UN Women and Technovation announce strategic partnership to support young women entrepreneurs in technology


Girls in ICT banner

New York / San Francisco – 23 April 2015 – On this Girls in ICT Day, UN Women and Technovation are announcing a new partnership to expand young women’s technological innovation around the globe. Both organizations are committed to ensuring that young women are at the forefront of technology and innovation, so that their talents and interest in using technology to solve problems and unleash opportunity are not just sparked, but actively supported.

UN Women and Technovation will engage partners in leadership, technology and entrepreneurship skills development in order to strengthen the abilities of young women to build relevant local technology solutions to real problems, pursue careers in technology as well as to increase their confidence and opportunities.

Through joint efforts, the two organizations will promote the expansion and strengthening of the Technovation annual challenge and club model, including by extending its reach to new regions and giving more prominence to national-level competitions. They will promote the theme of gender equality and women’s empowerment, engaging young women with less access to resources, and working with both women’s and technology communities to create a supportive environment.

About Technovation

It began as a pilot programme in 2010 with just 45 girls. Over the past five years, it has transformed from an in-person programme taught by Technovation staff to a global competition reaching thousands of girls in 60 countries creating mobile apps through annual challenges. Technovation is a programme of Iridescent, a registered non-profit organization that trains engineers and scientists to mentor young people, inspire and guide them in tackling real-world challenges.

The partnership will also explore models for taking the apps developed by young women to the next stage of development and more fully to market for social impact. While inspiring young women and building their capacities in technology is critical, the partnership will also seek to transform the landscape for development technology.

“We are incredibly proud and honoured to partner with UN Women. Together, we are unstoppable,” said Tara Chklovski, CEO, Technovation and Iridescent. “As partners, we can literally change the face of technology entrepreneurship worldwide and can show everyone what powerful change is set into action when you bring young girls, women and technology together.”

UN Women will provide seed funding for the expansion of the Technovation challenge and both organizations will build and leverage partnerships and networks to achieve this common vision.

“I am delighted that we are partnering with Technovation to make sure that we see more young women becoming creators, innovators and drivers of technology,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “Technology must be owned by all; it must be responsive to all; and it must be led by all. We want young women to have the skills and opportunities to play their part. We are ready to support their aspirations and to pave the way for their success.”

UN Women and Technovation aim to reach over 10,000 young women by next year, providing critical connections and resources, and showcasing the incredible ingenuity, perspectives and drive embodied in young women around the world.

Girls in ICT watercolor
Photo courtesy of the International Communications Union.

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