The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a United Nations agency for ICT and UN Women, a UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, have jointly launched a new global technology award that recognises outstanding contributions from women and men in using ICTs to promote gender equality.
According to ITU, 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 take place in Busan, Korea from October 20 to November 7, 2014. Winners will travel to Busan to accept their award.
Online nominations are opened till September 5, 2014 at www.itu.int/gem-tech-awards, with winners to be notified by October 5, this year. ITU encourages men and women working in the ICT sector to nominate their colleagues or themselves. The final seven winners will be selected by a committee of experts from ITU and UN Women.
ITU says 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.”