2022 Equals in Tech Award Winners
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
On December 8, 2022, the EQUALS Global Partnership held its prestigious annual EQUALS in Tech Award ceremony, celebrating initiatives with powerful vision, significant impact, and regional importance in bridging the gender digital divide. The awards were announced in the context of the Partner2Connect annual meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
From a field of more than 150 nominees representing 54 countries, judges selected 15 initiatives as finalists in the categories of Access, Skills, Leadership in Tech, Leadership in SME, and Research. Two EQUALS partner initiatives were also nominated for a first-time special recognition award.
In her opening remarks, ITU Secretary-General-elect Doreen Bogdan-Martin emphasized the excitement of meeting in person for the first time since 2019, as well as the urgency of efforts to achieve gender parity in digital access, skills and leadership opportunities. The keynote address was delivered by Laura Fernandez of Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA, whose work won the 2021 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Access Category.
With so many amazing initiatives, projects and organizations working to promote digital access to girls and women around the world, the task of selecting winners from an outstanding field of nominees was, as always, very difficult. Our judges, who are past award winners, EQUALS partners and other experts, chose this year’s winners based on their impact, sustainability and multisectoral partnerships.
Let’s meet the 2022 EQUALS in Tech Award winners!
The Access category recognizes individuals and initiatives working to improve women’s and girls’ digital technology access, connectivity and security. EQUALS partner GSOA presented the 2022 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Access Category to App Morada (Mexico).
Designed and evaluated by women with disabilities, App Morada offers resources to help prevent violence against women, and to help women who experience violence, especially those with disabilities. The app fills an unmet need and uses technology to give women the tools they need to stay connected and safe.
The Skills category recognizes individuals and initiatives supporting the development of science, technology, engineering and maths skills for women and girls, so that they can participate fully in an increasingly digital world. EQUALS co-founding partner GSMA presented the 2022 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Skills Category to Czechitas (Czech Republic)
Czechitas actively focuses on promoting greater diversity in IT fields; improving the quality of STEM education for young people; and broadening access to affordable high-quality digital skills training for all. As a social impact platform, Czechitas is dedicated to creating and growing tech opportunities for women and girls in the Czech Republic by offering practical experiences, hands-on exercises, and real-world applicability.
The Research Category recognizes initiatives working to expand digital gender divide knowledge in support of evidence-based decision-making. Long-time EQUALS collaborating partner the Graduate Institute of Geneva presented the 2022 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Research Category to Education Digital Equity Initiative (Nigeria).
EDEI, a school-based survey initiative of AREAi, seeks to understand the barriers children, particularly girls, face in leveraging the power of technology for learning and other socio-economic advantages. The goal of EDEI’s research is to support programmes to drive digital equity and ensure that both boys and girls have equal opportunities and access to digital tools, resources, and services to build digital knowledge, awareness, and skills.
LEADERSHIP IN SME
The Leadership in SME Category recognizes individuals and initiatives that promote women’s leadership and entrepreneurship in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the tech sector. EQUALS co-founding partners UN Women presented the 2022 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Leadership in SME Category to the Tech-Driven Entrepreneur programme in Zimbabwe.
Tech-Driven Entrepreneur is an initiative aiming to bring more women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) into the digital economy to help them grow and trade internationally.
The programme trains women-owned MSMEs in digital marketing to improve female entrepreneurs’ skills and access to international trade and markets, both online and face to face. Overall goals including helping MSMEs become more resilient, supporting more women and MSMEs to participate in the digital economy, leveraging digital marketing to allow international trade without travel, and helping MSMEs grow their businesses to contribute to community growth and employment.
LEADERSHIP IN TECH
The Leadership in Tech category recognizes individuals and initiatives working to close the gender gap in representation and decision-making roles in the technology sector. EQUALS Leadership Coalition co-leading partner EY presented the 2022 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Leadership in Tech Category to the Women Technopreneurs Forum, a Sri Lanka-based initiative.
The Women Technopreneurs Forum is an initiative of SLASSCOM intended to help achieve the larger goal of generating 1,000 tech startups by 2025 – a goal which cannot be met without harnessing the potential of women tech entrepreneurs. The Forum aims to create this positive change across Sri Lanka’s tech ecosystem by supporting and promoting startups and businesses where women are majority or equal shareholding partners and/or represented at the CxO level.
EQUALS PARTNER SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
For the first time this year, the EQUALS Global Partnership introduced a new award category, to shine a spotlight on outstanding members of our partnership. Nominated by fellow partners, this year’s finalists were active and effective members of their coalitions, bringing creativity and dedication to their contributions to EQUALS.
As always, we thank all of our partners for their dedicated support, and we offer our warmest congratulations to this year’s EQUALS Partner Special Recognition Award winner. The award was presented by James Howe (ITC), Chair of the EQUALS Steering Committee, to our outstanding partner W4 (Women’s Worldwide Web).
W4 is a highly active partner supporting EQUALS efforts including the #HerDigitalSkills initiative and many other efforts. The organization works collaboratively and with great dedication to ensure that girls and women everywhere have access to ICTs and can fully leverage ICTs that support education, healthcare, economic opportunities, the exercise of their rights, and political participation – all of which benefit girls and women and their families and communities.
Congratulations to all!
The EQUALS Global Partnership congratulates this year’s amazing winners and finalists, and commends all nominees for their commitment and tireless work to bridge the gender digital divide.
This year’s inspirational winners join a growing community of EQUALS in Tech Award recipients united in one goal: to build and support gender equality in the digital age.
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For more information, please visit: www.equalsintech.org or contact us at: EQUALS@itu.int
The EQUALS Global Partnership is made up of more than 100 members from international organizations, governments, the private sector, civil society and academia, all committed to working together to ach gender equality in digital access, digital skills and leadership opportunities in the tech sector.