D4p: Inspiring Innovation With Tech and Gender Equality

Envision a world where gender equality thrives, fostering a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment for individuals in every facet of life. This year’s International Women’s Day, observed on March 8th, champions this vision with the theme, “Inspire Inclusion.”
As a non-profit organisation that has a mission to realise a digitally-empowered society that ensures equal opportunities for everyone, we at Digital for Planet (D4P) strive to inspire inclusion among the digital innovators, researchers, public authorities, civil society and citizens we collaborate with. 

“International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the advancements we have made for women across the globe as well as remember the women who have fought and paved the path forward,” says Sophie Staheyeff, a Communication and Dissemination Specialist at D4P. “It is also a day to reflect on what biases we still have and how we can actively think and work in an intersectional way to create an environment and system that is inclusive to all genders, races, religions, and cultural backgrounds.”
The ICT industry, specifically, grapples with equality issues, notably the pervasive gender gap. According to the European Commission’s 2023 Report on Gender Equality and She Figures, women constitute only 25% of the ICT workforce – both in the EU and globally.

“There is no true innovation that can spark without diversity, openness and inclusion as built-in pillars,” says Dr Monique Calisti, President and founder of D4P. “Especially in the ICT world more needs and can be done to resolve the gender gap and ensure a more sustainable development of our society.” 
In the AI sector, the gender disparity is even more pronounced, with women constituting a mere 22% of global AI professionals, according to the World Economic Forum.
And as for unconscious bias? Who here hasn’t interacted with one of those familiar virtual assistants: Alexa, Cortana, or Siri? These technologies, developed by major tech companies, often embody feminine traits, from their voices to their names. However, this has perpetuated the subconscious stereotype that women are submissive and compliant. Apple’s Siri also translates to “beautiful woman guiding you to victory,” in Norwegian, which further insinuates a gender bias in AI.

Addressing the gender gap is crucial, particularly amid the global shortage of skilled workers in the tech industry. The European Commission gender studies also indicate that women bring diverse educational backgrounds, enriching the skill set necessary for tackling the multidisciplinary challenges of AI and complex ICT systems.

At Digital For Planet, gender balance is not just an aim but a cornerstone of our organisational ethos. Our workforce reflects this commitment, with a balanced representation of employees. We prioritise gender balance in all aspects of our work, fostering inclusivity and leveraging diverse perspectives to drive innovation.
Striving for sustainable innovation with a strong focus on balance and inclusivity as a part of our organisation is a way for me to bridge the tech with the social,” says D4P Sustainability Expert, Dr. Anna Aseeva.
At Digital For Planet, we’re committed to amplifying the voices of women, celebrating their contributions, and championing diversity in all its forms. Join us in paving the way for a sustainable digital and resource-efficient economy, reducing inequality, boosting and supporting global players, and fostering collaborations among women and diverse individuals everywhere.

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