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Bridging the Gender Digital Divide: Recent Insights and Implications for the Bank
June 13, 2013Washington, D.C.

What are development partners, academia, and governments doing to bridge the gender digital divide?

A Gender and Development Seminar Series Event

The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is revolutionizing our daily lives, our social interactions, the services we deliver or receive, the way our kids are growing up, and the type of solutions and reach we can attain in development solutions. However a large part of the world has been deeply marginalized from accessing and using ICTs for socio-economic empowerment. This is what is commonly called the gender digital divide. What are the development partners, academia, and governments doing to bridge the divide? How are both gender and ICTs mainstreamed in today's WBG operations and knowledge agenda to mitigate the problem? What are the critical success factors? Join us to learn about the subject, and be part of the solution.


Ann Mei Chang, U.S. Department of State

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Ann Mei Chang is the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues at the U.S. Department of State, where she is serving as a Franklin Fellow. At State, she develops policy, partnerships, and programs to bridge the gender gap in access to mobile phones and the Internet, effectively leverage technology to improve and scale development programs for women and girls, and increase the representation of women in the ICT sector. Ann Mei has more than twenty years of engineering and leadership experience in Silicon Valley. Most recently, she served as a Senior Engineering Director at Google for 8 years, where she led worldwide engineering for Google's mobile applications and services, including mobile search, ads, Maps, GMail, YouTube, Goggles, and Voice Search across all major platforms. She oversaw 20x growth of Google's mobile business in just three years, delivering over $1B in annualized revenues.

At Google, she also led the product development team for Emerging Markets, with a mission to bring relevant mobile and Internet services to the two-thirds of the world's population that is not yet online. Ann Mei has held leadership roles at several other leading companies including Apple (leading engineering for the initial release of Final Cut Pro), Intuit, SGI, and a few startups. Ann Mei was recognized as one of the Women In the World: 125 Women of Impact for 2013 by Newsweek/The Daily Beast. She is a member of the 2011 class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute and holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.


Jeni Klugman, Director, Gender and Development, World Bank


Samia Melhem, Lead Policy Officer, Information & Communication Technologies, World Bank

Samia Melhem is a lead policy specialist ICT for development. She chairs the eDevelopment Community of Practice, and leads ICT unit's knowledge and learning program while coordinating the WBG ICT projects in Africa region. She is an international expert on egovernment , her projects focus on improving Public sector delivery to citizens and businesses; and on creating the enabling environment for societal transformation and governance. She has been researching gender and inclusion for the last years. She has degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Sciences and MBA (Finance).

Event Details
  • When: 12:30-2 p.m.
  • Where: MC C2-135, World Bank Headquarters
  • CONTACT: Mame Niasse
  • mniasse@worldbank.org