Chosen from a field of over 340 nominations from all over the world, the 2020 EQUALS in Tech Award winners demonstrate the dedication, optimism and creativity needed to close the digital gender divide. The winners were selected by an expert panel of EQUALS Global Partnership representatives as well as former award winners.
Winners were announced in each of five categories—Access, Skills, Leadership in Tech, Leadership in SME, and Research—at an online ceremony taking place as part of the programme of activities surrounding the annual Internet Governance Forum.
Meet the 2020 EQUALS winners
The Access Category recognizes individuals and initiatives working to improve women’s and girls’ digital technology access, connectivity and security. EQUALS co-founding partner GSMA presented the 2020 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Access Category to App Laudelina.
App Laudelina is a mobile app that offers Brazilian domestic workers online access to information that improves work conditions and financial management. For example, users can access labor rights in various languages, a benefits calculator, a list of protection agencies and a peer social network. The app also allows reporting of accidents, harassment or other problems to improve safety.
Putting access into action, App Laudelina demonstrates the power and potential of connectivity for all.
The Skills Category recognizes individuals and initiatives supporting development of science, technology, engineering and math skills of women and girls so that they can participate fully in an increasingly digital world. EQUALS co-founding partner ITU presented the 2020 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Skills Category to Sisters of Code.
At Sisters of Code, Cambodia’s first female coding club, girls and young women from age 10 to 20 can learn the basic principals of programming after school. The club’s trainers, also female, meet with the students every week to help them master visual coding, game development and website development.
Giving girls and young women the chance to build their confidence and explore their interest in computers and programming, Sisters of Code shows that the joys of creating digital futures belong to everyone equally.
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 co-founding partner UN Women presented the 2020 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Leadership in Tech Category to the Women Empowerment Program in Technology, an initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
An initiative of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Women Empowerment Program is a national program providing opportunities for all, and particularly women to providing trainings on emerging technologies and empowering digital champions.
With the goal of digital transformation, the Women Empowerment Program envisions a future with an increase in sustainable job opportunities for women in communications and information technology jobs.
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 partner ITC presented the 2020 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Leadership in SME Category to the African Changemakers Initiative.
With chapters in multiple countries, African Changemakers promotes empowerment of African youth across the continent. A special gender focus offers career and leadership development for girls and women to realize their untapped potentials through training, support and mentoring.
African Changemakers Initiative takes a holistic approach to improving lives, from technology trainings to upskilling to changing mindsets. Students have the chance to pitch their ideas, attend workshops and build networks, leading to greater personal opportunity and stronger communities.
The Research category recognizes individuals and initiatives working to expand digital gender divide knowledge in support of evidence-based decision-making. EQUALS co-founding partner UN University presented the 2020 EQUALS in Tech Award in the Research Category to Stereotypes About Women and Their Consequences.
Seeking to find underlying causes for the gender gap in the digital economy, Russian thinktank NAFI Research Center launched this survey-based research project. The study revealed persistent stereotypes affecting all aspects of life, from career opportunities to family life, as well as reducing the potential of the digital economy.
Evidence-based research like this NAFI study forms the basis for real societal changes through policymaking, education and empowerment of girls and women.
During the awards ceremony, EQUALS Global Partnership representatives offered congratulations to the winners, the 25 finalists, and to all the nominees whose work is focused on closing the gender digital divide. These five inspirational winners join a growing community of EQUALS in Tech Award recipients united in one goal: to reimagine a digital future where women and girls are equals.