DNS Women – Expanding Our Impact

In late October this year, more than 2,500 international participants from technology, business, politics, research and civil society from all over the world took part in the 78th meeting of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in Hamburg. The shared goal was to ensure that the Internet continues to be securely usable for everyone according to clear rules.

At ICANN, what is increasingly evident is that gender equality is a core factor for upgrading the innovative and secure Internet. One topic therefore pursued at the ICANN78 meeting was entitled, “DNS Women – Expanding Our Impact”. This session was led by the DNS Women network, a community that was founded in 2009 and which now comprises 400 members from all corners of the globe. As co-founders of this network, Vanda Scartezini – with whom eco recently held an interview – and Cheryl Langdon Orr shared highly impressive statistics and insights regarding Women in Tech. In the coming years, this network also plans to undertake a new survey tracking women’s evolution, to hold worldwide women webinars, and to have new chapters, post articles, and DNS women documents on its DNS Women website.

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Two female colleagues from the eco Association, Hanna von der Au and Eilín Geraghty, also had the privilege to take part in this DNS Women session. As the organiser of eco’s German-based #LiT – Ladies in Tech initiative, Hanna von der Au showcased how this initiative – involving core partners such as Salesforce and GoDaddy – gives the highly qualified female experts in tech a face and a voice to inspire and encourage other females. With the #LiT website functioning as a content hub on this topic, more and more visibility is being gained for female role models in media, politics and society. Hanna also highlighted the #LiT public speaker directory which offers women a place on the stages of digital expert formats and supports event organisers who are looking for female experts in tech.

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With eco’s gender networking also being pursued on an international level – for example, through dotmagazine and Women in Tech studies – Eilín Geraghty from the eco International division spotlighted how all global tech companies should and could ‘walk the talk’ on gender equality. As she noted, what’s needed for all companies is not just one solution, but an accumulation of small solutions as part of a gender equality strategy. Such actions can include, for example, having more women chairing meetings – given that other women will then more comfortably contribute to such meetings – or to have male allies agreeing to only take part in a panel if women are also included. Overall, by taking on board such solutions, all companies can make smart changes that have big impacts.

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At the DNS Women session, there were also great inputs covering domain industry actions managed by women. For example, Lise Fuhr, Director General of ETNO, presented the topic of “Understanding Public Technical Identifiers”, while Laura Margolis, an IT business developer, and Filina Natalia, a communications specialist, displayed how they are leading a new domains initiative called “DotDucky”.

To delve into any such details of this DNS Women session, you can access the full recording here.

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