Millicom leads the way in gender equality in telecommunications industry
It has now committed all its mobile operations to the GSMA’s Connected Women Commitment Initiative
Barcelona, February 27th, 2018 – Millicom announced today it has now committed all its Tigo mobile operations in Latin America and Africa to the GSMA’s Connected Women Commitment Initiative, which aims to reduce the gender gap in mobile Internet and mobile money across low- and middle-income countries. The announcement was made within the framework of Mobile World Congress, the largest exhibition for mobile operators, device and technology innovators, and it marks Millicom as leading the way in gender equality in the telecommunications industry.
Since the GSMA, the mobile industry’s main trade body, created the initiative in 2016, Millicom has prioritized the Connected Women Commitments Initiative across its operations and has placed it at the heart of its business strategy.
Millicom was the first African operator to sign a commitment in February 2016, in Rwanda, and it worked with the GSMA to bring the initiative to Latin America, with Paraguay being the first operation to sign the commitment in that region in September 2016. The company has been adding each one of its operations to the initiative over the past two years.
Rachel Samrén, EVP Chief External Affairs Officer said: “As a company we are proud to lead the way in digital and financial inclusion not only for women but for everyone. Female customers represent a great business opportunity for Millicom and we are particularly proud of our involvement with the GSMA’s Connected Women Commitment Initiative. In our emerging markets, we have seen first-hand the economic and business benefits of closing the gender gap. Mobile operators have a unique opportunity, and indeed responsibility, to keep breaking down barriers for women, and support their integration into local economies.”
In practice, the commitment is reflected in several ambitious training programs driven by each Tigo operation aimed at increasing the usage of mobile data and mobile money services by women such as, among others:
- In Guatemala, Tigo has been working in partnership with Sheva, a local organization, to train women and girls in using mobile tools to improve their lives. Since May 2017, more than 10,000 have been trained through workshops.
- A similar project in Chad, in partnership with CELIAF, a local women’s association, aims to familiarize 16,000 women with information and communications technology tools.
- In El Salvador, Millicom has set itself an objective of training 100,000 women to use technology by 2020.
- In Honduras, Tigo trains women on how to use smartphones, create mobile money wallets and set up social media profiles to market their handicraft products, stimulating entrepreneurship and helping to grow the economies of their communities.
Millicom is a leading provider of cable and mobile services dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa. Millicom sets the pace when it comes to providing high-speed broadband and innovative digital lifestyle services through its principal brand, Tigo. As of December 31st, 2017, Millicom employed more than 18,000 people and provided mobile services to approximately 51 million customers, with a cable footprint of more than 9 million homes passed. Founded in 1990, Millicom International Cellular SA is headquartered in Luxembourg and listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm under the symbol MIC. In 2017, Millicom reported revenues of $6.0 billion and EBITDA of $2.2 billion.
About GSMA Connected Women
GSMA Connected Women aims to reduce the gender gap in mobile Internet and mobile money services and unlock significant commercial and socio-economic opportunities. A significant gender gap in mobile phone ownership and usage in low- and middle- income countries is hindering growth for the mobile industry and means women are being left behind in an increasingly connected world.
GSMA Connected Women works with mobile operators and their partners to address the barriers to women accessing and using mobile Internet and mobile money services. It aims to equip mobile network operators and their partners with the knowledge needed to take action to reduce this gender gap and overcome barriers to women’s use of mobile phones. For more information, please visit the GSMA Connected Women website at: www.gsma.com/connectedwomen.