Working for a tech firm, I find many opportunities to delve into the impact that our work has on the globe today. As a technology advocate, I recognise our pivotal role in translating ideas into impactful outcomes by leveraging technology to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Technology drives SDG realisation through data analytics, IoT, and AI, enabling informed decision-making and resource optimisation.

The world today is challenged for productivity with sustainability. The integration of technology with operations and logistics drives positive environmental, social, and economic outcomes and brings efficiency to our normal day-to-day business. Talking about technology driven sustainable practices, we come across initiatives like green energy solutions, resource-efficient manufacturing, and smart infrastructure.

Technology is here to stay, with a crucial role in promoting the circular economy by facilitating the exchange, reuse, and recycling of products through digital platforms. Smart cities would be utilising IoT devices, sensors, and data analytics, addressing infrastructure, digital water waste management, monitoring, and managing water resources effectively, along with adding connectivity and online convenience is all respects.

A simple analysis of SDG 9 would help us realizse the interdependence of technology and sustainability emphasising the role of innovation and resilient infrastructure in sustainable development.

More than anything else, technology is instrumental in bridging the divide between urban and rural areas, fostering inclusive and equitable development. The aim is to create a conducive environment for both demographics. Internet connectivity is shrinking the world, if the number of satellites is anything to go by, efforts are now directed at expanding infrastructure to the farthest corners to bring the entire globe on one page of digital logistics – practically closing the facilities and literacy gap between urban and rural areas, for a more inclusive and connected society.

Partnerships are essential for catalysing collective action, mobilising resources, and fostering innovation toward achieving the ambitious agenda set forth by the Sustainable Development Goals.

Talking of telemedicine, one impactful partnership is GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, dedicated to children’s vaccination worldwide. It’s a public-private partnership focusing on increasing access to vaccinations in underdeveloped and developing countries. GAVI exemplifies how technology helps bridge the digital divide through collaborative efforts.

Technology has played a significant role in reshaping the landscape of women’s empowerment in several ways. The quest for inclusiveness that surpasses the numerical balance in the room is another fast-changing realm, thanks to technology.

Digital platforms have notably eased the lives of female members by granting access to education and enabling remote work and economic opportunities, addressing challenges that previously hindered their participation in traditional office settings due to health or other reasons. The concept is not merely economic but extends to feeling respected, empowered, and included in the overall organisational culture, and this has become interwoven with the organizational need for creativity and unique perspectives. Technology indeed holds immense potential in empowering women globally.

Ensuring inclusivity involves actively addressing barriers to participation and creating environments where everyone, regardless of gender or other characteristics, feels welcome, valued, and able to contribute fully.

In the context of technology, this means considering how policies, practices, and systems can be designed to promote gender equality and ensure that the benefits of technological advancements are accessible to all.

Addressing online harassment and encouraging women’s participation in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are crucial steps. Becoming catalysts for breaking gender barriers and promoting equality requires leveraging digital platforms to set examples and reach out to those who may not have the same privileges. Inclusivity, of course, goes beyond gender into the vast field of talent, skills, disabilities, and different abilities. The organisations now need a perfect blend of talent from across the globe, and thanks to their tech prowess, can afford to do that. This world has no barriers, geographical, lexicological, or otherwise.

The challenges persist despite noticeable changes, especially as women progress to senior levels where stigma and stereotypes still linger due to lack of representation. Mentorship programs play a pivotal role in this journey.

Successful women in tech, serving as role models can provide guidance and inspiration, showcasing possibilities and opportunities in the field. However, there is a collective responsibility to encourage girls from an early age to engage with STEM subjects. While progress has been made in this regard, companies need to implement inclusive hiring practices and establish supportive work environments.

Each person plays a vital role in contributing to the attainment of the SDGs. Moving away from our comfort zones and actively participating in initiatives aligned with these goals becomes essential. It’s not merely a responsibility for corporations; it’s a collective responsibility for humanity.

The article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Business Recorder or its owners

Naila Sabahat

The writer is Account Director at SAP Pakistan

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