GSMA We Care Mexico: mobile industry will collaborate to close the digital gender gap

AT&T, Telcel and Telefónica Movistar Commit to Work Together for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Girls and Women with Support of GSMA and ANATEL

15 May 2018, Mexico City: Building on the success of the “We Care” campaign in Mexico, the region’s operators, with the support of the GSMA and the Mexican National Telecom Association (ANATEL), today launched a new We Care initiative focused on closing the digital gender gap. Mobile operators AT&T, Telcel and Telefónica Movistar will work together to advance gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The new We Care initiative was unveiled today at the “Contributions of the Mobile Industry to the Digital Agenda of Mexico” event, where leaders in the local digital industry presented their strategic vision and policy recommendations to the ICT teams of the candidates for the Mexican presidency. The document “What should the public policy of the next president include, to fully integrate Mexico into the digital economy?”1 summarises a set of policy proposals for the next Mexican president.

“We are proud to be working across the mobile industry in Mexico to address the important issue of gender equality,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of Latin America, GSMA. “Mobile can create positive impacts for women, providing a strong foundation through education, offering employment and career opportunities, and connecting them to essential resources and support services. It is clear that when women thrive, societies, businesses and economies thrive.”

We Care Mexico was first launched in February 2015 with a pledge from the country’s mobile operators to tackle handset theft, protect children, support citizens with disabilities and safeguard the environment. A year later, in May 2016, operators launched additional initiatives focused on preventing and responding to natural disasters, as well as the implementation of the national emergency number 911.

In the latest We Care initiative, Mexico’s mobile operators have committed to contribute to SDG 5 (Gender Equality) by:

  • Encouraging young women to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM);
  • Incorporating the gender perspective at the highest levels of leadership, fostering the career advancement of women in the corporate world; and
  • Contributing the experience of the mobile industry in Mexico to the dialogue of Women 20 (W20) to help close the digital gender gap on a global basis.

As a W20 Topic Chair, the GSMA will help lead the debate in the run-up to the G20 Argentina 2018 summit taking place in Buenos Aires, 30 November – 1 December 2018. This includes creating forums for dialogue with international organisations and experts to help draft the W20 recommendations and influence decision-making groups in the G20 to carry out policies towards gender equality. Achieving equality via digital inclusion is one of the four strategic objectives of the W20, alongside labour inclusion, financial inclusion and rural development.

“Technology does not distinguish gender, but it can help us build more equal societies in the opportunities it offers to women. ANATEL is committed to promoting gender equity and digital inclusion, and everything will be done to position this issue high on the agenda of the government that will be elected this summer,” said Gabriel Székely, General Director of ANATEL.

“For AT&T, inclusion and diversity are more than an idea. They are who we are and what drives our innovation. We are committed to continue empowering women and girls to work and succeed in the STEM fields. This will enable us to help close the digital gap in Mexico. We have the responsibility to develop the talent, regardless of gender, race or religion, in order to accelerate the economies and provide connectivity for the people in this country,” said Kelly King, Chief Executive Officer of AT&T in Mexico.

“Our goal is to be a catalyst for development and inclusion in all the countries in which we operate. For more than 28 years, we have been working to close the digital divide through innovative services, as a tool to promote social and economic development. At Telcel, we believe that connectivity means empowerment and that is why we celebrate the We Care campaign – technology is an important enabler for gender equality,” said Patricia Hevia, Telcel’s Commercial Director.

“The active participation of women in innovation and technology sectors is critical to the development of a country. That is why we support programs that empower Mexican girls and women and promote their inclusion and leadership with equal opportunities in our industry. It is in the DNA of Telefónica to have women in the decision making of the company, so we encourage all initiatives that encourage girls and women to pursue education and careers in science and technology,” Carlos Morales Paulín, CEO of Telefónica Movistar México.

Underscoring the mobile industry’s commitment to the SDGs, the GSMA We Care campaign is an initiative of the region’s leading mobile operators to ensure all users can enjoy the life-changing benefits of mobile technology in a safe and secure environment. To achieve this, operators have joined forces to take on a series of commitments in every country in the region where mobile phones and networks can provide solutions to social problems. The We Care campaign has been launched in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru, and will continue to expand across the region.