Official Launch Event of the #ChangeTheFace Alliance
Tuesday 21st September, 2021
The #ChangeTheFace Alliance has launched!
In the tech industry, many companies are taking excellent initiatives regarding diversity and inclusion, but progress is very slow. If technology was a person, respondents of large survey with over 8,000 respondents predominantly said that it would look like a young, white, middle-class and mostly male person. Furthermore, the pandemic started accelerating the digital divide between genders.
The #ChangeTheFace Alliance is a collective movement to commit to do something together to accelerate our impact on diversity and inclusion. We are so proud to announce that the Alliance has officially launched on the 21st September 2021 with an international virtual event at Goals House in New York during the UN General Assembly with many industry leaders on board!
Watch this video to see the key highlights of the event!
What was discussed?
The launch event was in the format of a panel discussion led by Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient.
The event was introduced by Serpil Timuray, Vodafone CEO European Cluster, who summarised the background research for #ChangeTheFace, our Guiding Principles and how we intend on collaborating going forward. Serpil stressed that we have to, as a technology industry, first change the face in people producing the technology so that we can cater to the wider community in an inclusive way.
Jolyon Barker, Global Managing Principal of Clients & Industries at Deloitte, highlighted that openly stating the diversity problem makes it easier and clearer to do something about it. Indeed, addressing the diversity problem is going to make technology better by unleashing better talent and products and services that can satisfy a broader set of customers. A major objective for Deloitte is to improve outcomes for 100 million people around the world by 2030.
Furthermore, Brenda Trenowden, representing both PwC and as Global Chair of the 30% Club, discussed that some companies take a more holistic and enterprise-wide approach in terms of product design, marketing, risk-management etc. and look at diversity as a huge and untapped opportunity to seize rather than purely as a problem to solve. Brenda gave several examples of successes of companies that followed this approach and the impact of getting mobile phone into people’s hands.
Arun Bansal, President of Europe & Latin America for Ericsson, noticed that it is unacceptable that half of humanity does not have internet access and that only 1 in 3 school children are connected. Affordability, accessibility and complexity of technology are three key issues behind these inequalities and these are not problems companies can solve on their own with individual targets, collaboration is key.
The final panellist, Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director at UN Women, welcomed the launch of the #ChangeTheFace Alliance. Anita reiterated how digital tools can help address issues that typically impact women, such as the burden of care, and improve female workforce participation. This, in turn, emphasises the crucialness of taking a multi-stakeholder collaborative approach to ensure that everyone is included in today’s and tomorrow’s digital world.
What has the Alliance agreed on?
Over the last year, the alliance has grown and it was announced that three key measures were agreed upon:
- The 4 Guiding Principles which set out what the #ChangeTheFace Alliance aims to achieve going forward
- To join forces on initiatives where we have common objectives
- To share our insights, learnings and best practices with wider society (on the portal you are on right now!)
If you didn’t get a chance to attend the event, you can find the event recording at the following link.