WSIS TalkX: International Day of Women and Girls in Science: Uniting efforts towards equal and inclusive future

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Session 117

Friday, 11 February 2022 13:00–14:00 (UTC+01:00) WSIS TalkX

Women and Girls in Science have made significant progress over the years and have greatly contributed to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in their communities around the world. However, gender gap still persists, and it is of crucial importance to identify and solve the issues of gender inequality at all levels.
In December 2013, The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it recognized that women and girls’ participation in and ensuring full and equal access to science, technology, training, and education are a must to achieve women empowerment and gender equality. In December 2015, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science was established by the UN in recognition of tremendous role girls and women play in Science and Technology. 
This year, the Day is dedicated to SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation, and is promoted under the theme of “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us". 
On this day, we celebrate courageous women and girl leaders, activists, change-makers, innovators, pathbreakers and trailblazers. We, at the WSIS Forum 2022, are dedicated to the promotion of 50/50 gender balance participation and women empowerment. Our Repository of Women in Tech brings together individuals interested in achieving gender equality in and with the help of ICTs, identifies women speakers, creates space for networking, mentorship sessions and documentation of best practices. 
This session is organized in the framework of WSIS TalkX and is aligned with WSIS Action Lines and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Dr. Chaesub Lee (Opening Remarks)
Dr. Chaesub Lee (Opening Remarks) Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau International Telecommunication Union

Dr. Chaesub Lee was elected Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 in Busan, Republic of Korea, and re-elected to this post for a second four-year term at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dr Lee has contributed ICT standardization for over 30 years, specializing in areas such as integrated services digital networks (ISDN), global information infrastructure (GII), Internet protocol, next-generation networks (NGN), Internet protocol television (IPTV) and cloud computing.

Within ITU Dr Lee served as Chairman of the ITU Focus Group on Next-Generation Networks (NGN) to address the growing need for international standards for NGN, including service requirements, functional architecture, mobility, security and Quality of Service (QoS). He was also Vice-Chairman of the ITU Focus Group on IPTV which worked to coordinate and promote the development of IPTV standards. He acted as Vice-Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 13 (Future networks and cloud) from 2001 until 2008, becoming Chairman of that group in 2009. ITU-T Study Group 13 develops standards for NGN, future networks, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile telecommunications, to ensure their smooth international deployment.

H.E. Ms. Neema Kichiki Lugangira
H.E. Ms. Neema Kichiki Lugangira Member of Parliament and Founder of Omuka Hub Parliament of Tanzania, United Republic of Tanzania

Hon. Neema Lugangira (MP) has a broad, extensive experience and successful track record in championing reforms and development policies for improved investment enabling environment for the of agricultural, mining and oil & gas and health sectors to mention a few. Since, November 2021, Lugangira is a Member of Parliament in Tanzania where she sits in the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Social Services and Community Development; and also sits in the Crosscutting Committee of HIV, TB and Drugs. 
Her continued passion and commitment for nutrition and food systems; and that of digital transformation at large led her to be the Founding Chairperson of two initiatives in the Parliament of Tanzania; (1) Parliamentary Caucus on Food Safety; and (2) Parliamentary Group on Internet Governance, that covers all things related to the internet and digital sector. 
Alongside the above, Hon. Lugangira is also the Founder of three personal initiatives; (1) Agri Thamani focuses on adding value to ending malnutrition efforts; (2) Maendeleo Podcast, an online development focused talk show aimed at raising awareness of pertinent issues; and (3) Omuka Hub aims to ensure communities from peripheral regions benefit from digital opportunities by bridging rural digital gaps. 

H.E. Ms. Nathalie Olijslager
H.E. Ms. Nathalie Olijslager Ambassador / Deputy Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva

Nathalie Olijslager started her career with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Department for European and Economic Cooperation after receiving her master’s degree international economic relations from Leiden University (The Netherlands) and a one-year stint at Beloit College (Wisconsin) as a Fulbright Scholar.

She then headed to Pretoria, South Africa, as deputy head of Economic Affairs, where she was also involved in the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. In 2003, her assignment took her to the Dutch Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, as the head of Economic Affairs.

From 2007-2010, Nathalie was employed at the Ministry of Economic Affairs as a senior policy advisor in the Department for International Business. She worked as an account manager for such multinational companies as Unilever, Heineken and AkzoNobel.

Before her appointment as Consul General of the Netherlands in Miami, she was head of Business Environment and Market Development at the Department for Sustainable Economic Development with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague.

Ms. Diana Wilson
Ms. Diana Wilson Chief Executive Officer Yielding Accomplished African Women

Achievement is in Diana Wilson’s DNA ! Diana Wilson is a vibrant, articulate, and highly successful 26-year-old social entrepreneur, storyteller, marketing strategist at Google, professional development coach, activist and global speaker. She was recognized as the 'Next Black Female Mark Zuckerberg' via Face2Face Africa. She has gone viral for her achievements via MTV and LinkedIn. She is the product of a diligent single mother, prayer and a constructive community of Newark, NJ.

As the founder and lead servant at Yielding Accomplished African Women, she is on a mission to build the largest digital pipeline of Black college women across the diaspora in STEM. The first of its kind in the world. Diana is preparing the next generation of Black female leaders with culture competency, technical skillset and inclusive leadership skills to meet the demands of the emergent workforce. As a global women development skills center, Yaa W trains Black women across the diaspora while also giving them opportunities to work with renowned Fortune 500 companies. Under Diana’s leadership, Yaa W built an ecosystem composed of ~7k women in 12 countries and over 50 markets in Africa with representation from every region in Africa. Our base represents 30+ universities and 50+ organizations and companies globally. We have taken 650+ young African women through our 1yr intensive accelerator, with 90% job placement rate. All in just 3 short years.

Diana brings a diverse set of both corporate and nonprofit experience to the table. She’s worked with Google, Bank of America, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Google, JP Morgan Chase & Co., etc. She is a proud alumni of University of Virginia, #1 public university. With roots in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey Diana has traveled to 11 countries within 4 different continents on a full scholarship. Her travels span from South Africa to France.

Ms. Ellen Walker
Ms. Ellen Walker Founder RightsTech Women

Ellen Walker is a human rights lawyer and technology learner based in Geneva. After working in human rights since the early 2000's, she founded RightsTech Women to advance the human rights of girls and women and STEM. She works to bring technology and human rights closer together.

Ms. Vidhya Y.
Ms. Vidhya Y. Cofounder and Trustee Vision Empower

Vidhya completed her Masters in Digital society from IIIT, Bangalore in 2017. She was the topper and Gold medalist in her class. She was the winner of Reebok India FitToFight Awards 2017. Earlier, she was the recipient of the Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship and was felicitated by Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, and other institutions for her brilliant academic records in secondary and higher secondary education. She was the first blind student to study Maths in Bachelor’s degree in Computer Applications from Christ University Bangalore and was the topper of her batch.

Ms. Gitanjali Sah
Ms. Gitanjali Sah Strategy and Policy Coordinator International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Moderator