International Women’s Day: ENI CBC Med at Union for the Mediterranean webinar “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”

© Union for the Mediterranean

A gender-responsive approach to innovation, technology and digital education can facilitate a full social and economic inclusion of women and girls. In order to celebrate the International Women’s Day of 2023 which is also the European Year of Skills, the Union for the Mediterranean is organizing organize an online event on March 7 from 11h – 13h CET to discuss about concrete solutions and good practice to ensure full access to innovation and technology for women and girls in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Representatives of international and regional organisations and networks such as the European Commission, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Euro-Mediterranean-Arab Association and Womenpreneur as well as successful women entrepreneurs working in the field of digital platforms, Artifical Intelligence and Tech in the MENA region, will share best practices and discuss solutions on how to ensure that we leave no-one behind from the digital transformation. In addition, they will look at the future of work in the digital economy and the under-representation of women in key emerging technological sectors.

Ms. Joumana Sweiss, officer at the Programme Branch office for the Western Mediterranean, will highlight how ENI CBC MED projects contribute to strengthen the link between the need for women economic inclusion and the opportunities provided by new technologies.

The event aims to raise awareness on the gendered impacts of innovation and technology, as well as on the interventions that are needed to address them. More specifically, the event will offer the opportunity to have an exchange on:

  • How to ensure that we leave no-one behind from the digital transformation, looking at the future of work in the digital economy and the under-representation of women in key emerging technological sectors.
  • How to create a gender-transformative innovation ecosystem, by not only attracting, but also retaining and promoting women in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers.
  • How to ensure that technology and innovation responses to the needs of women and girls are inclusive and accessible, including in sectors that are relevant to the Uniated Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – for instance digital technologies to support financial inclusion for women, innovation in the context of agriculture, among many others.
  • Recommendations on how to better mainstream gender in digital policies and investments – both public and private. 

View the agenda
Register now

Women are a minority in the tech industry, from the general workforce up through management and leadership roles. A 2020 study by the ‘Women Who Tech’ organisation revealed that women make up only 28.8% of the tech workforce. Additionally, according to a recent survey by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in the MENA region, only one quarter of women entrepreneurs utilise digital technologies at some stage in the product design, manufacturing and selling processes of their businesses. While 65% of women entrepreneurs were willing and prepared to receive training on ICT devices and software, only 25% of them managed to receive it. The fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is driving the latest wave of industrial transformation through the convergence of physical and digital technologies. However, lack of access to finance and insufficient skills to enter the digital marketplace present growing hurdles for women entrepreneurs and women-led SMEs. More needs to be done to create mentoring and training- programmes that enhance women’s digital and technological skills.