In line with the celebrations for the International Women’s Month in March, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) will bring together women from ASEAN member states for a conference focused on Technology and Innovation. The Steering Committee is composed of representatives from the DTI, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and Women’s Business Council of the Philippines (WomenBizPH) in coordination with the ASEAN National Organizing Council (NOC).
As part of the ASEAN Business and Investment Program led by DTI, the event tagged as S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum for Women and Technology will be held on 16-17 March at the Microtel by Wyndham at the Mall of Asia in Manila. Delegates and speakers from the various ASEAN countries with representatives from Google and UPS are expected to be at the two-day event to give women more ideas about opportunities in careers centered on Technology and Innovation.
Studies have proven that women who pursue careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) are highly likely to earn 30% more income than in non-STEAM careers.
DTI, as a prime advocate of advancement of tech-driven businesses in the country, leads the conference as part of its SLINGSHOT program that aims to help the growth and development of the startup community in the Philippines.
ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) is a working group in ASEAN composed of women entrepreneurs and associations working to promote women’s economic empowerment in the region. The Philippines currently chairs AWEN which has a network of almost a hundred organizations in the 10 ASEAN member states.
USAID-ACTI, the co-sponsor of the Conference, supports AWEN’s policy advocacy plans to empower women through business and enterprise and to improve access to finance and markets. It also organized the network of women in 2014 and sees through its projects for sustainable action plans for regional integration through technology.
AWEN was first chaired by Vietnam until May 2016 when the leadership was turned over to the Philippines for the period 2016-2018. It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and Philippines as the host country. ASEAN-BAC headed by Philippines Chair Joey Concepcion, supports AWEN in all its activities in line with its private sector engagement.