Women’s potential as one of the growth points in improving the quality of the public administration system and the development of SMEs was noted today at the Technowomen Kazakhstan panel session “Opportunities for Women in the Digital Economy”, which was held as part of the Digital Bridge 2022, the largest digital forum in Central Asia.
Members of Technowomen, active movement in support of women in the technology industries, noted the importance of the transition to a digital economy and the opportunities it opens up.
Assem Nurgaliyeva, the moderator of the session, the Executive Director of the First Credit Bureau, also shared the data that about 80% of SMEs are considered to be weak or completely non-technological, although this is the basis for implementing diversity in the economy of Kazakhstan. “If we think that traditional SMEs will make the notorious quantum leap, we are already mentally behind. A consumer accustomed to use the digital services of large corporations will no longer be able to support the low-tech business models of SMEs that are forced to change. This is a good opportunity for women,” she stressed in her speech.
Thus, 43% of the heads of companies from the SME sector are women, including 52.57% as individual entrepreneurs.
New niches associated with the digital economy will also increase the income of almost 56% of women employed in low-margin industries. As Aziza Shuzheeva, head of the Public Fund for Digital Transformation, notes: “It is necessary to strengthen the position of women in leadership positions and increase the proportion of women in the decision-making system in the country. For this, special 30% quotas have already been approved for women to participate in the Boards of Directors of the quasi-public and public sector. This norm will affect more than 500 organizations with a personnel potential of more than 1.5 thousand qualified women.”
Investment banker Asem Kenzhebek continued the topic of women’s potential in developing the institution of corporate governance and increasing investment attractiveness: “Not only international government organizations, but also foreign investors introduce requirements for the presence of women both in the controlling and executive bodies of companies. For example, there is a strict requirement for the presence of women in the companies for the listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, otherwise the project will not pass the listing committee. And this is not about gender equality, but also about the high responsibility of women.
Women’s potential is quite justified, since the vast majority of those with a scientific degree are women. At the same time, the topic of staff shortage in IT was raised as a niche for the development of women’s IT, within the framework of the discussion.
“The resulting shortage of IT specialists, which is noted by IT companies in Kazakhstan, creates an opportunity for women to “enter IT” not only for beginners, but also for those who want to change their profession. Companies that diversify jobs have a 21% higher success rate.” – stressed the speaker of the session, Madina Dusmagambetova, Deputy General Director of Documentolog.
Gender rhetoric in Kazakhstan is gradually moving into a systemic way. The opportunities that are opening up for women are timely and strategically important. It remains to wish the Kazakh beauties to justify the hopes of society and the state.
The International Forum Digital Bridge has been held annually in Astana since 2018. In 2022 the business program of the forum will include 45-panel sessions. There will also be an exhibition of tech parks, an alley of IT startups, an exhibition of IT schools, a fair of IT jobs, and an Astana Hub Battle competition.
The organizers are the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Akimat of Astana, and the international tech park of IT startups Astana hub.
The general sponsor is Kaspi.kz. Sponsors and partners are Kazakhtelecom, Freedom bank, Tengizchevroil, My Car, Tech culture, Huawei, G42, Halyk Bank, BI group, Prime source, Glovo, SF, Leica, BI Group, OneWeb, Citix.