Nº 2 2015 > GEM-TECH Award winners
Spotlight on iMerit and the British Chartered Institute for IT
ITU celebrated the Gender Equality and Mainstreaming Technology (GEM-TECH) Awards 2014 in Busan, Republic of Korea, on 28 October at a Plenary Session of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. The last edition of ITU News focused on UNESCO, the first GEM-TECH winner. Here are two more award winners from this event.
iMerit Technology Services
iMerit Technology Services received its award for Category 2 of the seven GEM-TECH Awards, “ICT Applications, Content, Production Capacities and Skills for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Poverty Reduction”. iMerit is a networked outsourcing Information Technology (IT) services firm that markets the skills of new trainees to global corporations. iMerit aims to empower youth and women through mobilization, training, employment, and up-skilling in IT project services. iMerit and its sister company, the Anudip Foundation, train Indians in basic, marketable IT. The iMerit team offers scanning, data conversion, data verification, data archiving, data entry, data mining and extraction for the document management industry; image and video editing, and 3D visualization services to the multimedia industry; and global service desk services (such as communication re-routing, employee account management, and IT services).
To date, these two institutions have trained over 30 000 rural women and young people, while providing high-quality, scalable IT service solutions to a global client base including universities, corporations, governments, start-ups and non-profit organizations worldwide. Anudip and iMerit now have 62 training centres around India, mostly in rural areas. To learn more, visit www.imerit.net.
The Chief Executive Officer of iMerit, Radha Basu, a former executive for Hewlett-Packard, expressed her deep honour in accepting the award on behalf of the 30 000 marginalized young students of iMerit/Anudip, who have been mainstreamed into Internet and IT jobs. “The women at iMerit believe strongly in market-based solutions”, said Ms Basu. “They do not wish to be beneficiaries of the United Nations and large corporations. They want them to be our clients. Our dream is to become a mini-Facebook or a mini-Alibaba, with women as equal shareholders in the global Internet economy”.
British Chartered Institute for IT
The British Chartered Institute for IT (BCS), from the United Kingdom, won Category 3 of the GEM-TECH Awards, “Promoting women in the ICT sector — initiatives to attract, retain and promote women in the ICT sector and into decision-making roles”.
The Chartered Institute for IT champions the global IT profession, as well as the interests of individuals working in the sector. It fosters links between experts from industry, academia and business to promote new thinking, education and knowledge-sharing to exchange IT expertise and knowledge. Through professional development and respected IT qualifications, the Institute seeks to promote professional practices tuned to the demands of industry, and provides support and information to its members and volunteer communities around the world. The Chartered Institute also collaborates with government, industry and relevant bodies to establish standards, good working practices and codes of conduct.
Gender diversity still poses a major challenge in the IT and telecoms industry, with women making up less than 20% of the IT workforce, according to BCS. Established in 2007, BCSWomen is a networking group of almost 1500 IT professionals who work on a volunteer basis on numerous initiatives to encourage more women to join the IT profession. They also aim to support members through training courses, social and professional networking events, mentoring, as well as social media and discussion groups. The group comprises women working in diverse technology-based roles from many different countries and industry sectors.
In 2014, the “Women in IT” community published an ebook, “Women in IT: Inspiring the next generation”, which seeks to encourage more girls and women to consider a career in IT by showcasing the lives and careers of female IT professionals, entrepreneurs and academics.
Speaking on behalf of BCS in accepting the award, Gillian Arnold, Chair of BCSWomen said: “This GEM-TECH Award is a great honour and recognizes the work we’ve done over the last five years and more to address the issue of gender diversity in the IT profession” — see www.bcs.org.
Look out for more GEM-TECH Award winner profiles in future editions of ITU News.