Empowering women and girls through technology
Nokia has worked with UN Women over the past two years to empower women and girls across the world.
Through our collaboration, we’ve harnessed the power of technology to improve lives and increase gender equality. Now, we’re renewing our partnership and scaling up our ambitions so we can act together in more countries across five different regions to benefit more people.
More than 100 Nokia volunteers have already taken part in community projects, in the Middle East and Africa, giving their time to mentor, coach and teach women and girls.
These projects have entailed working with schools and universities to encourage young women into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and careers, as well as helping women improve their economic prospects through digital and entrepreneurial skills building and mentorship.
Another focus of our work has been within the workplace, where the challenges women face in advancing their careers are varied. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023 found that the gap begins at entry level in STEM occupations, growing wider the further up an organization an employee progresses. Women account for 29.4% of entry-level workers in STEM professions, yet for high-level leadership roles such as VP and C-suite, representation drops to 17.8 percent and 12.4 percent respectively.
This matters for organizations because women are increasingly voting with their feet. McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace 2022 report found that women leaders are now leaving in search of better opportunities at a higher rate than their male peers.
What can we do to support, promote and retain top female talent?
One of our actions at Nokia has been to create an “Action for Leadership” program together with UN Women and partners including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, e&, Saudi Telecom and Zain Group. The program is shaped by the view that each woman and every workplace is different, but there are measures we can all take to ensure all women have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
Our focus has been on enhancing leadership skills, encouraging more active roles in technology creation, and a commitment to business outcomes and team building.
As Nokia’s executive sponsor of this initiative, I’ve been inspired by all the people I’ve met – both inside and outside our organization. The confidence and fearlessness of the next generation of women leaders is remarkable. Their strong sense of purpose, commitment to sustainability and drive to create technological solutions to the big global challenges really stood out.
Dena Almansoori, Group Chief Human Resources Officer and e& Sponsor, said: “Collaboration has the power to drive positive change on a global scale. The partnership between Nokia, UN Women and e& exemplifies the spirit of collective action and is a perfect example of what can be achieved when organizations come together with a shared vision for positive change.”
Increasing the diversity of thought in laboratories and boardrooms is critical if we’re to unlock technological solutions to the big global challenges such as climate change, stalling productivity and access to opportunity. That requires a commitment to gender equality and increasing inclusion and diversity in workplaces and in broader society. It’s reflected in our ESG strategy and supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen, UN Women Regional Director for the Arab States and UN Women Global Program Lead and Melissa Schoeb, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Nokia
That’s why we’re delighted to be able to continue acting together with UN Women and our partners to empower women and girls across the world.
Melissa Schoeb, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Nokia