Day 4 saw some hard talk on diversity and how technology can foster social good – a perfect ending to an amazing show. As senior-level executives from across the ecosystem gathered to wrap up the four-day conference, female leadership was hot on the agenda. We have all the insight below:
Women in technology
According to Robyn Denholm of @Telstra at the #Women4Tech Summit, “Diversity is a business problem, not a social problem.” Women might be leading in the political sphere but looking at the private sector, gender pay gaps remain big across the sector.
“We see more than twice the number of women across all industries, however, women only make up 10% of senior leadership shares,” said Emma McGuigan of Accenture. “I am optimistic about the future of female leadership in the digital age and we are here to deliver action.”
“Increasing female employment could increase the GDP across OECD countries by nearly $6 trillion – a 12% increase,” was another insight out of the Summit – so it’s all about working together as an industry to overcome the diversity hurdle. “Collaborate, not compete,” said @LisaWorx of @SheWorx.
And we don’t need to go too far for inspiration as industry leaders are acting now – Salesforce’s Equality for all: Salesforce’s Equal Pay Initiative bagged the GSMA Women4Tech Industry Leadership Award (Organisation).
Creating a better future
As the event progressed, keynote speeches started to shift their attention on how innovations in mobility can solve social problems and improve quality of life for the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, stated his belief that as mobile connects more than 5 billion people, these networks must now be used to tackle inequalities and environmental disasters. “I feel we have an obligation to use our mobile networks to help the UN achieve their sustainable development goals.”
Granryd also heralded this year’s event as ushering in a new era of intelligent connectivity. During his keynote speech, he stated that 5G and AI are the catalysts that will continue to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “To be truly life changing, AI needs hyper-connectivity… we will move into an era where we connect everything and everyone intelligently.”
Some final food for thought
One of the less remarked on trends at MWC is the tailor-made tech on offer to under-represented groups. Trustedreviews.com reported on: “Doro’s new 2018 phones offering the elderly a proper 4G and Android experience”. The Doro 7060 is the company’s new ‘smart’ feature phone, which is intended as a “stepping stone towards a smartphone.”
At the other end of the age scale, a Spanish start-up has created a mobile phone designed for kids – or rather parents – reports the BBC. The phone lets parent use their own phone to restrict what the child has access to on the phone, block access to the home screen and replace it with an activity command instead.
So that’s all for us this year but we will be back again next year for MWC 2019 so stay tuned!