International Women´s Day: #ChooseToChallenge
Over the past year, women have showed exemplary leadership in all walks of life by paving the way for families, businesses, and nations during this pandemic. It is important that society recognizes the strength and leadership that women have illustrated during these unprecedented times. The UN has aptly themed this years’ International Women’s Day as #ChooseToChallenge and “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”
Officially recognized as a holiday by the UN in 1975, International Women’s Day brings attention to gender based discrimination and inequality. According to the UN, the world is still sixty years away from full gender equality though, leaving a large gap to be closed.
WSA aims to narrow digital divides, be it in access, content, wealth, age or gender. WSA wants to pave the way for more recognition and gender equality in all parts of society, encouraging women to challenge the status quo and to take those leadership positions that they deserve. With women making up less than 40% of leadership positions in companies across all world regions WSA's mission is to warrant a change and help women succeed through community, recognition and better representation.
WSA Executive manager, Nora Wolloch explains the importance of gender equality for the global Innovation community of WSA: "In Tech startups and Innovation, gender equality is a Challenge we have to take seriously. We do address it in our WSA activities because digital applications are powerful tools to shape the communities we live in. Digital changes lives."
International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women everywhere, acknowledging their achievements and taking action towards equality. WSA’s “Hack the Gender Gap” panel at the Global Congress, March 22nd-24th, 2021 will highlight the impact that COVID-19 has had on women and the proposed solutions to those problems. The opening remarks will be made by UN Women’s representative, Diana Rusu, and featuring panel members from across the globe.
In the framework of the UN, WSA is working towards accomplishing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During Women's History Month and on International Women’s Day, WSA is taking a focus on SDG #5- Gender Equality & SDG #10- Reduced Inequalities. The empowerment of girls and women in business, sports, society, and STEM fields is crucial to accomplishing these goals. With women making up only 24% of the STEM workforce, it is important for WSA that girls and women are encouraged to participate and create a seat at the table for themselves. Change needs to be demanded and the voices of women and girls needs to be amplified in order to "hack the gender gap".
"I believe WSA can be a great platform for female entrepreneurs and women in IT, sharing their knowledge and supporting each other. WSA also demonstrates the different challenges women face all over the world – there are different gender divides for women in Austria, Chile, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. It is wonderful to see, when women from all around the world meet, exchange, learn about each other´s challenges and advantages." - Nora Wolloch, WSA Executive Manager.
WSA is recognizing and connecting women and leaders that are breaking down the barriers that have been created and give women and girls the opportunity to succeed in all fields. Just a few examples of WSA Winners WSA Global Congress; Her Impact, Future Heroes, Natal Cares, and Diversio are working to give girls and women platforms to voice their opinions and create a positive change in our world. These winning projects have exemplified the leadership and forward thinking that will help “Hack the Gap” on gender equality. #ChooseToChallenge
At WSA there is a highly diverse set of winners, and the ones featured here are just a few that show exceptional support for gender equality and human rights.
Featured WSA 2020 Winners in Gender Equality, Health, and Reduced Inequalities:
Natal Cares combines mobile technology, machine learning and low-cost innovation to combat maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria.
Her impact is a barrier breaking solutions which responses to the global social problem - the lack of gender diversity in the workplace, especially in manager position.
Future Heroes is founded with a mission to make entrepreneurship and leadership accessible for young women, inspired by Marian Wright Edelman’s quote: “You can’t be what you can’t see.”
Diversio is a Canadian people intelligence platform that measures and improves diversity and inclusion within organizations.