About the campaign
Generation Equality is a campaign launched by UN Women in cooperation with the governments of France and Mexico. It aims to advance gender equality in areas of society where progress has been slow.
The campaign has an Action Coalition focusing on technology and innovation as means to support gender equality. One of the leaders of the coalition is Finland, which is known for its gender equality and technological knowhow.
Our work to advance gender equality is important. In the global technology sector, inequality is still a very real problem that is reflected in many people's everyday lives. Only one fifth of all people working with artificial intelligence and less than one third of those studying the natural sciences are women, and in the technology sector, women’s career development is proven to be slower than that of men. The share of women in decision-making roles concerning science and technology is also small.
At the current rate, it will take at least 267 years to achieve gender equality in the global economy. The technology sector should not wait that long. Inequality prevents us from making the best possible use of all human resources. We need to correct the algorithm of our behaviour.
The Algorithm for Gender Equality campaign aims to stimulate discussion on gender equality in technology and highlight positive examples that will make the world a more equal place in the future.
The campaign is working towards key objectives that will ensure equal opportunities for all girls and women to participate in creating innovations and in developing and using technology. Everyone should be able to participate safely in online discussions and benefit from the opportunities new technologies have to offer.
Together, we will solve four key problems – get involved in creating change!
1. There is a gender gap in access to technology and digital skills.
- More than 3 billion people around the world are offline, and the majority of them are women and girls.
- A lack of digital skills prevents women and girls from accessing the opportunities offered by technology. Globally, women and girls are 17 per cent less likely than men and boys to have access to the internet.
2. Technology and innovations do not respond equally to the needs of women and girls.
- For example, the data used in artificial intelligence systems is not representative enough, does not take into account the differences between people and may even ignore the needs of entire groups of people in decision-making.
- Women do not receive sufficient support as technology developers, innovators and entrepreneurs.
- Investments in solutions that advance gender equality are minimal.
3. There are too few women and girls working with and studying technology and innovation.
- Early choices in primary education have an impact on later studies and career paths: in many countries, women account for less than 10 per cent of technology students in institutes of higher education.
- Many women leave their jobs in STEM sectors due to the structures or working culture in the field.
- Workplace norms may not take into account the balance between work and family life, pay may be unequal or the workplace culture may discriminate against women.
- On average, women account for less than 35 per cent of people working in the global ICT sector. They often hold lower-paying positions and are less likely to have management roles.
- Research shows that diverse companies with equal work environments are more profitable and up to six times more innovative than companies where equality is lacking.
4. Online violence and discrimination are gender-based.
- Women and girls are 27 times more likely than men to face online harassment or hate speech.
- Globally, almost three quarters of women online have been exposed to some form of cyber violence
- A global study by Plan International found that more than half (58 per cent) of surveyed women and girls had personally experienced harassment online. In Finland, 42 per cent had experienced harassment.
Changing the algorithm of our behaviour will require changes in attitudes. We can achieve these objectives by increasing investments, by influencing legislation, practices and attitudes and by creating positive examples for girls and women. Gender equality is everyone’s business: the better a person’s position in society, the greater their responsibility to help others.
At its best, technology can act as an equalising force for change in the world. It can accelerate improvement in the position of women and the most vulnerable people in societies. This is why we need to correct the algorithm, and the work has already begun.
The Algorithm for Gender Equality is part of the global Generation Equality campaign, which has the following objectives in the fields of technology and innovation:
● Increase investment by 50 per cent in technologies and innovations that advance gender equality, thereby supporting female entrepreneurs and developing solutions that meet the needs of women and girls.
● Double the number of women working in technological fields.
● Take action against gender-based online violence and technology-mediated violence and discrimination.