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EQUALS is Closing the ICT Industry Gender Gap

The 2019 edition of ITU Telecom World is nearly upon us.

From 9-12 September, "ICT ministers, regulators, major ICT companies and industry organizations with innovative tech solutions, as well as tech SMEs and innovators, industry CEOs and investors, non-governmental organizations, academics, consultants, media and digital visionaries" will meet in Budapest, Hungary for this year’s edition of ITU’s flagship event.

Telecom World is "a leading international platform for influential figures from government and industry to connect with tech SMEs and entrepreneurs". This year, for the first time ever, the EQUALS Global Partnership will host a group of female entrepreneurs who will take advantage of all that the event has to offer.

According to available statistics, just one in five of the tech leaders who attended 2018 Telecom World were women — an imbalance that is reflected throughout the tech industry. For example, just 18 per cent of computer science graduates in the United States are women, 327 million fewer women than men access mobile internet using smartphones and in Europe, only 23 per cent of tech industry entrepreneurs are women.

To support female entrepreneurship in the industry, the International Trade Centre (ITC); EQUALS founding partner and co-lead of the Leadership Coalition; and ITU have sponsored women from 26 SMEs in developing countries to attend and learn from the best in the businesses.

This diverse and talented group of women— who are coming from Argentina to Zimbabwe — will benefit from a schedule packed with events. These exclusive opportunities include a mentorship session where experts from ITU, ITC, GSMA and Bamboo Capital; a pitching workshop followed by opportunities to pitch their small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to tech leaders; and masterclasses on impact investment and intellectual property in ICT.

Joey Perera, founder of Boost Metric, says the thing she is looking forward to most about being part of the EQUALS delegation is the opportunity “to learn more about telecommunication system and processes in Europe”. The founder of the Sri-Lanka based enterprise says that it “will be a big opportunity for a startup company based in Asia”.

Although this is the first time that EQUALS will be bringing a delegation to Telecom World, we look forward to many more years of this collaboration, bringing in even more partners and providing even more female tech entrepreneurs with the chance to benefit from one of the world’s biggest tech events.

Photo credits: ITU Pictures via Flickr

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