EQUALS began in 2014 as a collaboration between ITU and UN Women. The GEM-TECH Awards, as EQUALS was initially called, sought to “create a platform for advancing women’s meaningful engagement with ICTs and their role as decision-makers and producers within this sector” by recognizing organizations that worked towards increasing women and girls’ presence in digital spaces, facilitating their access to new technologies and encouraging them to consider studies and careers in ICT.
In line with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), GEM-TECH donors realized that the programme needed a longer-term framework, not only to recognize trailblazers working to bring gender equality to the digital sector, but also to promote and provide institutional support to such work.

The roadmap to billions wasn’t designed for us, so we created our own. Now, we’re building community and profitable, scalable businesses for self-identified Black women in tech, together. Black Women Talk Tech is a collective of black women tech founders who have a unique understanding of the challenges we face and the advantages we bring in the industry. We’re here to identify, support and encourage black women to build the next billion dollar business.

Voices for Innovation (VFI) is a Microsoft-supported community of technology professionals and everyday Americans committed to advancing discussions about the most important technology policies. As citizen advocates, we champion public policies that foster innovation, support business growth, and enable technology to address societal challenges.

Arielle Roaring for Africa Ltd (ARFA) is a social enterprise with a heart for the youth and entrepreneurs in particular. The company was founded by three African women with a passion for creating employment in the African continent in 2018.
ARFA approaches training and supporting entrepreneurs in a unique way. We believe in providing a tailor-made curriculum based on the pain points of each entrepreneur. Each entrepreneur is different and thus we do not train them, coach them or support them the same.

Creative Children for Charity (3C) is a youth foundation run by youth for youth.
The Mission? To inspire one million kids and teens to donate their time and talent for a social cause.
And to date, 3C has donated over 11 thousand volunteer hours, worked with more than 6,500 youth, and supported over 17 nonprofits in the community.
3C creates 3 types of opportunities for kids:
1. Technology Programs such as #STEAM3D that allow kids to develop new skills
2. Entrepreneurship Events such as Seattle Acton Children’s Business Fair to empower youth to become entrepreneurs.
3. Service Projects that bring youth together to support non-profits.