The GSMA Celebrates the Successful Conclusion of a Three Year Gender Equality in STEM Project

The GSMA is celebrating the successful conclusion of a three year capacity building and research project aimed at bridging the gender gap in digital and social innovation.

Funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, the EQUALS EU project aimed to build capacity in gender-inclusive innovation in Europe and partner countries worldwide with an ambitious and value-driven agenda focused around building smart, sustainable and inclusive social innovation ecosystems in local communities and cities in Europe and the Global North and South.

The GSMA was one of the 19 Consortium Project partners and led all project activities pertaining to the role of public-private partnerships in bridging the gender gap in digital and social innovation.

The project saw the mapping of gender-inclusive innovation ecosystems across 22 countries, a series of innovation camps and hackathons including around 450 participants across 25 countries, a six-months incubator programme on gender-inclusive entrepreneurship, an international summer school for future leaders in gender-inclusive innovation and the release of two gender equity tools for digital inclusion.

In an effort to disseminate the project’s deliverables and overall impact, vis-a-vis UK policy makers and other relevant stakeholders, the GSMA hosted a high level panel discussion at the UK House of Lords at the end of 2023 under the title “Bridging the Gender Gap in Social Innovation: Key Findings and Lessons Learnt from Across Europe, the UK and Beyond”.

The event focused on a discussion reflecting on the project’s key messaging where it concerns; the role of public-private partnerships in advancing digital gender equality and equity, the role of governments and policymakers in supporting the development of an inclusive digital and social innovation environment and the importance of transforming gender inequity into sustainable social impact.

Welcome remarks were delivered by GSMA Director General, Mats Granryd, and Baroness Lorely Burt, with a brief project overview by the GSMA’s Senior International Relations Manager and EQUALS EU Work Package 4 Lead Ms Tamara Dancheva. There was also a presentation of the project’s key deliverables by Dr Caroline Wamala Larssson, Head of Research at the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions at Stockholm University and EQUALS EU Work Package 1 Lead.

Participants in the panel discussion included; Mr Cyril Robin-Champigneul, Head of the Economic and Trade Affairs Section, Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom; Ms Sylvia Poll, Head of the Digital Society Division, Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU and Ms Deborah Leary, OBE, DUniv, FRSA, CEO, Forensic Pathways, Business Board Member – All Parliamentary Party Working Group on Women & Enterprise, with concluding remarks delivered by GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer John Giusti.

Following a post event survey, it was established that most of the UK based event participants were willing to undertake key actions around including women at the core of digital and social innovations’ design and implementation. This was to ensure that the intended outcome not only meets the needs of women users, but is also responsive, impactful and enhances the quality of their lives.

The full list of EQUALS EU project deliverables can be found by clicking here and interviews by the three winning participants of the EQUALS EU Summer School can be found by clicking here.