ITU and UN Women are partnering to launch a new global technology award that recognizes outstanding contributions from women and men in leveraging the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to promote gender equality.
The annual GEM-TECH Awards will be conferred on seven winners from government, the private sector, academia and civil society at ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference, which will be held in Busan, Korea from 20 October – 7 November. Winners will travel to Busan to accept their award and join a global celebration on October 21 promoting the power of ICTs to transform lives.
Initiative to close the gender tech gap
The initiative comes in the wake of the disclosure of ‘diversity’ figures by major tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Linked In, which reveal that, across the board, the number of women in tech jobs is well under 20%, with the percentage of women in leadership roles not much better – reflecting a global lack of women coming into the ICT field. “ICTs are the most powerful tool we have ever had to make a difference to the lives of today’s and tomorrow’s women, and to build a more equitable world for all,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré. “This new award will provide much deserved global recognition for some of the many outstanding gender champions – both female and male – who are driving exciting, innovative and effective ICT and gender initiatives.”
ITU is already active in the field of gender and technology, particularly through its global ‘Girls in ICT Day’ event, which takes place annually on the fourth Thursday in April, raising awareness of the advantages and opportunities offered by tech careers to a new generation of girls and young women.
Propose a nominee
Online nominations are open until 11:59 CET on 5 September, 2014 at www.itu.int/gem-tech-awards, with winners to be notified by 5 October. ITU encourages men and women working in the ICT sector to nominate their colleagues – or themselves – with the final seven winners to be selected by a committee of experts from ITU and UN Women. The awards will be presented by ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as part of a day-long programme of activities around gender issues. Make your proposal for nominees