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Converged Female Talent Program encourages women’s leadership for innovation

The Converged Female Talent Program participants during one of the project’s engagement sessions.

The Nokia Converged Female Talent Program brings together women from Nokia, Nokia’s customers, and government partners to acknowledge women in leadership and empower them while creating innovate technology solutions focusing on women’s personal and professional needs. The program is supported by UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States.

Twenty seven passionate and tech-savvy women from various backgrounds came together in a Nokia initiated pilot project in the Middle East. The Converged Female Talent Program explored innovative 5G use case opportunities applying a female end-user view in the technologies, such as IoT, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

“I am thrilled to have been nominated for the female converged talent program launched by our company,” said Claudine Batsleer, Head of Technical Management at Nokia. “Together with women from the participating organizations, we have built use cases for strengthening the family connection and about elderly care.”

“My project team consisted of women from all around the world,” she continues. “We wanted to have an “inclusive” voice in our future as old people. It was astounding how many new concepts of the design thinking methodology such as the use of empathy maps, and value chains we got to learn only in a couple of months on top of creating executive-level presentations. Above all, the participants showed great teamwork when coming together despite the geographical distances, time-zones, cultural differences, and differences in professional domains. New networks were born.”

The program’s mission is to explore new revenue streams through an integrated female end-user perspective, and to create unique solutions to women’s challenges in daily life. “Technology solutions and decision making are in need of a better gender balanced approach. Involvement of our customers, UN Women, and other key stakeholders in creating new technology solutions and developing solutions by women for women is quite unique and unparalleled,” says Nicole Arian-Markazi, Lead of Converged Female Talent Program.

The pilot program started in June 2021 and was finalized in October 2021 with outcomes shared to a panel of executive management from Nokia, government institutions and the customer organization involved. This way of working is a testimony to the power of cross-society collaboration.

During the program, the participants identified challenges by interviewing women from Saudi Arabia and developed technology solutions to those challenges by using the design-thinking methodology, challenging people to think out of the box and innovating. Additionally, the program hosted panel discussions with special guest speakers to talk about women’s empowerment, how technology is influencing our lives, how women can make a difference, and what does it mean to work as a woman in a technology company.

The program achieved all its goals, including the creation of three 5G IoT business opportunities with a focus on women:

  1. Safe and smart driving application to make driving easy for women, reducing driving stress, and enhancing the driving experience specifically focused on Saudi Arabia.
  2. Child nurturing initiative for parents of a new-born combining artificial intelligence and virtual assistance to connect to midwives, nurses, or doctors who recommend advice and guidance to parents.
  3. Family connection and elderly care solution empowers the elderly community with a Mobile Voice Assistant in the Arabic language. The solution will allow more independence and improve self-esteem. For Saudi women, more focus on self-fulfilment is vital and needed in the Kingdom.

The program is a result of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Pekka Lundmark, CEO of Nokia, and Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. The MoU guides the partnership between Nokia and UN Women to promote inclusion and diversity in society, including through supporting greater participation and leadership of women in the tech sector.

Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen, UN Women Regional Director for the Arab States says: “Women participate and contribute at all levels in our societies, and with thoughtful initiatives we can amplify their efforts, strengthen their talents and establish a level playing field. Our collaboration with Nokia, government institutions and the private sector more broadly, aims to achieve this by ensuring better representation of women in the technology sector.”

With the sole purpose to continue co-creating and exploring different ways of empowering women, Nokia aims to replicate the female converged talent program with other customers and organizations advocating for gender parity in technology in different geographies.

At Nokia we create technology that helps the world act together

Learn more about our Converged Female Talent Program, watch the full video:

About UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide.

Lorena  Gomez Gaviria

About Lorena Gomez Gaviria

Lorena is the Business Incubation Manager for Digital Industries at Nokia. She joined Nokia in 2017, having a strong background in marketing, business development, international cooperation, and project management. She claims to be a determined and results-orientated woman, an advocate for sustainability and passionate for partnership development and sales, with experience leading teams in the technology industry in a multicultural environment. She has a genuine interest in transformation with a large impact and believes that cooperation is fundamental for social development.

Connect with Lorena on LinkedIn

Nicole Arian Markazi

About Nicole Arian Markazi

Nicole Arian-Markazi is Head of Customer Success in the Middle East and African Market. She has worked for Nokia for over 10 years and is leading the Nokia – UN Women collaboration program since the beginning of 2021. Nicole has an Engineering Diploma in Computer Science and has worked in different fields of the tech sector, mainly focussing on holistic Quality assessment initiatives. She has a diverse background as she was born in Iran, studied and worked in Germany and currently lives in South Africa. She is passionate about digital inclusion and the impact the telecommunications sector has on society and economies.

Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn

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