Empower Women and Girls through Technology: a Holistic Approach

A future of true gender equality is possible. With all the studies and advancements to support women and girls in their education and careers, we have the framework in place to secure a future where women and girls can thrive.  I whole-heartedly believe that by investing in the combination of women and technology, we are investing in the ability to make a lasting global impact.

Although we have made amazing progress the last few decades, there obviously is much more to do. Unfortunately, the uphill battle  just got a bit steeper amid the pandemic of the last 18 months, causing increased stress on women and girls. Nearly 3 million women have left the workplace over the last year due to the pandemic. Difficulties have also compounded online in the digital realm.  A recent study found 75% of girls surveyed said they experienced some form of online harassment or abuse. Over 22% of those who had experienced harassment said they shut down an online account due to that harassment. These numbers only reflect a fraction of other hurdles that women and girls face like internet access or the ownership of computers and mobile.


Take a Stand with me Against Asian Hate Crimes

I recently changed my hairstyle, well actually my hair color, due to Covid. After all, I’ve had grey since my twenties, and since Covid there have been fewer reasons to color it — no access to salons, no in person meetings and the mess of DIY hair color. I decided to go au natural. My hair is no longer black; to everyone’s surprise, including me, it’s now quite silver. I’ve heard silver hair is trendy, so I’ve become accidentally fashionable.

This story, however, is not to relay my new fashion sense. My hair color defies my age. Let’s put it this way, I am not old enough to be first in line for the COVID-19 vaccine. But the color now makes me feel more vulnerable. Silver is easily spotted on the street and implies that I’m older and, therefore, an easy mark. What’s worse, it’s compounding another fear of being targeted — because I’m Asian. More

Vodafone Americas Foundation Awards Three MIT Solver Teams the Innovation for Women Prize

The Vodafone Americas Foundation has been committed to fostering change in global and local communities through connected solutions, and as a result, we’ve seen first-hand the impact of technology in tackling some of the world’s biggest issues. We’ve further leveraged this knowledge over the last year to embark on a journey focused on empowering women and girls through technology. By taking this focused approach and making the crucial investment in both women and technology, we believe we are helping to create real global change. More

As IoT moves us forward, let’s not leave anyone behind

By Ludo Fassati, Head of IoT, Vodafone Americas & June Sugiyama, Director, Vodafone Americas Foundation

Under normal circumstances, it’s hard to imagine what a typical day without internet access would look like.  Connectivity drives the global economy and, now, our societies too. Today, digital connection provides access to essential goods, to family and friends, work and education. It’s vital to our well-being.  Our reliance on IoT was increasing even before the pandemic, but the crisis is creating an exponential need. In a new forecast, Juniper Research predicts we’ll see 83 billion IoT connections over the next five years, with a 20% market growth in 2020 alone.

Yet as technology moves us forward, we must be mindful not to leave anyone behind. Regrettably, however, universal access is not standard in at-risk communities.


Vodafone Americas Foundation partners with OpenIDEO to Award $50,000 to COVID Business Pivot Challenge Winners

In the wake of the our current global crisis, we are all challenged to find answers to overcome our latest obstacles, both old and new, that are affecting millions of people worldwide. In an effort to encourage and support solutions to address issues resulting from the pandemic, we partnered with OpenIDEO last month to conduct the COVID Business Pivot Challenge focused on how businesses of all kinds are rapidly adapting to support the immediate needs of the COVID-19 response, and enable a more just and resilient future. More

The Non Profit Using IoT to Create Life-Changing Solutions

I recently caught up with Nithya Ramanathan, Co-Founder and CEO of Nexleaf Analytics, to talk about how IoT, connected networks and sensors are helping to solve global health challenges, through both nonprofit and for-profit businesses.

Though my work at Vodafone is purely nonprofit, I still hear my colleagues from commercial enterprise agree on how IoT is a critical component for the future of business and a powerful catalyst for digital transformation. Because of its ease and scalability, I believe it’s also a powerful tool that can help tackle some of the world’s biggest issues and save lives. That’s why supporting innovative tech, like IoT, for good will always be our mission. With that vision, we wholeheartedly support Nexleaf Analytics, a company that created an IoT vaccine monitoring platform.


CareMother, OneSky and Raaji Win First-Ever MIT Solve Innovation for Women Awards by Vodafone Americas Foundation

June Sugiyama with MIT Solve Innovation for Women Awards finalists

From left to right: June Sugiyama, Vodafone Americas Foundation with MIT Solve Innovation for Women Awards finalists Morgan Lance of OneSky and Ameya Bondre and Aditya Kulkarni of CareMother

Earlier this year, we announced our partnership with MIT Solve to combine the legacy of our Wireless Innovation Project® program with their distinguished Solver teams awards for Global Challenges to create the Vodafone Americas Foundation Innovation for Women Prize.

The Innovation for Women Prize awards solutions that use technology to empower and enrich the lives of women and girls. We received incredible nominations and submissions over the last few months that underscore how technology can be used to better the lives of women and girls around the world.

At the MIT Challenge Finals in New York this past weekend, we met with finalists for the award as they presented their solutions. After a great weekend of collaboration and competition, we’re excited to announce the winners of the Innovation for Women Prize.

How This Non-Profit is Using Technology to Make Healthcare More Equitable for All

Today, 1 billion people around the world will never receive care from a trained health professional. Despite all of the advancements we have made, at least half of the world’s population cannot obtain essential health services. The vast majority of those lacking sufficient care live in poor countries – hospitals are simply stretched too thin, sometimes serving hundreds of thousands of people across areas that may span 100 miles.


The Potential for Mobile Data to Impact Social Good

In June, a collaboration between UN Global Pulse, the United Nations, and the GSMA released The State of Mobile Data for Social Good report which looks at how mobile big data can be an incredible resource in driving social good efforts around the world.

The report was produced with the support of Vodafone Americas Foundation and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and released at an event at the Vodafone offices in New York.  During the event, a panel of experts representing the mobile data for good ecosystem—MNOs, UN, donors, data scientists— explored what opportunities mobile has opened, the challenges the field is facing, and what actions should be taken in order to improve the outcome of mobile data for global development. More

Join Us: Women and Girls Speak Up and Stay Safe: Media and Mobiles Event

Digital technology and social media have given people all over the world ways to make their voices heard, and they’ve also sparked countless meaningful conversations and interactions. However, these platforms, although well intended, do not always lead positive communication. They have unfortunately opened the door for cyberbullying and online harassment, especially targeted at women and girls.

On Tuesday, June 6th, we will host a panel with Internews, in partnership with Technology Salon NYC, to explore the safety and security of women on media platforms. More