Empowering Women In Tech: e-Commerce Platform Role In Bridging The Gender Gap

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and eCommerce, women continue to face barriers and challenges that hinder their full participation and representation.

In an exclusive interview with BusinessToday, e-commerce platform Borong, CEO and Co-founder, Lennise Ng (pic) shared with us her perspective of the key barriers that she came across while working with female-owned businesses to adopt digital solution and eCommerce.

Limited access to technology and internet, digital literacy and skills gap, gender bias and discrimination, unequal access to education and training, and lack of supportive policies and practices were in her list. Lennise emphasised that these obstacles persist both globally and in Southeast Asia.

However, Borong is actively working to address these disparities and empower women in the tech and eCommerce sectors by collaborating with community groups primarily composed of women-led businesses, including Borong (formerly known as Dropee) and Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIMS).

Their initiatives encompass a range of programs, such as DigitalNiaga, specifically designed to educate and raise awareness among women-led businesses about the importance of embracing technology and its advantages.

“In our DigitalNiaga programme, we have a team of experts to consult and train women-led businesses from understanding the digital gap, identifying which digital solutions to adopt for their business, to providing them steps on improving their business to be more bankable.” Lennise said.

Understanding the Challenges
Women in Southeast Asia encounter various challenges in accessing and embracing technology. Limited access to the internet, particularly in rural areas, poses a significant barrier.

Additionally, cultural biases and discriminatory practices contribute to the underrepresentation of women in the tech industry. To address these challenges, the platform has identified several key areas of focus:

Borong acknowledges the importance of providing women with access to digital technologies and the internet. By partnering with community groups and internet providers, Borong aims to improve internet accessibility and reliability in regions where women may face connectivity challenges.

Digital Literacy and Skills Gap: Recognising the importance of digital literacy, the platform offers education and awareness programs tailored to women-led businesses. Through initiatives like the DigitalNiaga program, the platform provides training and support to enhance women’s digital skills and empower them to thrive in the digital economy.

Gender Bias and Discrimination: The platform actively works to address gender bias and discrimination in the tech and eCommerce sectors. By partnering with associations and government bodies, Borong advocates for policies and practices that support women’s participation and advancement in the industry.

Bridging the Digital Gender Divide
Lennise emphasised that the platform envisions a future where women play a significant role in the tech and eCommerce sectors, contributing to economic growth and development across Southeast Asia.

By investing in initiatives to promote digital inclusion, improve access to education and training, and address gender biases, they aim to bridge the digital gender divide and unlock the full potential of women in the digital economy.

Leveraging Unique Perspectives
Borong recognizes the unique perspectives and contributions that women bring to the technology landscape. “In bridging this digital gender gap and leveraging on the eCommerce industry, women across SEA would have the possibility to earn additional income that could boost local economies.” Lennise said.

Women’s diverse problem-solving approaches and experiences enrich the industry, driving innovation and driving social change.

By leveraging these insights, the platform curates programs and services tailored to the needs of women-led businesses, empowering them to succeed in the competitive business landscape.

“On Borong’s side, we will keep doing what we do best – invest more in driving awareness and education by working with stakeholders to address gender and social norms, empowering girls through education in STEM, and providing more digital and financial access to women-led businesses for easier adoption.” Lennise added.

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