Geena Davis Named ITU Special Envoy For Women In ICT

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

Follow on: Google +

Oscar-winning actor to promote benefits of technology to womens’ lives

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has named Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis as the ‘Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT’.

Davis, who won an Oscar for Best Actress in 1989 for her role in The Accidental Tourist and a campaigner for gender equality, will advocate and highlight the role technology can play in female empowerment.

ICT is currently seen as a male dominated industry where less than 16 percent of all job seekers are women, but the ITU wants to show women can benefit from technology, either through related careers or increased access to services such as online banking and e-commerce.

Three year campaign

“I’m thrilled with this new position because ITU is an incredible organisation that wields a lot of clout globally,” said Davis. “This role will enable me to take the work I’m doing to a much bigger scale globally, through developing and consulting on strategies to advance gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women in ICTs. It’s incredibly important to get more women and girls connected to technology, and a big factor in making this happen is going to be ITU’s work.”

Davis will promote a major new ITU campaign aimed at getting more women involved with technology, appearing at high profile events and reinforcing the need for positive gender role models in the industry. The three year campaign will also involve a number of key partnerships with industry, government and other UN agencies.

Earlier this year, the ITU launched a new multilingual web portal focused on providing women with training, opportunities, resources and ICT career information.

“I am delighted that Ms Davis will be joining us in our campaign to help expand the opportunities open to women and girls, and redress the current gender imbalance in the ICT industry,” said Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General. “The support of committed, high-profile ambassadors like Ms Davis will greatly increase the impact and reach of our message about ICTs and gender empowerment.”

Are you fluent in the languages of the Internet? Try our quiz!