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An Open Letter to Michelle Donelan MP

International Women’s Day — DigitALL: Innovation and technology for Gender Inequality for all

Dear Secretary of State for the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan MP,

We write to you as Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology to welcome you to this essential role and to highlight the importance of this work for gender equality. Leading the new department, you have the power to harness and create innovation and technology for gender equality for all, an area of priority and importance highlighted by the United Nations in their International Women’s Day celebrations today.

Beyond the department’s incredibly significant work on the Online Safety Bill, we bring to your attention the following areas:

  • The development of new technologies such as generative AI, which are producing and amplifying gender inequality through bias in data that AI is trained on — tools such as deepfake AI which are being weaponized against women and girls for abuse
  • The increasing online radicalisation of men and boys who are seeking good quality information on mental health, economic empowerment, fitness and relationships into misogynist violence against women and girls
  • The recruitment and retention of women in science, technology, engineering and maths, particularly Black and minoritised women, to address the gender and diversity imbalance within the UK tech sector

These are a few of the many areas in which attention must be given to ensure that the work of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has an embedded approach to advancing gender equality for all.

We are here to support you in this essential, innovative work and look forward to receiving your response detailing the innovative ways your department will ensure gender equality is considered in this work .

Yours,

Seyi Akiwowo

Founder and CEO of Glitch