The MD/CEO, Development Bank of Nigeria Plc, (DBN) Dr. Tony Okpanachi has pointed out that innovation is key to driving gender equality.
Okpanachi said the Development Bank of Nigeria has acknowledged the unique contributions women bring to the technology space.
He stated this at the 4th DBN’s Annual International Women’s Day celebration held on Wednesday in Abuja with the theme: #DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.
Dr. Okpanachi said, “at DBN, we believe that innovation is key to driving gender equality. We recognise and celebrate the unique contributions that women bring to the technology space, and we are committed to creating a workplace where women can thrive and succeed”.
He noted that the global event recognises and celebrates women who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education, stressing that technology is no doubt reshaping life as known today and that “we are witnessing ground-breaking advances that have transformed our world with women playing a pivotal role in accelerating this progress”.
Dr. Okpanachi observed that from Ada Lovelace, who created the first computer programme, to Grace Hopper, who developed the first compiler for computer languages, women are leading the charge in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and cybersecurity, creating new products and services that are changing the world and impacting on the quality of lives.
He pointed out that “notwithstanding, these tremendous advances by women in technology, there is still a significant employment discrepancy in the tech profession, with women accounting for between 28 percent and 42 percent of the workforce”.
The DBN MD/CEO said technology has the potential to improve the lives of women and girls all over the world in a variety of ways, including increased access to education, health care, and financial services, as well as new avenues into business and entrepreneurship, but to realize the full potential of the technology, “we must also confront its perils, that is a separate conversation entirely which does not take away from the benefits of IT to humanity”.
“Our deliberate efforts towards gender-focused capacity building and financing speak positively to our commitment to the cause of engendering gender equality across every sphere of human endeavours.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed in her goodwill message lauded the Development Bank of Nigeria for being in the vanguard of creating sensitisation advocacy for women’s rights and advancement.
“This is instructive because part of the mandate of DBN, is to ensure financial inclusion, especially for women through access to credit and development of small businesses for our women”, Mrs Ahmed added.
She noted that the digital divide has far-reaching consequences for women’s economic, social and political empowerment as without access to technology, women cannot make the desired progress in the country.
She said the country must seek innovative solution that can facilitate how to leverage technology to close the gender gap and empower women to have access to health care information, financial services, education and governance processes.