Every year around the world March 8th is celebrated as International Women’s Day. It is a day for recognizing the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and for raising awareness about women’s equality. The theme for 2023 is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” this year we’re recognizing and celebrating the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education. This observance will explore the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities, and it will also spotlight the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces.
Even though women account for half of the global population, did you know that that 37% of the women around the world do not use the internet? Without this access, there are women who would never be able to develop the necessary digital skills to engage in digital spaces. This reduces their opportunities for pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields.
By the year 2050, it is projected that 75% of jobs will be related to STEM areas. Women remain a minority in both STEM education and careers, representing only 28 per cent of engineering graduates, 22 per cent of artificial intelligence workers and less than one third of tech sector employees globally. They are a minority in both STEM education and careers, even though girls do as well as boys in science and technology in early education in most countries. Without gender equality, we will not be able to achieve a sustainable, equal future.
To address these challenges and reduce existing disparities, we can build a more sustainable, equitable future for all by closing the gaps in digital access and skills, supporting women and girls in STEM and creating technologies that meet the needs of women and girls.
In support of this year’s theme, today we are hosting a high-level panel discussion at 10:00 AM ET to highlight the importance of the current and future roles of women in driving sustainability in the aviation industry. The conversations will provide opportunities for celebrating the contribution of women as technologists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and gender equality activists around the world, while promoting a gender-responsive approach to innovation, technology and digitalization.
We are exploring digitization and innovation to support the international aviation system. Our celebration of 2023 International Women Day is an opportunity to celebrate the initiatives taken under the leadership of women and to hear about their journey. As we celebrate IWD2023, we want to highlight the importance of STEM education, creating opportunities for women to pursue opportunities in innovation and technology impacting the aviation sector, advocacy to better feature current and future roles of women in driving innovation and technologies in international civil aviation, through reflections on:
- Women’s contributions to innovation and technology in the aviation sector
- Women’s influence and impact on innovations and female leadership, which are often underestimated, despite gender equality and women’s empowerment being powerful levers for change
- Experiences and perspectives related to constraints and opportunities concerning women’s enhanced participation in the sector, particularly in leadership and decision-making capacities
- Diversity at all levels leads to more creative solutions and greater potential for the industry, including through innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality.
The theme of this year’s event was chosen by UN Women and is observed by the United Nations. It is in line with the priority theme chosen for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.” In the context of aviation, the celebration of International Women’s Day is also an opportune moment to renew commitment towards gender equality in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 5 and ICAO Resolution A39-30, as we look forward to building a more resilient and sustainable future in this industry.
To watch today’s recording on ICAO TV (live and replay), click here.