Nokia and UN Women have together launched four pilot projects to bolster inclusion and diversity for equality. These pilots aim to address four different areas such as increasing the number of women employees, raising awareness of cervical cancer and uterine fibroids, promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, and empowering gender-based violence victims. After the successful execution of the pilots, the two organizations plan to roll these projects out in more countries across the Middle East and Africa region.
The current collaboration follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed recently by Nokia and UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment, which will guide the global partnership. Nokia has also become a signatory to the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a set of Principles offering guidance on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. This collaboration builds on the ongoing partnership of Nokia and UNICEF to increase equitable access to digital literacy, particularly for girls and children with disabilities in Kenya.
As part of the current collaboration, Nokia will work on implementing the WEPs, and UN Women will involve Nokia in its outreach initiatives to promote inclusion and diversity in society. Under this collaboration, the two organizations have launched the following four different pilot projects.
- Increasing the number of women employees: This project aims to increase the number of women employees in Nokia Saudi. As part of this project, the company will continue to foster a fair and dynamic working environment for female employees. Nokia employees will also reach out to female students in universities through events, panel discussions and technology talks to create awareness and motivate them to join the workforce.
- Raising awareness of cervical cancer and uterine fibroids: This project aims to help women in addressing cervical cancer and uterine fibroids by creating awareness among them in Tanzania. In this project, Nokia will employ a suitable application with chat and information exchange functions to provide real-time support to women for early prevention of these diseases.
- Promoting STEM education: This pilot aims to promote STEM education in Kenya. As part of this pilot, Nokia will guide and educate primary and high school girls in the country. The company’s volunteers will curate technical content, manage career talks and organize family events to create awareness about technology and the opportunities it provides.
- Empowering gender-based violence victims: This project aims to empower gender-based violence (GBV) victims in South Africa by including them in the ongoing certification program of the South African Innovation Hub. Also, in the country, Nokia recently joined hands with Johannesburg-based Forge Academy to provide select victims from underprivileged backgrounds with theoretical, laboratory and on-the-job training to seize opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0) economy.
Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management, Sustainability and Partnerships, UN Women stated, “When women prosper, societies and economies grow with them. Starting with these pilots, our collaboration with Nokia is designed to create and celebrate a more just and inclusive environment so that more and more women will emerge as global agents of change.”
Nicole Arian Markazi, Head of UN Women Program Lead at Nokia, stated, “We, at Nokia, are committed to inclusion and diversity to drive equal opportunity. By collaborating with UN Women in Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa, we strengthen this commitment. We strongly believe that equality will unleash the full potential of young girls and women to become innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders for a better world.”