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NetHope’s Women’s TechConnect Jumpstarts the Next Generation of Women in Technology in the Developing World

October 4, 2012, by Ann Mei Chang, Senior Advisor for Women and Technology for the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State

Baltimore, MD – October 4, 2012 – Today, NetHope announced the launch of Women’s TechConnect, a global online community and professional mentoring program that brings together professional IT women from the Western world with the next generation of women in technology in the developing world. Combining 1:1 mentoring, professional development and a collaborative approach to problem solving, Women’s TechConnect supports women in Africa, Latin America and other developing regions to enter, grow and succeed in Information Communication Technology (ICT) roles.
Launched at the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world’s largest conference of women in computing, Women’s TechConnect is a partnership of NetHope, Accenture and the Anita Borg Institute (ABI). The program encourages the retention and recruitment of women in technology around the globe, empowering women to overcome cultural, technical and professional challenges that may have impeded opportunities in the past.
“Our ultimate goal is to grow the number of women and girls in technology, improving livelihoods and creating an ongoing, sustainable path out of poverty – now and for generations to come,” said Lynann Bradbury, a NetHope Global Program Manager and co-Leader of Women’s TechConnect.

Panelists: Lynann Bradbury (NetHope), Emmanuella Stimphat (Save the Children/Haiti), Tracy Feliciani (Accenture),
Khuloud Odeh (Grameen Foundation), Rane Johnson-Stempson (Microsoft)
On a global scale, women represent more than half of college graduates, yet only a small fraction of the technology sector workforce. This is particularly true in emerging economies where men overwhelmingly dominate the field. NetHope, ABI and Accenture believe that increasing the number of women and girls in Information Communication Technologies (ICT) creates a continuum of success for women and their families, and at the same time, boosts the pool of qualified IT professionals in these economies.
“I am especially thrilled about this important program, as it brings ABI closer to Anita Borg’s personal vision of ‘technology positively impacting the lives of the world’s women’ and accelerates STEM efforts throughout the world,” noted Telle Whitney, CEO and President, ABI.
The program was initially funded through a generous grant by Accenture as part of the company’s Skills to Succeed initiative, which will equip 250,000 people by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business.
“Women’s TechConnect is a direct fit with Accenture’s Skills to Succeed effort which applies our core competence – training talent – to the need for developing skills that open doors to employment around the world,” said Tracy Feliciani, a Senior Director in Accenture’s Technology Growth Platform, and executive champion for the Women’s TechConnect program. Feliciani was one of four speakers on a global mentoring panel yesterday at Grace Hopper Celebration, urging other professional women to engage as mentors and sponsors of the program.
Professional women in computing fields who have technical backgrounds and an interest in helping other women enter and succeed in the field are encouraged to get involved. Initially piloted with women in Kenya, Rwanda and Haiti earlier this fall, NetHope is seeking additional corporate partners to help scale the program broadly throughout the developing world. For more information go to www.womenstechconnect.org and follow @NH_WomenTech.
NetHope, Inc., which started in 2001, is a new-generation collaboration of the international community’s leading nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) representing over $33 billion (USD) of emergency relief, human development and conservation programs in more than 150 countries. Through member collaboration and by facilitating public-private partnerships with major technology companies, NetHope enables members to leverage their technology investments to better serve their end beneficiaries. For more information, visit www.nethope.org.
The Anita Borg Institute provides resources and programs to help industry, academia, and government recruit, retain, and develop women leaders in high-tech fields, resulting in higher levels of technological innovation. Our programs serve high-tech women by creating a community and providing tools to help them develop their careers. The Anita Borg Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 charitable organization. Partners include: Google, HP, Microsoft, Amazon, CA Technologies, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, First Republic Bank, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Lockheed Martin, Marvell, National Science Foundation, National Security Agency, NetApp, Salesforce.com, SAP, Symantec, Thomson Reuters, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Broadcom, EMC, Neustar, Raytheon, and Yahoo! For more information, visit www.anitaborg.org.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with 257,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
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For More Information:
Colene McBeth, Director of Strategic Partnerships, NetHope
Colene.mcbeth@nethope.org
Brendan Blandy, Account Executive, Waggener Edstrom
bblandy@waggeneredstrom.com