Leadership Coalition

Promoting leadership opportunities for women in the digital workforce, including women's entrepreneurship

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Leadership Coalition Lead Partners:

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About the EQUALS Leadership Coalition

The Issue

 

The technology industry has emerged as the world’s economic powerhouse, driving employment and investment and underpinning just about every other economic sector. It’s a field brimming with new opportunity, yet women are all but absent from the senior ranks of most tech companies.

Recent figures show that while women now make up around 50% of the global workforce, they hold fewer than 1 in 10 senior technology jobs. In Silicon Valley, only 2% of VC tech funding goes to start-ups with female founders – and a mere 7% of VC venture capital partners are women. In addition, qualified women are quitting the tech sector at twice the rate of men.

The Work

 

The EQUALS Leadership Coalition aims to address the barriers that prevent women from rising to the top of their chosen technology field. Coalition members from leading private and public sector organizations will strive to empower women as ICT leaders, creators, and entrepreneurs through a range of actions that leverage their global presence and build on their own success stories including:

  • Training and mentoring women to create tech businesses and readily assume leadership roles

  • Facilitating better access to finance and funding through venture capital opportunities, angel investors and impact investors

  • Identifying regulatory and policy barriers that are limiting women’s ability to access and monetize opportunities

The activities of the Leadership Coalition are designed to concretely address challenges that women in the tech sector tend to face systemically. Work will span five main areas of action including:

  • Mobilization and building a professional network of women: Leveraging the Leadership Coalition network and regional support, partners will contact women entrepreneurs in tech to participate in EQUALS activities and connect women entrepreneurs with women leaders and role models in tech through a global role model initiative.

  • Capacity-building: Partners will work together to identify training and/or workshops suitable for women entrepreneurs by region and deliver tailored workshops and e-learning courses on both hard tech skills and leadership skills including business development, access to finance, women’s economic empowerment and gender inclusivity. 

  • Advocacy: Activities will include a multi-stakeholder call for good practices, efforts to encourage tech companies to sign up to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, creating a digital equality campaign, forming a Male Champions of Change group, and establishing an EQUALS Women in Tech Taskforce.

  • Investment and Funding: Includes identifying local initiatives for connecting entrepreneurs to investors, assessing and selecting women entrepreneurs to participate in events, and taking action to influence investment policy.

  • Policy recommendations: Partners will conduct independent research and collaborate with the EQUALS Research Group to determine how women and girls access and use ICTs in order to formulate policy recommendations for regulatory agencies and governments.

 

The Coalition will initially focus its efforts around a core group of pilot countries from Africa, Asia and the Middle East/North Africa. Through its activities, the Leadership Coalition will collect best practices and deliver evidence-based case studies to provide examples and suggestions on how to create and maintain equal opportunities for women in tech.

Why it matters

As award-winning actor and gender activist Geena Davis says, “If she can see it, she can be it.” The success of the Coalition’s efforts will create a virtuous circle, creating greater numbers of female role models in tech who will in turn inspire the next generation of girls to aspire to tech leadership.

It’s time for women to take their place at the boardroom table. Making a difference in technology leadership is a powerful way to exert more profound change across the technology sector as a whole. Working together with you, the EQUALS Leadership Coalition will help create a balanced, diversity-friendly work environment where everyone, regardless of gender, has the chance to nurture their talents and shine.

 

Because when women thrive, societies, businesses and economies thrive.
EQUALS Leadership Coalition 2018 Update.
EQUALS Leadership Coalition 2017-2018 Overview
A summary from the EQUALS Leadership Coalition
Download this report for a summary of work including a framework for crowdsourced e-learning course content to facilitate women’s professional and entrepreneurial opportunities in the tech sector.
Lead partner: ITC
Get involved

 

If your organization would like to join the EQUALS Leadership Coalition, reach out to us at equals@itu.int.

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