To celebrate International Women’s Day in 2022, we want you to be inspired by women leaders from around the world.
In 2021, we partnered with Vital Voices on the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls where Google.org committed $25 million to fund 34 organizations creating pathways to prosperity for women and girls. We partnered with Google.org because of our shared belief that solving big problems, such as Gender Inequality, requires collective action, and the people closest to the challenges are often those closest to the solution. Here are some of the Goal 5 Champions who received funding- they are on the frontlines implementing innovative ideas that are dedicated to helping women and girls to reach their full economic potential.
First we have Olga Patricia Paz Martinez who is Project Director Asociación Colnodo. Rural women throughout Latin America and the Caribbean have the least access to information and communication technologies. Olga knows that access to technology is crucial to women’s economic empowerment and through her work is seeking to reduce the gender digital divide. Through connectivity and information communication technology, Asociación Colnodo seeks to expand education, employment, social and economic opportunities that empower people and improve the quality of life. They will bring internet access to 1,200 women and their families through 8 community networks in disconnected rural areas in Colombia.
Kebone Moloko is the Founder of the Q Networq and she knows first hand how much representation matters. Kebone is on a mission to create a society where African Queer womxn, trans, and non-binary entrepreneurs have access to equitable business opportunities and access to finance catered to the LGBTQ+ community. The Q Network is a community of 1,000+ entrepreneurs and professionals in South Africa that aims to build a supportive ecosystem of queer womxn entrepreneurs, investors and working professionals to help each other thrive.
Did you know that Japan ranks 19th on the Gender Inequality Index, making it one of the most inequitable places to be a woman in the workplace? Asumi Saito and Sayaka Tanaka, the co-founders of Waffle, are on a mission to change that! Their organization Waffle is Japan’s only charitable organization educating middle school and high school young women about STEM through leadership programs and career lectures. Their Young Women in Tech Leadership Programme will make programming accessible to women outside of computer science majors via campus-based workshops and develop a women’s tech conference to build community and expose women in tech to role models.
Marlene Slemberger is Director of Women’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership at the University of Montana. As an indienous woman, she believes that women are the backbone to uplifting communities and is focused on furthering this strength with formal training, skills and education. She is one of the creators of ‘Native Women Launch’ a collaboration between a pair of tribal colleges (the Salish Kootenai College and the Blackfeet Community College) and the University of Montana that aims to support Indigenous women in the state who are interested in starting or growing their businesses. It provides relevant and tribally diverse online courses focused on business ownership and personal finance featuring case studies of Montana native women.
Our final inspirational leader is Emmanuelle Larroque, CEO of Social Builder in France. She believes that the world needs a renewed leadership that promotes the reduction of inequalities and that women must participate in this paradigm shift. Addressing the digital gender divide is critical to achieve this and SDG 5 and is why Emmanuelle is building women-centered solutions to create systemic change in tech. In the last 10 years, her organization Social Builder has supported over 55,000 women by designing and deploying innovative and scalable solutions that empower women to thrive in the digital economy. One solution in particular is the “Social Builder Academy” that is an app that allows users to customize content to support their transition to the digital sector.
To read more about these organizations as well as 29 more inspirational projects visit the Google.org Impact Challenge page here. Initiatives such as the Impact Challenge are crucial to accelerating world progress because Goal 5; Gender Equality, sits at the heart of achieving all 17 of the Global Goals. Only by harnessing the potential of all women and girls, will we be able to recover equitably from the pandemic and create a better world for everyone by 2030.