5G Americas and Conectadas drive inclusion in Latam telecoms
5G Americas and digital equality advocate Conectadas are working together to promote the equal participation of women in the telecoms industry.
The agreement seeks to promote the participation of women under equal conditions both in decision-making and in discussion forums related to the information technology sectors.
However, it isn't simply an industry initiative – but a scheme that extends to digital inclusion and participation.
Promoting the presence of women "throughout the digital ecosystem" the cooperation agreement between 5G Americas and Conectadas set out how the organisations would drive progress both individually and together. Data will also be central to the work, with studied to be conducted into the distribution of ICT services in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The studies will set out to "disaggregate by gender the reality of the offer and adoption of ICT services in Latin America and the Caribbean, while promoting the joint development of new programs for the correct promotion of the participation of women in various debates and forums associated with ICT development in the region".
"At Conectadas we are pleased to establish a collaborative relationship with 5G Americas to join forces and promote the inclusive and innovative development of telecommunications in our region," said Elena Estavillo, president of Conectadas.
Digital inclusion for women is "indispensable for an egalitarian and sustainable recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean", according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
However, their exclusion from digital technologies predates the pandemic. 2018 data from the Instituto para Integración de América Latina y el Caribe (INTAL), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) confirmed gender gaps exist across many areas.
For example, mobile phones are used to pay bills by 40% of men compared with 37% of women. Gender gaps also appear in: controlling appliances and health via mobile phones (6% and 2% less respectively), and generating income through digital platforms (2 percent less).
In this study even attitudes towards digital technologies showed gaps.
Women disagree more than men on introducing children to new technologies from a young age (53% compared with 57%); they are less likely to let their children have online classes (a 7% gap) and women also perceive themselves as less prepared for the jobs of the future (4% less).
José Otero, VP for Latin America and the Caribbean of 5G Americas, pointed out that “it is necessary to disseminate efforts to reduce the digital gender gap in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to promote the progress of programs that effectively consider the relevance that it has the inclusion of women in the forums that are linked to the development of information technologies."