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ICANN57 : Women in Technology, gender equality and mentoring

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ICANN57 in Hyperabad, India.

ICANN57 in Hyperabad, India.

ICANN57 presented its Women in Technology session yesterday, with the participation of a panel of female professionals.

Argentina native, Olga Cavalli, shared news of a new law in Argentina that mandates a 50/50 ratio among genders. As an engineer, Ms. Cavalli explained how her parents were supportive when she chose her career path in the technology sector.

The discussion brought forth the challenges faced by women in developing countries, where career opportunities clash with family and cultural stereotypes.

In Western countries, many women do not face such issues, perhaps due to a different approach to how career embraces family and relationships. Many women in technology enter the workforce at a later age in life, while others choose to have a career over marriage.

The subject of relationships at the technology workplace seemed to follow other sectors. Most panelists agreed that it’s ok to date colleagues, as long as the personal relationship doesn’t interfere with the business engagement.

Remote participation was active, and due to the limited time-frame of the conference, not many online questions by the audience had the chance to be presented to the panel.

Mentoring was also discussed, with women mentors in technology assuming an active role, across audiences of both genders. In many occasions, women mentors actively and successfully mentor groups of professionals that are predominately male.

Farzaneh Badii, a remote participant, asked the following question:

“How about ICANN women on Board form a mentoring group?”

Unfortunately, that question was not answered due to the board’s limited time at this meeting; hopefully, it will be responded to privately.

According to ICANNWiki:

“Farzaneh Badii is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Law and Economics, Hamburg University. She is also an associate researcher at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). As a PhD candidate, Farzaneh researches Internet-related issues predominately revolving around governance and online intermediaries.”

Regarding ICANN positions, qualified women – and men – are welcome to send their applications, in full trust that there will be no gender bias for the right person for the job.


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