This is a guest blog by Bernadette Andrietti, vice president, sales and marketing group, director, Europe, Middle East and Africa marketing at Intel.
International's Women Day on 8 March is a day of inspiration, celebration of success and progression and focus on the future. Many things have been achieved in recent decades, but there are still many issues to tackle. One of the biggest tasks is to ensure that everyone in the world - regardless of gender, race or age - has free access to education as it serves as a catalyst for change which provides the foundation for a successful future, breaking the cycle of generational poverty.
It is a travesty that in today's world, millions of girls and women have little or no access to education. Technology is the enabler for connecting humans with information and with each other. By enabling access to education, technology is strengthening the ability of girls and women to become powerful catalysts for change. This will improve not only their own lives, but also those in their families and communities.
The Intel Learn Program which was launched in 2004 provides them with key skills in technology literacy, problem-solving and collaboration. In the last ten years, the initiative has reached 900,000 girls and young women in 18 countries around the world.
This is a great success, but there is much more to do: About two-thirds of illiterate adults in the world are women. We're working with many partners to achieve equal access to information technology, enabling women to increase their productivity and economic opportunities. This is why Intel launched 'Intel She Will Connect', a programme that commits to connect women in developing countries to the Internet.
The initiative begun in Africa, where the gender gap is the greatest; on average, across the developing world nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet, and the gender gap soars to nearly 45 percent in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, this initiative aims to connect five million women to the Internet and reduce the gender gap.
The impact of this gap is global, and has a huge socio-economic impact on girls and women. In developed markets, the ability to connect with other women is enabling them to network, share ideas and start businesses. Here, connecting technology ultimately helps to make economic equality a reality.
The best ideas come from a range of minds, and many amazing ideas from young female inventors and scientists have been showcased at Intel ISEF. Supporting this female entrepreneurialism is key to prosperity and a successful global economy and for EMEA specifically, we have a really strong focus across on developing more women leaders as diversity is critical for us and for the business.
Intel is rooted in Science, technology and engineering, it is close to our heart to inspire better learning for young people planning a career in science, technology, engineering and maths. Across Europe it is estimated that women make up just 30% of STEM related careers. It is shocking that women consume most of technologies at home and more and more in workplace, yet this technological savviness is not reflected in the number of women in STEM careers.
As a company that relies on innovation, Intel needs highly skilled and qualified women and men to continue to develop life-changing products and solutions. Intel Teach is our global program, helping teachers to integrate technology in learning for 21st century education preparing the next generation. So far, we have trained more than 5 million women teachers globally.
For Intel, every day is International Women's Day. Intel and the Intel Foundation invest more than $100 million every year in corporate contributions around the world, which includes education efforts focused on girls and women. We can build this world together, by further exploring technology and finding ways which will improve our lives. Creating an open environment is our contribution to attracting girls to science and technology.