According to the UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, women in the tech industry constitute only 28% of professionals in the sector worldwide, and just 30% in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Global Gender Gap Report 2020 published by by the World Economic Forum (WEF) also shows a disproportionate inequalities in almost all of the job sectors related to technology– like cloud computing, engineering, data and AI, and product development. Gender diversity is profitable. Studies show a strong link between presence of women in corporate leadership positions and positive firm performance. In the technology sector, companies with more women in managerial positions have been shown to achieve 35% higher return on investment. The lack of gender diversity carries with it a major opportunity cost, both for individual tech companies and the tech sector.
The Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF) projects actively contribute to increasing the share of women in leadership positions in the IT sector, ensuring gender equality in countries scoring low in the gender-related development index published by UNDP. NTF IV puts on a special emphasis on providing capacity building and opportunities for women in IT in order to contribute to job creation and entrepreneurship promotion in Senegal and Uganda:Past activities from NTF IV include:
In addition to these activities, the NTF IV programme integrates an advocacy dimension to the programme by conducting additional activities under the SheTrades component of the NTF IV IT projects in Senegal and Uganda. The NTF IV SheTrades activities mainly focus on tackling gender-related constraints in the IT and ITES sector and access to investment and finance. Several stakeholders including the Women's Investor Club (WIC), Bolo Bok Tech and the Ministries of Trade and ICT have been acting as the main implementing partners in the two countries.