It was great to see Royal Holloway, University of London, represented by the Principal, Professor Paul Layzell, at the first principals meeting of EQUALS, the partnership for gender equality in the digital age, held on 16th September, just before the UN General Assembly starting today in New York.
EQUALS is a very important initiative, founded by the ITU, UN-Women, the ITC, the UNU-CS and the GSMA, to reverse the trend of increasing gender digital inequality. The UNESCO Chair in ICT4D has been delighted to be working closely with the founding partners ever since the origins of EQUALS, and our membership provides an opportunity for everyone at Royal Holloway, University of London to play a part in helping to make a difference in this crucial area.
Royal Holloway, University of London, has played a leading role in the higher education of women, especially in STEM subjects. Bedford College, University of London, which merged with Royal Holloway College in the 1980s to form Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, now abbreviated to Royal Holloway, University of London, was thus founded in 1849 as the first higher education college in the UK specifically for women. Staff from many of its leading departments contribute to the UNESCO Chair in ICT4D; 12 of our 28 Members and Affiliated Members are women.
EQUALS has three broad coalitions, on Skills, Access and Leadership, and Royal Holloway is an active member of the Skills coalition. The College is also participating in the EQUALS Research Group being led by the UNU Computing and Society Institute (UNU-CS). It is great to see the College featuring in this high profile UN initiative, as one of only two universities among the first 24 Partners and 5 Founding Partners.
I hope that the pictures below of the principals meeting, and Professor Paul Layzell’s interview, capture something of the atmosphere.