The moderator of this session, Ms. Audrey Mandela, is Board Chair and acting COO for Informilo, a news site and print publisher. The session focused on new technologies empowering women around the world, and on Information Communication Technology development. This is the fifth year that leveraging participation in women leadership is being promoted at the Global Forum.

Ms Effat El Shooky shared with the audience the women situation in Egypt. She focused on the aim of empowering women through ICT. She highlighted the trouble that they faced with the Egyptian’s constitutions. With the old one, women suffered from gender discrimination, sexual violence, social threats and they were not allowed to join all jobs. The new constitution states that gender discrimination is prohibited and includes education, technology, and health care. To illustrate what she said, she gave some numbers – the women workforce today in Egypt is 23% which represents 6.4 millions of the population, and 15% of women are working in high management positions.

As women face some problems of literacy, poverty, discrimination, social and political issues and sexual abuse, they tried to help them by building their personal self-esteem. In order to do so, ICT program developed an integrated system that has been created to support women. For instance, the foundation developed applications such as learning programs to provide the lack of knowledge (especially for women in villages, rural). She concluded her speech by talking about their challenge, which is to have women leader by giving them the necessary trainings they need.

Her motto is: “You need to make your future! We can and will help you make your future!”

Ms Veronique-Ines Thouvenot is Co-founder and Scientific Director at the Millennia2025 Foundation, where she heads the “Women and eHealth” International Working Group, the Global Network of Women in Telemedicine, the Women Observatory for eHealth and Zero Mothers Die Initiative. She supports the Millennia movement which designs the future based on the sight of technology and foresight research process for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The movement is based on solidarity; together we can help and encourage these women to use technologies, have healthcare and provide education. This will help them to have a vision of the future. An important fact is that 3,000 pregnant women die because of a lack of technology (information and know-how), and when a woman dies it creates a disaster. In fact, children don’t go anymore at school, and they are isolated from the community, and as they loose their chance to be integrated, they can’t become leaders in their future. Thus, to avoid this situation they put in place a mobile phone especially dedicated for women in emerging and developing countries. Indeed, this phone (zero mother die) provides them different information about pregnancy and helps them to be aware about the “pregnancy process”. Furthermore it also allows having social and business contacts with others. She concluded saying that using innovative system approach can save lives but has a cost of 2.5 millions $ /year. We can join this Millennia movement by making donation (cost: 30$ per mobile phone).

Ms Laura Mandala, Managing Director of Mandala Research, has been helping the tourism industry unlock, decode and harness the power of travel data for nearly two decades. As she owns a research firm, her goal is to gather data on history in order to demonstrate how women are doing and to make things change. Furthermore, she pointed out that in the US (2012) men are much more employed in high tech occupations. However, there was an increase in the number of women graduating between 1970 and 2010 in medical sector. She also highlighted the fact that in 1985 37% of science companies had been owned by women in contrast with 18% in 2011. An important fact is that Google, Facebook and Twitter ‘s Board of Directors went public with all-male boards. In conclusion of her presentation, Ms. Mandala opined that by mixing genders, people were more productive, innovative and therefore this was beneficial for everybody.

The last speaker at this session was Ms. Anne-Lise Thieblemont, Senior Director of Global Technology Policy and Industry Relations at in the Government Affairs Department at Qualcomm Incorporated. She focused on emerging and developing world. Again, the goal is to provide necessary skills to women in order to link them with university. In doing so, women have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs or engineers. In addition, Ms. Thieblemont promoted Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) which designs and supports a series of innovative activities to provide training, build networks and offer professional opportunities. WeTech helps women and girls enter and succeed in technology careers, with the goal of improving women’s talent and skills needed to support technological and economic growth.