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Intel Launches Program to Close Tech Divide for Women

By - Source: Intel Newsroom | B 18 comments
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The "She Will Connect" program integrates "Internet access with gender and development programming" and aims to expand the digital literacy skills of young women in the developing world.

Following on the findings of January's Women and the Web report, Intel has launched the "She Will Connect" initiative which aims to reduce the global gender and technology gap and will be initially launched in Africa with the target of reaching 5 million women and reducing the gender gap by 50 percent.

Intel aims to achieve its goals by working with a "diverse range of partners" including governments, global and local NGOs and through an innovative and scalable new platform that features an Online Gaming Platform and a Peer Network to push the concept of digital literacy forward.

The former delivers content through "an interactive, engaging approach for smartphones and tablets in a game-infused environment" that allows learning to take place in a mediated environment, both individually across devices and in the context of a wider peer network. The Peer network also incorporates World Pulse's digital empowerment platform that integrates training into existing digital literacy programs and connects women to "a safe and supportive peer network" that offers a free exchange of ideas, support and mentorship.

"The Internet has transformed the lives of billions of people," said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. "It functions as a gateway to ideas, resources and opportunities that never could have been realized before, but our research shows that girls and women are being left behind. We believe that closing the Internet gender gap has tremendous potential to empower women and enrich their lives as well as all the lives they touch."

At this juncture, it is worth noting that the "She Will Connect" initiative is part of a broader commitment educating women in developing countries which has included a 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, an "Easy Steps Digital Literacy" training program that aims to reach 1 million women in India and patterning with several governments and organizations in Latin America to provide training with a special focus on fostering entrepreneurial skills.

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  • 5 Hide
    Yuka , October 1, 2013 8:49 PM
    "...but our research shows that girls and women are being left behind."

    And the research team had any women in it?

    I'm sorry, but this is just an insult to girls. They're not stupid and they know what they want in life. If they want to learn "math", they'll do just fine. I know a lot of engies and the best are usually women in my opinion. They're fewer, yes, but the quality is great.

    So, I don't think telling them "we think you're disabled as a person, so you need our manly help" is a good thing to do.

    I might be overblowing the meaning behind this initiative, but I hate it when people think that women and men have a different mental capacity (standarized, not special cases) for work. We are different and all, but brute brain work is not one of those differences. Try on preferences and a cultural enrichment next time, but not education IMO. Men are usually the cause of women not getting into technology, not themselves.

    Cheers!
  • 7 Hide
    Assmar , October 1, 2013 9:23 PM
    Isn't that why apple called it the "iPad"?
  • 2 Hide
    shin0bi272 , October 1, 2013 9:55 PM
    oh brother... more PC Bullsh!t. God forbid there be any sort of defined gender roles the world might work properly and not need the government to be our nanny or whatever analogy you want to use.
  • 1 Hide
    anxiousinfusion , October 1, 2013 10:04 PM
    Intel inadvertently sends the message that women are more valuable.
  • 1 Hide
    PadaV4 , October 1, 2013 11:00 PM
    No. Intel sends the message that women are retarded, and they need a program for "special" people.
    Disclaimer: Not my personal views. Just translating what Intel means.
  • 1 Hide
    smeezekitty , October 1, 2013 11:33 PM
    Quote:
    I might be overblowing the meaning behind this initiative, but I hate it when people think that women and men have a different mental capacity (standarized, not special cases) for work. We are different and all, but brute brain work is not one of those differences. Try on preferences and a cultural enrichment next time, but not education IMO. Men are usually the cause of women not getting into technology, not themselves.

    You whacked the nail squarely on the head. The technical difference in raw brain ability between males and females is pretty negligible.

    The gap is almost certainly because of stereotypes and peer homophily.
  • 1 Hide
    martel80 , October 2, 2013 12:44 AM
    Women are under a (historical) social pressure to assume a certain social role. But in most western countries, they may simply ignore that with little penalties (if any). The stereotypes will linger for some time but I hope they will eventually disappear. I hate this European initiative to force at least 40% of women in a company's management. What a load crap! Women are capable of achieving that percentage naturally but they must refuse the social role that's often being fed down their throats.

    In developing world, the situation may be entirely different (a century behind, perhaps) hence the need of forced/accelerated evolution.
  • 4 Hide
    cypeq , October 2, 2013 1:30 AM
    Yeah women are stupid and we men must put a pressure on them to keep up with technology and such. It's common knowledge that women are incapable of making independent decisions. Great XIX century mentality Intel.
  • 3 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , October 2, 2013 1:40 AM
    The irony here is that this whole thing was thought up by a team comprised solely of women. They came up with it at a big gathering of women in intel.
  • 3 Hide
    TheMentalist , October 2, 2013 4:35 AM
    So stupid, technology doesn't know any gender or any age
  • 3 Hide
    therogerwilco , October 2, 2013 4:59 AM
    Whoever said men are the cause of women not getting into tech, screw you, you sexist moron.
    Women are not stupid, but programs like this make me sick. When is it going to stop?
    If someone wants to do something, they WILL find a way. That's HUMAN nature.
    As far as women are concerned, there are so many in high positions of power, the men vs women thing, is over. Move on with your lives. What, you say it's not over? That women are being oppressed today? Tell that to Hillary Clinton, or Marissa Mayer, Or Selena Gomez, or Jennifer Anniston, or Michelle Obama, or Heidi Klum, or any number of other females in great positions, oh wait, you're "too weak" so you'll have to wait for a program like this but a man could talk to them right away, because they're a man?
    Neither a man or female is going to get anywhere close to any of these women, why? Because people these days think you need a crutch for everything, and these women, "they're just lucky." Right? No, they worked hard.
  • 0 Hide
    Duke Wayne , October 2, 2013 5:23 AM
    >>The technical difference in raw brain ability between males and females is pretty negligible.<<

    Except in chess. :) 
  • -1 Hide
    Duke Wayne , October 2, 2013 5:23 AM
    >>The technical difference in raw brain ability between males and females is pretty negligible.<<

    Except in chess. :) 
  • 2 Hide
    Duke Wayne , October 2, 2013 5:26 AM
    First crap with wil.i.am as Director of Creative Innovation, now this PC "gender" crap. More reason to boycott Intel.
  • 0 Hide
    CyranD , October 2, 2013 5:31 AM
    I confuse by all the hate for encouraging more woman to consider careers in technology. I got a degree in computer science and I can tell you all my junior and senior level computer science classes consisted of 90-95% men. No one at Intel is suggesting that woman or not equally capable of men but rather society does a better job encouraging men to pursue technology jobs then they do at encouraging woman to. My love for computer started when my parents bought a 486 in the early 90's when I was not even a teenager yet. My parents let me play with it and break the software on it many times. This it not about giving woman a crutch but rather opportunities to experience technology from a early age so they can fall in love with technology the same way I did by being allow to play with a computer at a very early age.
  • 1 Hide
    Garble , October 2, 2013 6:17 AM
    I have a feeling there are plenty of men in India who didn't get computers as a kid. No one is against giving women opportunities CyranD, but why do they deserve more than guys? What if you parents gave that computer to a female relative, since "society" was already giving you so many advantages for being male
  • 0 Hide
    doomtomb , October 2, 2013 7:38 AM
    "aims to reach 1 million women in India and patterning with several governments and organizations in Latin America "

    Why focus on only these parts of the world?
  • 0 Hide
    oj88 , October 2, 2013 8:14 AM
    Have to stop polygamy in those countries first, where women are the property and under control of men.