5 ways to advance gender equality through technology and Innovation

Starting a career in the technology industry may be difficult, especially for female Gen Zers, due to a variety of systemic challenges with gender equality as well as the sector’s predominance of male talent. Though born into a technologically advanced generation, female Gen Zs are still being left behind. Research suggests that women are making progress in the tech industry, however, there’s still a long way to go; women make up only 22 percent of artificial intelligence workers globally and only 3% of females say a career in technology is their first choice.

Technology plays a strong role in advancing gender equality. Innovation and technology are for all not them and below are five ways technology can advance gender equality.

  1. Design technological innovations while keeping gender discrimination at bay: It is possible to create apps that appeal to women. A global analysis of 133 AI systems across industries found that 44.2 percent demonstrate gender bias. Contents that interest women and girls need to be purposefully built rather than forcing the female gender to compromise how they were wired in order to find a balance and avoid losing out on growing their technological potential.  This speaks to educational courses, career contents, and other activities that are designed for learning, fun and the like.
  2. Inclusion of women in technology history: When we first learned about the history of computers in school, we were only given anecdotes of men who achieved tremendous things in this field. There were terms such as “fathers of computers” but the term “mothers of computers” sounded foreign.  There’s a daring need to retell historical events in a way that spells balance and effortlessly includes the likes of Ada Lovelace.
  3. Encourage older women to mentor younger women pursuing careers in technology: Young women are inspired when they see more experienced women pursuing their goals. In addition to International Women’s Day, we value days like International Day for Women and Girls in Science and similar events because they provide a platform for celebrating the amazing work that women are doing in the tech industry and give young people the chance to be motivated to pursue or continue a passion in STEM. Tech mentorship provides the belief system between mentees and mentors and in turn influences the tech space for good.
  4. Job fairs, internships, and hands-on learning opportunities in tech-related organizations/fields: Experiences are derived from lessons, and lessons are derived by providing opportunities. Females need to be offered more possibilities in tech-related businesses and areas, whether as undergraduates, or graduates or by ensuring that they have the technical skills necessary for success in their chosen fields through well-thought-out apprenticeships.
  5. Start and expand programs that assist marginalized girls and women develop innovative talents from nothing to a profitable ventures. Through youth and women-led organizations or programs tailored towards the well-being of girls and women in society, underserved females are awarded spaces, networks and inspiration to learn and grow technological skills without shrinking and in the future motivated to stand up to challenges. At Junior Achievement Nigeria, we also run programs tailored towards the economical well-being of females through building their digital skills. Some of these are Leadership Empowerment Achievement and Development (LEAD) Camp for girls, Agile Scrum Courses and Tech up for girls program, among others. We are glad that our work gives us an opportunity to contribute to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Gender Equality.

The digital era offers an opportunity to accelerate gender parity. There’s a strong potential for this space to grow in empathy when women are nurtured with the skill set and mindset needed to take up roles within the space.

JA Nigeria

JA Nigeria