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Empowerment, fairness and visibility: Tackling gender issues in tech and AI

04 May 2023

Berlin, Mexico City, Quito, Phnom Penh, Nouakchott, 02 May 2023 – A research team from the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) is developing strategies to address the structural and systemic discrimination of women* within the technology industry in Mexico, Ecuador, Cambodia and Mauritania. The “Women* in Tech” project organises international multi-stakeholder dialogues between local politicians, tech companies, representatives of civil society and scientific experts. In addition, HIIG identifies successful initiatives and educational programmes that promote women’s technology skills and give them access to the digital industry. These are used as case studies to strategise and build recommendations.

Despite progress in gender equality, women still face employment disadvantages in the fields of technology and artificial intelligence (AI). “Women all around the world face a range of issues in the IT sector, including unequity pay, limited career advancement opportunities and a lack of representation in leadership roles”, says HIIG researcher Dr Theresa Züger. According to her and her team, it is “crucial that we identify and address these issues to create a more equitable and diverse digital future”. So, how can we elevate women’s participation as developers, computer scientists and decision-makers?

To address these questions in Mexico, Ecuador, Cambodia and Mauritania, the HIIG project team is cooperating on site with the respective Digital Transformation Centers (DTCs) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Together, they are organising public events to identify local problems, network actors and recommend solutions in target group-specific formats. According to Jeanette Hofmann, research director at HIIG, this exchange is also highly pertinent in an international and European context. She explains: “It is essential that we recognise the important role that women play in shaping the digitalisation of society worldwide. By creating new opportunities for networking and capacity building, the ‘Women* in Tech’ project ensures that we can learn from each other and that all voices are heard in the development of new technologies.”

The project will be launched with a multi-stakeholder dialogue during the “Digital Transformation Regional Forum” from May 24–26, 2023, in Mexico City. HIIG is also launching an open call to collect best practices to promote visibility of women in the technology sector and initiatives to shape a more diverse and equitable future for AI and the digital industry. The Call for Cases is open until 5 May 2023 and focuses on cases based in or originating from Latin America, Africa and Asia. 

The “Women* in Tech” project is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

* Annotation: by the term women, we mean all persons who identify with the term woman.

More information
Project website Women* in Tech, Call for Cases 

Contact for press and questions about the project
Frederik Efferenn | Tel. +49 30 200 760 82 | 

About the HIIG
The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) researches the development of the Internet from a societal perspective in order to better understand the accompanying digitalisation of all areas of life. As the first research institute in Germany with a focus on Internet and society, HIIG has developed an understanding that emphasises the embedding of digital innovations in social processes. Based on this transdisciplinary expertise and as part of the Global Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers, HIIG aims to develop a European response to digital structural change.

Frederik Efferenn

Head of Science Communication

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