IGF 2018 WS #338
Gender and diversity: striving for equality in tech sectors


Organizer 1: Salwa Toko , French Digital Council - Conseil national du numérique

Speaker 1: Salwa Toko , Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Isabelle Collet, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Claire Guiraud, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Maryloy Le Roy

Online Moderator

Lofred Madzou


Ruben Narzul


Round Table - 90 Min


The roundtable discussion will bring together different stakeholders participating in gender equality policy-making processes to discuss the issues and the relevance for the wider Internet governance community.


The roundtable format will allow addressing the issues from different perspectives: special attention has been made to ensure a gender balance of participants, speakers from world regions and speakers from a wide array of stakeholder groups: academia, startup scene and governmental institutions.

One of the major challenges that the tech field faces is to achieve a better representation of our society. Although half of the world’s population are women, they represent a mere 33% of those within the digital sector (and only 12% if we dismiss cross-sectional and assistant roles). Despite a gradual feminization of scientific and technical sectors, digital is an exception: parity between men and women is far from being achieved. Beyond issues of competitiveness and performance, diversity is a social issue. The lack of diversity within the tech sector is likely to replicate cognitive biases - often unconscious - in the design of the services it produces.

This format is designed to facilitate maximum participation and information sharing among participants, as well as the exchange of expertise on a highly topical and complex, evolving internet governance issue. The panel session which will be facilitated by the onsite moderator and will set out the differing perspectives on the topic.

Following the panel discussion, a brief round of questions will be taken, onsite and online.

The following issues will be addressed:
- How to explain the decline in the number of women in the tech field ?
- How this shortage of women affects the design of algorithms ?
- How to foster gender equality in the tech field?
- How could we design a more female-friendly work environment in the tech sector?
- How to increase the transparency of recruiting policies in tech companies
- Should we promote transparent recruitment and promotion processes?

Online Participation

The livestream for this event will be promoted in advance through the social networks of the organizer, as well as by discussants.

A remote moderator will enlist questions and comments from the audience during the workshop. Prior to the workshop, a social media campaign will be used to bring in comments and questions from prospective attendees which may enrich the debate.

Responses to the session’s key discussion topics will be solicited in advance from community members who will not be able to participate in the live discussion, such as those located in time zones not conducive to viewing the livestream. Questions and comments received will be shared with the Onsite Moderator for incorporation into the live discussion. During the live session, the Online Moderator will coordinate with remote participants to facilitate live audio participation in the discussion if technical media permit. In addition, non-audio based comments and questions received through social media or chat discussions in the virtual meeting space will be integrated into the discussion directly by the Online Moderator.