Academy hosted an online Webinar about “Gender lens innovation – Building inclusive ecosystems”.
The goal of the webinar was to equip Digital Innovation Hub leaders with gender-lens innovation tools and methods to build programs that contribute to promoting gender inclusion within their ecosystem.
The event was hosted by Eunice Baguma Bali, Digital & Gender Inclusion Consultant from ATBN. Stav Bar-Shany, Impact Consultant from ATBN highlighted some key statistical data, underlining the importance of the topic. According to the statistics, women have less access to smartphones and mobile internet, and in general to technology. They are under-represented in ICT jobs, and women owned startups receive 23% less funding than men owned start-ups.
Stav has also provided an introduction to system-thinking. System in general means connectedness, and as in a digital ecosystem, everything is connected. A digital ecosystem can not exist without digital innovation hubs, investors or any other participant in it. In order to identify the systemic drivers of the digital gender gap, it is necessary to take the route causes of a problem and to identify and create shifts in a system that are responsible for a problem.
The presenter also gave the audience an insight about what ATBN has been working on in the past years regarding creating solutions to promote gender-inclusive ecosystems. Providing a skills support network and access to investment, and to spotlight possible role models for African female entrepreneurs are essential to impact individuals but not enough for a systemic-change. As Stav identified, the problem in digital gender divide in Africa is that the actors working on the solutions are disconnected and under-resourced which is limiting their potential to create systemic change. The solution is to connect African digital ecosystem stakeholders so together they can provide effective results.
Janat Issifu, Founder and CEO of WAN-Hive Ghana has presented their organisation and view on the topic agreeing that a system-thinking approach to design solutions is much needed. The main take-away is that making it possible for women to connect to tech is a great improvement, but creating tech-ecosystems that are relevant and designed for women is a more effective and sustainable solution.
The event has created an interesting and resultful discussion among the participants and the speakers, showing there is a need to talk about the digital gender gap, and there are many organisations who are willing to act to create more inclusive ecosystems by collaborating with each other.
You can find more details about the event on our Twitter.