International Women's Day (IWD) took place this week and we wanted to use today's blog to highlight the vital importance of technology in the gender equality discussion, and to show our support for the UN theme for this year's IWD - DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.
Bam Boom Cloud is committed to diversity and inclusion, working to encourage more women into jobs in tech and supporting the career progression of the amazing women in our business. Our CEO, Vicky Critchley, also chairs the Women in Dynamics organization that was launched in 2021 to champion diversity and inclusion in the Microsoft Dynamics channel.
We regularly blog about the power of technology in our industry but stepping back and looking on a global scale, technology has so much power to create opportunities and empower individuals around the world. However, not everyone has equal access to technology, and this perpetuates gender inequality. This is why the United Nations is promoting their DigitALL initiative as their 2023 theme for IWD, advocating for digital inclusion and bridging the digital gender divide through tech.
Women and girls have just as much right to access the digital world and prosper in it as men and boys. Their creativity, knowledge and perspectives can shape a future where technology contributes to transforming social norms, amplifying women's voices, pushing forward against online harassment, preventing the perpetuation of algorithmic biases, and distributing the benefits of digitalization as the great equalizer to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
(Read the full IWD statement from Sima Bahous here.)
There are some eye-opening statistics from the UN IWD press release that highlight not only the scale of the global digital gender divide, but also the impact of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) on gender equality.
“A Global Analysis of 133 AI systems across industries found that 44.2% demonstrate gender bias.”
There is clearly a lot of work to be done to achieve digital gender equality, and UN has listed some clear calls to action:
- Close the digital gender gaps.
- Support women and girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
- Create tech that meets the needs of women and girls.
- End technology-facilitated gender-based violence.
- Stop online violence.
- Make technology more inclusive and equal for all.
Closing the digital gender gap is not only a matter of social justice, but it also has significant economic implications. Digital technologies have the potential to transform economies and create new opportunities for growth and innovation. However, if half of the population is excluded from these opportunities, the potential benefits will not be fully realized.
We encourage everyone to take the time to read the DigitALL initiative resources, learn about the impact of the digital gender gap and find out about how we all can work towards gender equality in technology. This editorial is a good place to start: