committed to driving action through the following three commitments over the next five years:

Commitment 1. Access

Through the GSMA Connected Women Programme, the GSMA commits to continue to support mobile industry partners and other stakeholders to accelerate digital and financial inclusion for women across Africa and Asia, reaching millions of women. More specifically it has committed to:

  • Support mobile industry partners to make and deliver on formal public commitments to reduce the gender gap in their mobile internet and mobile money services.
  • Research to provide a deeper understanding of the mobile gender gap including the needs of women in different contexts; the factors limiting their ability to access and use mobile; and opportunities for accelerating digital and financial inclusion of women.
  • Share data and actionable insights on the mobile gender gap to inform and drive action that is commercially sustainable and socially impactful.
  • Deliver free capacity building courses for policymakers on the mobile gender gap and opportunities for addressing it.

Commitment 2. Skills

As a co-founder of the EQUALS Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age, the GSMA has also pledged to design and provide access to free training and e-mentoring for one million women and girls by 2026 via the Her Digital Skills Initiative powered by EQUALS. This is a collective commitment in partnership with EQUALS co-founder the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and EQUALS members EY and Women’s WorldWide Web (W4).

The Her Digital Skills Initiative powered by EQUALS will include:

  • A basic introduction to the technical knowledge and education needed for careers in technology through hands on Tech4Girls workshops.
  • Access to free, adapted (gender transformative) foundational IT skills training through a committed online platform.
  • An EQUALS qualification (“the Digital Badge”) which will boost women’s chances of pursuing further training/studies and access to formal employment in the ICT sector.
  • An e-mentoring programme connecting established companies from the tech and mobile industries to young women to increase interest, involvement and awareness of the overall role of industry in bridging the gender gap in leadership.

The overarching goal is to increase the talent pipeline of girls and young women in STEM/STEAM, leading to employment opportunities.

Commitment 3. Leadership

The GSMA has also committed to achieving a 50/50 gender balance across its Executive Leadership and Leadership teams by 2025 in line with its commitments to the B Team Change Who to Change How campaign and the UN Women Empowerment Principles. In line with its ambitious Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, the GSMA has pledged to:

  • Gather workforce data to track and report publicly on progress
  • Work to address structural barriers and biases that hinder progress
  • Educate and train our workforce on our commitment and the importance of gender balanced leadership
  • Improve our inclusive recruitment and retention practices
  • Establish collective accountability measures to achieve our goals

The GSMA is proud to join governments, the private sector, civil society, youth, and international organisations globally as they announce ambitious commitments to advance gender equality. When women thrive, business, economies and societies thrive.