Women in Tech series: Bridging the gap with Digital Innovator Daisy Gladys Iteriteka
The Women in Tech series puts the spotlight on women who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital innovations across UNDP. By sharing these inspiring individual stories, we hope to encourage others to choose this path and spur gender equality in the digital sector.
This edition of Women in Tech series is focused on Digital Innovator, Daisy Gladys Iteriteka from UNDP Burundi. We spoke to her about the potential of using technology to scale-up development and how to get more women involved.
First joining UNDP and the Burundi Country Office in 2019, Daisy has split her time between the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit and the Digital Unit.
“Being part of two different teams means my duties are diverse, spanning analyzing and visualizing data, training partners in using data collection tools, and quality assurance (QA) of digital platforms for E-Governance and E-Commerce projects,” Daisy explained.
Daisy is also involved in the organization of the Burundi Innovation Week, an annual contest organized by the Burundi Government and UNDP. Using strategic innovation as an enabler to scale up development, in line with the UNDP Strategic Plan 2022–2025. The 2022 event, which concluded in December, was part of UNDP’s new initiative Burundi Youth Innovators, seeking to promote innovation and entrepreneurship for young people. The week included a ‘Youth Innovation Challenge’ encouraging 18–35 year olds to enter their innovation projects and ideas, with the 20 strongest receiving coaching and training over the coming year. Some of the finalist projects include a hydraulic pump which draws water without consuming fuel or electricity and a machine generating wind power.
Daisy is the only woman in the UNDP Burundi’s IT team. “I think cultural barriers and social norms do limit women’s access to the digital sector more generally, but this is especially so in Burundi where tech jobs are scarce, particularly for women.”
Daisy explains that she might not have entered the digital sector if she did not go abroad to study. It was while studying at the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation in Malaysia that Daisy was pleasantly surprised to see many women entering the digital sector. It motivated her to go in the same direction.
“As a woman in tech, I have many opportunities. For instance, In Asia women see the importance of technology, but here we do not have the same awareness. We need to encourage women to go into the digital sector, as this can support economic empowerment, increase competitiveness of female businesses and improve women’s professional position.”
As an ambassador of Google’s Women Techmakers, a programme which provides community and resources for women in technology, Daisy actively works to support gender equality in the digital sector by connecting women to resources and producing events to spread awareness about technology opportunities.