Digital growth: working towards gender equality in IT in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)

Digital growth: working towards gender equality in IT in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 23

Trend:

Social stratification is a natural process, and no country has been able entirely to overcome it. Even if we consider the Internet as a means of accessing the information on an equal basis for all, gaps remain in the digital space, whether gender, social, or cultural.

The situation in Azerbaijan is as follows: women are actively involved in the development of the information society and the digital economy. They are active users of information technologies (IT), but they rarely act as producers. Men still occupy the highest positions in the tech sector.

IT will play an important role in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. Technology allows women and girls to access information and resources that are important for their work and participation in public life. By gaining access to IT, women will have more opportunities to express their views in society, government, and globally. It also gives women real-time freedom of action, which can be of particular value to women in situations of social exclusion.

In the modern age, there are tremendous opportunities for the development of the digital economy. Countries all over the world have developed strategies in this direction. But in recent years, gender equality in the digital economy has also been highlighted as an important factor. Special attention is paid to it in Azerbaijan as well, with women playing an important role in IT. Women now account for 29.7% of the 26,500 employees working in the field. The number of women using technologies is on the rise every year. For example, nowadays 47% of employees who use the Internet are women. Women are actively involved in social media. In Azerbaijan, 34% of Facebook users and 36% of Instagram users are women.

The country has special platforms for women. The Girls Code platform is an example of this. This aims to ensure women's active participation in the IT sector, building successful careers, reducing gender inequality in the IT sector, and further increasing the number of women in this field. Currently, more than 1,000 women are members of this platform, which has held several pieces of training and awareness-raising events.

"As you can see, there is gender inequality in all sectors in the world. It is important to solve this problem. Women's involvement in ICT can strengthen and stimulate economic growth. Women are not only a labor force, but they also add new and different skills to jobs and increase productivity. Women can add more creative elements, a more comprehensive approach to this sector”, - said Rashad Azizov, head of the Innovations and Digital Development Department of the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and High Technologies.

He noted that in general, the legal framework covering the gender issue is in place both at international and national levels. Azerbaijan has signed up to international conventions guaranteeing gender equality and women's rights, and equal rights and opportunities for men and women are enshrined in the constitution and law.

“To develop the ecosystem, the first step is to raise the level of coordination. The ecosystem currently consists of government agencies, higher education institutions, non-governmental organizations, gender resource centers, and training centers. It is believed that a platform is needed to strengthen the coordination here. The second step is to hold a Women's ICT Forum and discuss the current situation, problems, and expectations," Azizov noted.

Increasing women's access to the digital economy

To this end, the ICT LAB Application and Education Centre in Azerbaijan has implemented a project called “Digital Girls”, a national education program with the assistance of UNESCO. The goal of the project is to reduce the digital gender divide, develop women's digital skills, and support the personal development of women in the country. As part of the project, 560 students and young girls were trained in digital skills and computer technology, personal development skills, and ways to achieve success using these skills. The girls also learned about the possibilities of building a successful career in the ICT field. The pieces of training were organized at schools in Baku and Khirdalan, as well as in Agdam, Shamakhi, Mingachevir, Zagatala, Gabala, Agdash, and Shabran.

Shabnam Mammadova, the co-founder of the ICT Women's Club, which trains and educates women on innovation, believes there is a stereotype in Azerbaijan that technology is not a women's business, and that women should not be involved in innovation.

“Every woman should believe in herself. Regardless of their jobs, women need to develop the confidence that they can become strong professionals in this field. Regardless of what society thinks or what stereotypes it has, women need to have self-confidence. The field of information technology is changing rapidly. A technology that was relevant yesterday may lose its relevance today. To do this, we need to keep up with rapidly changing trends. The skills should be constantly advanced”, - Mammadova noted.

She believes the main thing that leads to success is the presence of a goal. “To achieve success without a goal is unreal. You need to know where you are going. The second key factor is discipline. The goal can have a ‘wow’ effect, but without discipline, the desired result will not be achieved. Another important factor leading to success is teamwork. Correct teamwork and communication. Because the idea and goal can be very bright, but if there is no correct communication with people and the team, there is no success in this direction” - Mammadova said.

Mammadova believes that in recent years, information technology has become more accessible even for women living in remote villages. This made it easier for women to access the Internet, social media, and various web platforms. Women are increasingly interested in IT, and recent years have seen a positive trend towards an increase in the participation of women in information technology.

“Women's ability to think creatively and critically is a sign of success. In terms of technology, women have the skills, and their success is quickly seen. I am a co-founder of Femmes Digitales, which brings together top technology executives in the country. During the last six years, hackathons, pieces of training, workshops took place in Baku and in the regions covering various topics, to generate interest in IT among girls who are on the verge of choosing a profession, gaining knowledge and success in this area, turning ideas into a business,” Mammadova said.

EU support for the digital economy and society

The European Union is also supporting this effort through its EU4Digital Initiative. EU4Digital supports the development of the digital economy and society across the Eastern Partnership region – including Azerbaijan – as a key catalyst for economic growth and jobs. Areas of support range from developing high-speed broadband to building cybersecurity, developing skills, and creating more jobs in the digital industry.

Women are particularly important to the digital industry, says EU4Digital’s ICT Innovation expert Anna Pobol: “The increased participation of women in the ICT domain has the potential to further boost the economy, not just by simply adding women to the workforce (through the reduction of barriers to entry), but because women add new skills to the workplace, which results in productivity and growth increase.”

She cited a recent IMF staff study, which found that women and men do not substitute, but rather complement each other in the production process, creating an additional benefit from increasing women’s employment in growth. “In other words, adding more women to the labor force would normally bring bigger economic benefits than the scenario where an equal increase in male workers occurs.”

Pobol said EU4Digital sought to involve women in all of its ongoing activities, specifically targeting the needs of women in networking and training. “Our newly-launched WomenGoTech activity supports women aiming to find their place in a digital economy,” she added. The activity supports women’s tech mentorship programs and seeks to empower local beneficiaries to launch such programs in their own countries, including Azerbaijan.

Last month, the project brought together more than 15 experts from Eastern partner countries for a virtual training that highlighted barriers and challenges for women to participate in the tech sector, as well as existing initiatives to increase female participation in tech-intensive workplaces.

Shabnam Mammadova from the ICT Women's Club said feedback from women who took part in pieces of training under the ‘Digital Girls’ project last year showed the experience had played a big role in their lives. Their interest in IT changed their vision. Even if they had not ended up working in IT, they understood the importance of applying technology.

Mammadova agreed that gender equality was not just about stacking up the numbers of women in the workplace: “I know women who have special skills. For example, there are women in data analytics, women working to shape new solutions and digital services. The encouraging trend is that in the last 3-4 years there has been a very positive trend in planning women's IT careers. I think the number of IT specialists will increase in the near future”, - she said.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Spanish Gedepsa interested in growing olive plantations in Uzbekistan
Spanish Gedepsa interested in growing olive plantations in Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan reduces wheat imports from EAEU states
Turkmenistan reduces wheat imports from EAEU states
Ukrainian companies interested in entering Turkmen market
Ukrainian companies interested in entering Turkmen market
Loading Bars
Latest
Central Bank discloses volume of loans issued to Azerbaijan's districts
Georgia records surge in tourist visits from Uzbekistan
Tourist inflow from Kazakhstan to Georgia soars
Iran boosts exports through customs of Zanjan Province
Azerbaijan notes decrease in banking sector' profit
Azerbaijan sees rise in mortgage lending
Iranian currency rates for October 23
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Georgia releases data on COVID-19 cases for October 23
New customs post in Azerbaijan to speed up cargo movement along North-South corridor (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Armenia to sign new documents in Moscow
Azerbaijani oil prices increase
Georgia sees decrease in tourist inflow from Azerbaijan
Turkmen company to purchase material, technical resources via tender
Kazakh energy company opens tender to buy metal corners
Kazakh oil company opens tender to buy spares
Kazakh KazMunayTeniz opens tender for Caterpillar equipment maintenance
Azerbaijan's Central Bank unveils data on currency exchange operations for Jan. through Sept. 2021
Azerbaijani fund presents concept for restoration of liberated territories
EDB purchases bonds of Kazakh KEGOC JSC
US corporate workers to start returning to offices next month
Iran changes pricing of petrochemical products at its mercantile exchange
Iran's foreign exchange needs trigger to expand exports
Surge of energy prices puts Europeans in stalemate (VIDEO)
Chinese company opens massive eco-friendly mine in Serbia
Kazakhstan’s daily COVID-19 case count stands at 1,732
Georgian honey exports skyrocket, following COVID-ravaged year
Iranian envoy, head of Georgia's State Security Service meet
Turkey announces commissioning date for logistics center in Sivas (Exclusive)
US military eliminates one of Al-Qaeda leaders in northwest Syria
Mutation of Delta variant may be more transmissible: UK health agency
Biden, Macron discuss cooperation, to meet in Rome late October
India, UK working on free trade agreement: Harsh Vardhan Shringla at India Global Forum
Turkey reports 28,192 daily COVID-19 cases
G7 countries reach breakthrough on digital trade and data
India perhaps only G20 country to fulfil...: India ahead of COP26 climate summit
U.N. plane aborts landing as air strike hits Ethiopia's Tigray
Relations with India stronger than ever, says Maldives Defence Minister
Chronicles of Victory: October 23, 2020
Iranian delegation leaves for Tashkent to observe elections
UK PM Johnson says fresh COVID lockdown not on the cards
2 soldiers, terrorist killed in northwestern Pakistan's clash
Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shows 90.7% efficacy in trial in children
Belarus, Kazakhstan discuss joint efforts to maintain regional security
Georgia, Turkey to set up joint air force plant
TURKIC.World project presented at media forum of Turkic Council (PHOTO)
Iran boosts transit via TRACECA corridor
French court annuls "treaty" with illegal Armenian regime in Azerbaijan's Karabakh
Azerbaijan's MoD inspects combat positions in liberated Kalbajar, Lachin districts (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan Airways opens tender related to local fire alarm system
Iran looks to enhance road development in Ardabil province
Main countries of origin for tourists arriving in Georgia
Spanish Gedepsa interested in growing olive plantations in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan reveals number of mines, munitions found on its liberated lands (PHOTO)
Overview of Uzbekistan's retail trade turnover dynamics between 2010-2020
When Karabakh road infrastructure to be fully ready?
Armenians propagate Nazi Nzhdeh and accuse Azerbaijan of racism (VIDEO)
Relations With India Stronger Than Ever, Says Maldives Defence Minister
Bennett-Putin meeting lasted five hours, was warm and positive
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,112 more COVID-19 cases, 882 recoveries
Australia says EU has postponed free trade talks for second time
Azerbaijan’s volume of non-cash payments continues to grow
Delta Galil files for Nasdaq offering
Azerbaijan's investment attractiveness increased after liberation of its lands - minister (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan reduces wheat imports from EAEU states
Azerbaijan’s wheat imports from EAEU countries revealed
Belarusian company to supply Azerbaijan with cables
Azerbaijan sees growth in its population's bank deposits
Azerbaijan commissions recently built military facilities in its liberated lands (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Non-tourist trips to Georgia plummet
Kazakh Tengizсhevroil to reduce LPG supplies to Ukraine after polypropylene plant's launch
Iran to use domestic capacity for road fleet modernization
Azercell once again bestowed with ISO 37001:2016 Anti-bribery Management Systems standard of compliance
Azerbaijan reveals data on mine clearance work carried out in liberated lands
Azerbaijan’s cargo transportation by all types of transport decreases in 9M2021
Ukrainian companies interested in entering Turkmen market
EBRD, EU to provide loans for indirect financing of green technologies in Georgia
SOCAR-AQS exceeds drilling progress plan
President Ilham Aliyev sends congratulatory letter to Hungarian counterpart
Azerbaijan to expand co-op with Turkey in mine clearance – ANAMA
Uzbekistan signs agreement to put out former uranium mining sites
Iran eyes developing non-oil exports
India hopes to work with China for resolution of issues: Shringla
Azerbaijan’s Bulla Deniz produces over 54,000 tons of oil with technical measures
UK foreign secretary begins India visit today, to hold talks with Jaishankar
Uzbekistan to expand network of local duty-free shops
Azerbaijani SME agency ready to fully support alternative energy dev't
SOCAR sums up results of operation at Oil Rocks
Turkmenistan overhauling railways on border of Akhal, Balkan regions
SOCAR reveals time of commissioning 2nd production complex at Gunahsli field
Uzbek, Russian enterprises considering joint textile enterprises
Azerbaijan to start exporting locally-produced mineral water to Europe (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan not planning to transfer all schools online - ministries
SOCAR details on works carried out at Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery in 2020
Progress on CAREC transport projects in Kazakhstan unveiled
Russia reports 37,141 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours
Natural gas, coal prices to remain at high levels through start of 2022
FAO's representative office may be opened in Turkmenistan
Kazakhstan's main gas supplier to engage repair services via tender
All news