W.TEC Wins 2019 EQUALS in Tech Awards

Press Release:                                                                                                                          November 29, Lagos Nigeria

The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre – W.TEC was among winners announced at the 2019 EQUALS in Tech Awards held on Wednesday November 27 at a gala awards ceremony at Berlin’s Estrel Conference Center, as part of the programme of activities surrounding the annual Internet Governance Forum.

The awards, is hosted by the EQUALS Global Partnership, to recognize innovative solutions aimed at closing the digital gender gap.

The well attended event had in attendance high-level representatives from EQUALS for a celebration of successful strategies and projects to promote gender equality in the technology sector. Winning initiatives were chosen from a pool of 15 outstanding finalists from 12 countries. Over 200 organizations submitted entries for this year’s awards, which span five categories: Access, Skills, Tech Leadership, SME Leadership, and Research.

“The EQUALS in Tech Awards which is like the Oscars for the field of Gender Inequality have become a prestigious annual event for recognizing outstanding women in tech initiatives worldwide.

2019 EQUALS in Tech Award Winners

The 2019 awards was presented to W.TEC along side 4 organizations who are doing inspiring work to advance gender equality in their communities in 5 categories.

W.TEC was presented the Equals in Tech Awards for the Skills Category. The Skills prize went to W.TEC for her work in enabling women and girls to become professionals and entrepreneurs in the tech sector. The Nigeria-based organization’s mission is to “educate, connect and empower Nigerian women through active engagement with information and communication technology via training, mentoring and research.” The award was presented to W.TEC Founder and Executive Director Oreoluwa Lesi by Cédric Wachholz, UNESCO’s Chief of ICT in Education, Culture and Science.

Upon receiving the award, Mrs Lesi said, “Technology can be an incredible force for good; enabling women to make meaningful connections with relevant networks, generate income, access important information and broaden their professional, personal and social vistas. But it can also be a tool to disenfranchise and exploit women unless girls and women understand how to build, use and advocate for technology that benefits them.”

The other awards given out, went to:

Leadership in Tech award

The US-based SheWorks!. Was presented the award for their social impact, focusing on tacking female unemployment by helping women access online training and find flexible, remote jobs.

Leadership in SMEs award

The Leadership in SMEs prize was awarded to Kumasi Hive, a multi-space innovation hub that provides a platform for rapid prototyping of ideas and supporting local innovations, based in Kumasi, Ghana. The organization’s Bridge the Gap initiative specifically targets women and girls through door-to-door campaigns, social media, and school visits for skills training in robotics, graphic design, web and mobile app development, and more.

Research award

The Research category award went to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media for its report Portray Her: Representations of Women STEM Characters in Media. The result of a 10-year study conducted by the Geena Davis Institute and Lyda Hill Philanthropies, the report assesses how the US media and society portray STEM professions, and how this affects girls’ perception of and participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Access award

The Access award was presented to Dinarak Mobile Money Female Agent, a Jordanian start-up that provides women with access to mobile banking services via a network of female agents.

Awards Evaluation Process

The EQUALS in Tech finalists and winners were selected by an advisory board comprising the EQUALS Steering Committee, former award winners, and the leaders of the partnership’s four Coalitions — Access, Leadership, Skills and the EQUALS Research Group.

The 2019 Awards were supported by the Internet Society, the Swiss Federal Office of Communications, the Government of Germany, and Inmarsat.

Chris Köver and Christoph Seidler, two Berlin-based tech journalists, hosted the awards for an audience of around 300 representatives from government, civil society, business, academia, international organizations and the tech sector.

W.TEC and the 4 other winners of this year’s EQUALS in Tech Awards join a fast-growing group of organizations and individuals that have demonstrated their commitment to closing the digital gender gap. Recognizing that women and girls are equal in capacity, creativity and innovation, they are using their platforms to achieve equality in access and opportunities for women.

The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) once more wish to express her profound gratitude to the EQUALS in Tech 2019 Awards advisory board for their recognition of our work. This will surely inspire all of us at W.TEC to forge ahead to making a difference in equality with our work. We also will like to seize this opportunity to thank all our partners and supporters who have part of the successful work at W.TEC for the past 12 years.

For more information:

Contact Adeyemi Odutola, Communications Officer at W.TEC, yemi@wtec.org.ng           Equals in Tech Awards: www.equals.org/awards

Experience all the excitement of this year’s awards ceremony! Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/albums/72157711973202862           Video: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpoIPNlF8P2MjF5N-YL9BYNaWNJusATff   Join the conversation on social media #equalsintech

Major excerpts for this press release was sourced from the PR issued by Equals.org for the 2019 EQUALS in Tech awards. Please use the link below to view their press release:                https://www.equals.org/single-post/2019/11/27/PRESS-RELEASE-EQUALS-in-Tech-Awards-celebrate-five-outstanding-initiatives-to-promote-digital-gender-equality

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