The importance of gender balance in the telecommunications industry

Publication date: Sep 29, 2020
As with most industries, for a long time women were excluded from the telecommunications and tech industry in general. Nowadays that has fortunately changed, however women are still a minority in the industry and often under-recognized.

For this reason, Capacity Media organizes an annual event called “Global Women in Telco & Tech”, with the goal of “leading the way for inclusion and diversity in telecoms and technology”. Last year, Télécoms Sans Frontières won the Organization of the Year award, which was extremely important for us. This year, we are honored to be the ones presenting it.

Télécoms Sans Frontières’ co-founder is Monique Lanne-Petit, and as a woman she has always been attentive to these issues. She has experienced first-hand certain difficulties women face in this sector, but that has never stopped her. For this reason, it has always been important for her to include women in TSF’s staff, even though they’re a minority in the sector.

These women have given excellent advice to young girls, to encourage them to pursue a career in this sector and rebalance the industry! Marta, IT engineer at TSF said “The most important is for all of us to provide them with the necessary tools and the tolerable environment, so they are not afraid to take the step. They should be confident in their abilities and not feel pressure to be better than men, they just have to be themselves.Lama, an IT engineer working in Turkey in our Lab4Future project echoed this feeling, even though she mentioned that it is not an easy sector: “I would tell them that an IT career is not easy and it requires constant work to be always up to date with new developments. I would tell them to believe in their dreams and to believe that they have all the skills they need for this sector.

More and more women are speaking out, talking about their experiences and paths, becoming role models to young women wanting to follow the same dreams. This is why inclusive events like the Global Women in Telco & Tech are so important, to foster these kinds of conversations, with people of all genders!

In the same way, it is very important to offer girls and young women the same experiences as boys and young men have, which is why TSF puts in place projects that foster those experiences. Irinah, IT Cup Center coordinator in Miarinarivo, Madagascar, for TSF, confirms the importance of TSF’s work there to support girls and young women: “Many young women in Madagascar are obliged to do household chores and learn how to take care of their family to be ready to be a mother. Only those who have enough financial resources to pay for very expensive courses can afford to learn digital skills. The IT Cup Centre is very important because it helps them not only in their personal development, but it also improves their digital skills.

A lot remains to be done, but progress is already underway and change is already happening slowly. Télécoms Sans Frontières will continue to support efforts that put in light this question and work for a gender balanced telecommunications industry.