IGF 2018 WS #340
Towards greater gender diversity in the Internet Industry


Organizer 1: Laura Kaplan, LACNIC
Organizer 2: Kevon Swift, LACNIC
Organizer 3: Carolina Caeiro, LACNIC
Organizer 4: Duncan Macintosh, APNIC Foundation

Speaker 1: Garcia Garcia Ramilo, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Phet Sayo , Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Max Larson Henry, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Kevon Swift

Online Moderator

Carolina Caeiro


Duncan MacIntosh


Round Table - 90 Min


Max Larson Henry will speak of his experience leading gender and youth initiatives in Haiti, with special focus on the gender and digital employment initiative, Ayitic Goes Global.
Chat Garcia Ramilo will speak to APC’s work in the Asia region and the best practices identified around gender inclusion in the Internet Industry in said region.
Phet Sayo will address IDRC’s experience supporting initiatives on gender inclusion in technology in both regions, and how the trends identified fit into the global landscape.
Carolina Aguerre (tentative, attendance to IGF to be confirmed) will speak to the work of the Center on Technology and Society of the University of San Andrés studying gender inclusion policies in the digital economy.
Winners for the FRIDA and ISIF Asia Community Networks awards will be also participating. Their names are not confirmed at the time of the submission of this workshop proposal as the selection process for the winners was on-going.


The focus of the proposed roundtable is on the LAC and AP regions which present common challenges around achieving gender equity in Technology and the Internet Industry. While the geographic focus is set to these two regions, the variety of speakers addresses the IGF’s diversity requirements. The roundtable will have speakers from Academia, Civil Society, Government and the Technical Community. IDRC in particularly will seek to tie parallels in these two regions and conclusions from the debate to the overall international landscape and global trends in gender inclusion in technology.
The organizing team is composed of colleagues from the Internet Regional Registries, LACNIC and APNIC, as well as APNIC Foundation which have been collaborating in grant-making on community networks and Internet Development through their respective grants and awards programs, FRIDA and ISIF Asia. On-the-ground innovators from both regions will also participate in the round table, contributing to the diversity and plurality of voices in the session.

The session will begin with expositions from specialist and innovators from the LAC and AP regions who will present strategies for promoting gender inclusion in the Internet Industry and related technology fields. For Latin America and the Caribbean, speakers will include Carolina Aguerre, Internet Policy Specialist in the LAC region, and Max Larson Henry, social entrepreneur and Internet Development specialist from Haiti. In the case of Asia Pacific, Chat Garcia Ramilo, Executive Director of APC.
In addition, the roundtable will be joined by the Gender Empowerment & Innovation Winners of the FRIDA and ISIF Asia programs which will present innovations to promote gender equity in the Internet Industry in the two regions of focus (selection underway at the time of submission of this proposal).
The opening remarks will conclude with an intervention from IDRC, an active international donor working in the intercross of gender and technology worldwide who will speak to the similarities in the two regions and how the initiatives discussed fit in within larger international trends on gender inclusion in Technology.
Following the remarks by the various participants, the moderator will encourage the debate around three central questions:
Distilling common strategies that have proven successful in the LAC and AP regions
Identify existing challenges and underpinning factors that result in gender inequality in the Internet Industry and that need addressing in both regions.
Discuss cooperation opportunities and strategies for interregional collaboration

The moderator will begin with a brief introduction of the common challenges identified between the LAC and AP region that prevent greater gender equity in the Internet Industry.
The session will then move to a round of introductory remarks from the speakers participating in the roundtable who will be asked to present successful strategies for tackling the challenges outlined and/or weigh in on how the regional Internet ecosystems are working to achieve greater gender equality.
Following these initial interventions, the roundtable will get to the heart of the debate, guided by the moderator who will begin by giving an opportunity to online and in-person participants to pose questions and discuss views on the strategies presented. The moderator will guide the debate to identify common strategies that have proven successful, persistent challenges that result in gender inequality in the Internet Industry and opportunities for cooperation between the LAC and AP regions.

It is clear that promoting gender equality is smart development policy, and the Industry Sector is no exception. Further efforts are needed to close the gender gap, from education and training opportunities to the provision of employment and leadership development pathways, not just as an end in and of itself but as a critical effort to ensure the consolidation of an Inclusive Internet.
Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia Pacific face similar challenges to bringing more gender diversity into Technology, and more specifically, the Internet Industry:
Building basic and advanced digital skills among women, girls and LGBT communities;
Achieving greater gender diversity in digital markets to support economic empowerment and employment paths in the Technology and Internet industry;
Promoting the safe use of the Internet for women, girls, and LGBT communities and defending their right online; and
Supporting women’s involvements not only as consumers, but also as producers of technology, particularly in network infrastructure deployment to expand Internet access and adoption.
The session will bring together specialist from both regions working on the promotion of gender equity in Technology to discuss innovations that are proving effective in closing the gendered digital divide and build in greater diversity into the Internet Industry. The goal is to identify strategies that have the potential to impact on the Internet Industry’s gender balance in the short to medium term, enriching the diversity and composition of today’s digital ecosystems.

Online Participation

After the first round of interventions, the discussion section of the roundtable will open up with an invitation to online participants to weigh in on strategies discussed and pose questions to the speakers. The organizing team will work to promote the activity on social media, and will specially invite applicants from their grants and awards programs to join the session.
Online participants will be given priority to speak, and their participation will be encouraged by the online and in-person moderators.