GSMA Convenes Rising Female Innovators in Tech for a Three Week Long Capacity Building Summer School

As part of the EQUALS-EU capacity building and research project on bridging the gender gap in social innovation, GSMA convened a 3-week long summer school for 16 rising female innovators in tech which focused on supporting their further professional development and innovative business ideas.

During the first week of the summer school, which was co-hosted by the Institute of Economics of the Latvian Academy of Sciences in Riga, participants discussed the topic of championing female leadership in tech which saw the presentation of key findings from the 2020 GSMA/EQUALS Research Report on this topic. Particular emphasis was put on why women are better transformational leaders than men and how such a leadership style can be fostered.

Other thought-provoking discussions and valuable insights from experts included:

? Fundamentals of gender equality / equity / stereotypes / women underrepresentation
? Strategic communication and role modeling
? Tools for developing women’s leadership in ICT

The second week was co-hosted by the Geneva Graduate Institute under the topic of “Eliminating Exclusion and Advancing Women’s Digital Rights” and saw participants discuss the importance of digital gender inclusion and international policy making in the field. The participants took part in various workshops focusing on the concepts of digital gender equality and equity as to identify risks and opportunities of (not) creating inclusive innovation solutions.

Other highlights of the week included a workshop on digital trade hosted by the International Trade Center and an inspiring talk on female leadership hosted by the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union Doreen Bogdan-Martin at the ITU premises.

The third and final week of the EQUALS-EU Summer School was co-hosted by the University of Valencia and it included discussions around empowering women in place. GSMA presented on the topic of driving social innovation via mobile with a particular emphasis paid on the GSMA Innovation Fund and its recent awardees. The week culminated with a pitch off session on the last day where participants presented their various tech innovation ideas and business plans and competed for a special prize offered by Global Invest Her among other perks. The winning teams included team #CleanWater led by Arijana Filipić, PhD, team #ImpactDevAfrica led by Janet Mulu I.T.S and team #Haven led by Clementina Aina.

The EQUALS-EU project is a three-year capacity building and research project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. The GSMA is one of the 19 Consortium Project partners and leads all project activities pertaining to the role of public-private partnerships in bridging the gender gap in social innovation.

The Summer School is a part of the EQUALS-EU’s ambition to support the professional development of future leaders and champions in gender equity and digital inclusion. The programme also creates an opportunity to promote knowledge exchange and technology transfer within Europe and beyond.