ENSURING GENDER EQUALITY IN THE FIELD OF ICT!
Women are among the vulnerable groups to drop out of the tech industry since the gender gap in the ICT field in Bangladesh is one of the highest in the world. Social stigma, lack of accessibility to work opportunities, safety are a few issues hampering women from finding suitable opportunities to nurture their talents. Added family responsibilities further challenges women to remain at workplace which demands tight schedules with minimum flexibility.
According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 19.3 million women make up only 29% of Bangladesh’s workforce with 12.8 million women working in vulnerable jobs. Moreover, it is estimated that only 1% of tech companies in Bangladesh are led by women signifying the need for initiatives to prevent women from falling behind in this industry. A combination of social and cultural barriers has consistently hindered women from achieving greater representation in this field.
Aligning our goals with UN Sustainable Development Goals on achieving gender equality and decent work and economic growth, Elegant IT Limited has been relentlessly working towards creating sustainable partnerships to drive social changes in communities by addressing the challenges faced by women from contributing to the economy. Being a female led company, we ensured that our project activities not only developed digital skills among women, but mitigated barriers from accessing equal opportunities. Majority of our projects were conducted in rural Bangladesh where communities practiced conservative ideology which discouraged female participation in workforce.
With our moto of “Leaving no one behind”, we have carried our family-level awareness programs to instill faith in remote communities on the potential of women participating in the ICT industry. Our strategy included identifying key decision-makers of families who influenced their female member’s lifestyle in their families. By repeated counseling sessions, we presented the significance of digital inclusion, gaining their support for our female beneficiaries. Through progressive training sessions, negotiations with policymakers and partnerships with business, we are transforming our vision of workplace gender equality into reality.