ITU elects first woman to a top management position

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Geneva - International Telecommunication Union

Member States of ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technology, have elected the first woman to one of five top management positions in the 153-year history of the organization.

A major stride was taken to bridge the digital gender divide with the election of Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the United States to the post of Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.

At the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018, Ms Bogdan-Martin spoke about her vision for the Union and how to bring more women to the ICT sector.

Once she begins in her role as Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau on 1 January 2019, Bodgan-Martin intends to focus on the following 5 priorities: brokering partnerships, strengthening ITU’s regional presence, building the capacity of ITU Member States, leveraging ICT data, and improving the efficiency of the organization.

When asked about being the first woman to serve as a top ITU elected official, Ms Bogdan-Martin said: “Well I’m thrilled, absolutely over the moon! I think we are making history. I think that we will see many more women participating in ITU activities in the future.”

In addition, in 2018, for the first time in the history of ITU Plenipotentiary Conferences, more women than men have been selected as Committee Chairs. 

As an International Gender Champion, Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General, has committed to promoting gender balance on panels at ITU events. The Secretary-General also invites ITU Members to nominate women in delegations and for chairmanship positions for conferences and study groups.

To help bridge the global digital gender divide, ITU leads International Girls in ICT Day, a global effort to encourage girls and young women to consider studies and careers in ICT.

The EQUALS Global Partnership, co-founded by ITU, has some 60 government, private-sector and civil society partners that are focusing on access, skills, and leadership, with a cross-cutting research track.

The ITU is governed by the Plenipotentiary Conference which is the supreme organ of the Union and elects its senior officials. It also determines the direction of the Union and its activities over the following four years.