Women in the tech world: How Digital Transformation Centers overcome the digital divide

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German digital development cooperation aims at harnessing the digital transformation to create more just and inclusive societies. In this context, the BMZ Digital Tranformation Centers focus on supporting women to have a stronger voice and presence in the digital ecosystem. The project activities range from trainings and up-skilling opportunities to networking events or roundtables on gender-inclusive digital policies.

Empowering girls and young women with digital skills

The DTC Cameroon aims at bridging the gender gap in digital skills and jobs by empowering girls through gaining knowledge in the tech field. In partnership with the local women-based Tech Hub Caysti, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Ministry of small and medium Enterprises, social Economy and Handicraft, UN Women and Global Affairs Canada, the DTC offers digital skills trainings for girls and young women from different backgrounds. The trainings cover topics such as digital art, data science and web development, and aim to equip the participants with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the digital economy. Over the course of 1 year, 179 girls and young women have benefited from this opportunity and improved their digital skills. The trainings have opened up new horizons for them, as they can now apply their tech skills in various sectors.


Using storytelling and showcasing role models

The DTC Vietnam supports female business leaders and entrepreneurs, specifically women who are marginalized and have less access to business opportunities. While men benefit from strong “old boys networks”, strong female networks are still lacking. By producing an illustrative storybook to showcase women and marginalized people as the backbone of the twin transition in Vietnam, the DTC aims to initiate positive change. The storybook features women in all their diversity as drivers of social change, knowledge-bearers and decision-makers. The goals is to help eliminating discrimi¬natory structures – for women and girls, and also for marginalized groups.

“The Future is Female” storybook features stories from 20 stellar women who have contributed and succeeded in the field of digital and green innovations. Following the storybook, in 2024, a series of training and mentoring sessions will be held for young girls and women who have read and drawn inspiration from the storybook. These events will provide an opportunity to meet in person, exchange with, and learn from the individuals featured in the book.

Setting up a women in the digital community network

In Cambodia, the local DTC has kicked-off its activities in the Women in Tech module with a focus group discussion with women from different backgrounds. The discussions showed that Cambodian women in tech face barriers related to social norms, economy, knowledge, and capacity skills to be capable of emerging with the digital world trends. Based on this intensive meeting, the DTC team designed activities to respond to those pain points accordingly.

The ongoing programs are building capacity development and showcasing women in tech achievements, as key measures to closing the gender digital divide for girls and women in Cambodia. An important goal is breaking the barrier of the stereotype that technology or digital is only for boys or men. Those programs are the Up:Skill Project, Ideathon on Gender Equality and Equity in the Tech-Sector, and Women in Tech Awards 2023.

“Empowering women and girls by increasing access to digital adoption technology through education, employment, and social participation is one of the keys to gender equality and the opportunity to enter the digital world of work.”

Ms. May Sokuntheary, DTC Cambodia Advisor

The BMZ Digital Transformation Centers across the globe share the goal of empowering women in the digital and tech sectors. Despite varying local circumstances and different approaches from DTC to DTC, the global network helps to spread lessons learnt and innovative ideas. Because the engagement for equal chances in shaping the digital transformation is a global challenge the Digital Transformation Centers wish to tackle.