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Finnish government wants to eliminate gender inequality in technology

Finnish government wants to eliminate gender inequality in technology

It wants to make the ICT sector safe and accessible for all

On 17 May, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a campaign designed to combat inequality in the technology sector. The Algorithm for Gender Equality campaign is part of the UN’s global Generation Equality Initiative and it seeks to create a world in which technology belongs to everyone and is safe for all.

In a press release by the government, Ambassador for Gender Equality Katri Viinikka explained: “The rights of women and girls are at the heart of Finland’s human rights policy. The Generation Equality campaign and the Algorithm for Gender Equality offer a unique opportunity to help the tech sector in taking a global leap in equality matters.”

Tackling four key issues

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are four problems which the campaign seeks to address and solve. First, it notes that there is a significantly large gender gap in access to technology and digital skills. Unsurprisingly, women and girls who do not have access to these skills will not be able to make use of the opportunities that are offered by technology.

Second, technology and innovation do not take into account the needs of women; therefore, they do not respond equally to them. Third, the government reports that women make up under 35% of workers in the global ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector.

Finally, it has been found that online violence and discrimination are gender-based. Taking this further, women are reportedly 27 times more likely than men to experience online harassment and hate speech.

Ambassador for Innovation Jarmo Sareva noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a spike in online violence: “During the pandemic, women and girls have experienced more online harassment than ever before. It is of vital importance that digital environments are safe, to ensure the participation of everyone.”

Participate by sharing your views and best practices

Taking this into account, the campaign seeks to eradicate the aforementioned problems and make the technology sector a field that is accessible to all. The Algorithm for Gender Equality campaign invites everyone to participate and help create a sector that is inclusive.

The government outlines several ways in which you can help, noting that one can distribute campaign materials, participate in the discussion on social media, and highlight the best practices for promoting gender equality within the technology sector.

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