Tech makers, women scientists and promoters of equality in technologies met young people today for an inspirational Tech4Equality talk on new ways of empowering women and girls by supporting their involvement in the field of technology and science. In focus was a “generational breakthrough” now taking place which has the potential to make women and girls in science and tech a driving force for social change.

The Tech4Equality talk held to mark International Women’s Day 2019 in Georgia echoed the global slogan “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”. It was organized by the United Nations in Georgia in cooperation with the Administration of the President of Georgia, the Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia, the governments of Sweden and Norway, and the Georgian civil society organization “Innovation Support Fund” and a local community of Women Techmakers.

“Technology is a sector still dominated by men, where women are often made to feel unwelcome,” said Louisa Vinton, UN Head in Georgia. “Yet our speakers today show that women have what it takes to succeed, in fields from microbiology to disability-sensitive technologies. Our message is that equal participation by women in technology and science is essential to designing the kinds of solutions we need to meet the existential challenges that the world is facing today.”

The event was designed as a forum to discuss women’s engagement in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Seven inspirational speakers and role models were presented to the audience by Louisa Vinton, UN Head in Georgia; Tamar Chugoshvili, First Deputy Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia; H.E. Ulrik Tideström, Ambassador of Sweden to Georgia and Armenia; Ketevan Makharashvili, Gender Equality Advisor to the President of Georgia and First Deputy of the Head of the President’s Administration; Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Representative in Georgia; and Mariam Lashkhi, Deputy Chairperson of Georgia's Innovation & Technology Agency of Georgia.

Event participants discussed educational and job opportunities available in the tech industry as well as the challenges faced by Georgian women who seek to enter this rapidly growing market.

The Tech4Equality talk featured seven speakers from different areas of science and technology – Nana Dikhaminjia, Computer Engineering professor at San Diego State University, USA, and Ilia State University, Georgia; Natia Ninikelashvili, creator and founder of the online service soplidan.ge; Esma Gumberidze, promoter of disability-sensitive technology; David Chechelashvili, Vice President of Marketing at iZ3D Inc., USA; Mariam Rusishvili, CEO and founder of QUICK|CASH AI; Maia Todua, Director of Abastumani Observatory; and Ani Tsitsishvili, veterinarian and bio-artist.

The discussion was facilitated by Nino Nanitashvili of the Innovation Support Fund and Women Techmakers. Anushka Chkheidze, DJ and electronic music composer, gave the event a unique musical setting.

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