‘Social media means all women can now become entrepreneurs’

Top women influencers say technology and social media are the way forward for women

IGCF: Top Women Influencers Debate Female Leadership and its Role in Digital Societies

Sharjah: Technology and social media open up plenty of opportunities for women and are the way forward for them to succeed, top women influencers said at the 7th International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) on Thursday.

A panel of distinguished female politicians, entrepreneurs and academics took part in a discussion on the final day of the forum to discuss the role of women leaders in the digital future.

In addressing the subject of empowerment, Jordanian Minister of Information and Communication Technology Majd Schweikeh described social media as a world without limits and that the empowerment it brings to women is immense.

“It has effectively changed life as we know it. There are no boundaries anymore, but we must always enjoy its possibilities with responsibility and respect. In some of the more remote areas of Jordan, the government (has) set up 190 ‘Knowledge Stations’ to provide internet access and training. I went to visit one of them and I found women who had never even left their village — they were using social media to sell their crafts across the world. That is truly empowering,” she said.

Echoing her sentiment, Vanessa D’Ambrosio, the youngest former head of state of San Marino, said social media is the way forward for women in both the public and private sectors.

“I use social media to tell people what my work is and encourage women to take a position of power in both the community and the workplace. I tell them about the social opportunities they have across Europe and help them to broaden their horizons. The beauty of social media is that it is direct, immediate, two-way and has the ultimate power to enable,” she said.

Baroness Mone, a British businesswoman and advocate of women’s rights, pointed out that despite coming from a deprived area of Scotland and leaving school at 15, she achieved enormous success through her business and now believes the power of social media means all women can now become entrepreneurs

“If a woman wants to start a business, she can do that in less than an hour, without the need for millions of dollars worth of advertising. A single mother in a deprived region can still connect around the world and sell her products and services around the world which just wasn’t possible before,” she explained.

When asked about what their hopes were for the future of women in technology, D’Ambrosio said engagement and interaction were the key: “I hope women will obtain key roles in government and business to strengthen their position in society and through social media that every woman can be a role model.”

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