9 March 2023

CSW67 Virtual side event


Disrupting the gender digital divide.





UNDP and UNICEF coorganized a virtual side event at the 67th session of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW67) addressed the challenges faced by women and girls in accessing and participating in STEM fields. The event presented the UNDP-UNICEF STEM4ALL digital platform that leverages technology to bring people together for peer exchange, learning and collaboration to empower women and girls in STEM.

Panelists shared their experiences, best practices, and ideas on how technology can be further leveraged to promote gender equality in STEM. A set of recommendations were developed as calls for action for governments, private sector, educators, the donor community and civil society to address current gaps.

You can find Melek Pulatkonak's slide deck here.

Moderator:  Amy Peck, Founder and CEO of EndeavorVR

Amy Peck is the Founder & CEO of EndeavorXR, a leading global XR strategy & consulting firm. She is one of the world’s foremost experts on immersive technology, the Metaverse, Web 3.0 and Blockchain. She is a recognized futurist and thought leader and speaks globally on emerging technology and innovation. She advises Fortune 500 companies, government entities, digital media/production companies and tech startups on The Metaverse, XR strategy, tech-forward digital transformation and the Future of Work. Amy was recently named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Tech for 2023 and Top 100 Women of The Future which is also being published as a book and series of NFTs. Amy is an angel investor and Venture Partner at the CRXR Accelerator. Amy is on the Board of Advisors for multiple companies and is Co-chair of Prospera Women, a global organization supporting female-led startups. She participates as a business and technology coach and mentor for many global organizations and is a member of several Women in Tech, venture-backed accelerators & STEM Education programs. Her own personal mission is to see technology accessible to all - fundamentally improving every aspect of our lives and elevating the way we work, learn, communicate and play. 

Confirmed Panelists:

Ms. Ana Nakashidze, CEO of AzerTelecom 

Ms. Nakashidze has over 20 years of extensive experience in the telecommunications industry. Before her appointment to the position of Chief Executive Officer of AzerTelecom in 2020, she served as a Deputy of CEO on Operations at AzerTelecom. Prior to her appointment at AzerTelecom, she has served as a Deputy CTO at “Geocell”, Director at “Opennet” and “KeraGroup”, Chief Technology Officer at “Silknet” JSC, Head of Universal Service Department as well as an Advisor to the Chariman at Georgian National Communications Commission in Goergia. She served various consulting positions locally and international with local and international institutions, such as World bank, EC, Open Society, etc. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in “Telecommunications engineering” from Georgian Technical University.

Ms. Anel Fuller, UniSat Nanosatellites Programme Participant in Kazakhstan

Anel Fuller is a multi-talented individual with a diverse set of interests. When she's not drawing or reading, you can find her exploring her passions for marine biology, programming, and literature and roller skating. Ms. Fuller had the incredible opportunity to participate in the UniSat program, where she joined forces with other girls to build and launch a nanosatellite from scratch. This experience allowed her to see the limitless potential available for girls in aerospace engineering and STEM fields. Through her involvement with Unicef programs, Ms. Fuller gained invaluable knowledge, skills, and international friendships that boosted her confidence and personal growth.

Ms. Donjeta Sahatçiu, Deputy Mayor - Prishtina Municipality

Deputy Mayor Sahatçiu is the first woman deputy mayor of Prishtina covering women's empowerment, the green and digital agenda, education, youth, public service, culture and social welfare.  As a former tech CEO, Donjeta has a profound understanding of how technology and digital solutions can transform the way organizations work in providing better services. Her 15 years of experience in driving people towards agile processes in the tech industry is now helping her bring public servants together for making the city safer and smarter for the citizens of Prishtina, with a special focus on women. Deputy Mayor Sahatçiu is a member of Kosovo Women in STEM Network and a Digital Transformation Certified Expert who has served as the Board Chair of the Kosovo ICT Association (STIKK) during 2018-2022. She has also chaired the board of the first entrepreneurship and innovation center at the largest public universities for two mandates with the goal of introducing STEM as a potential career to girls pursuing higher education.

Ms. Melek Pulatkonak, Founder of Turkish Women's International Network

Ms. Pulatkonak is a TEDster, entrepreneur, and change maker.  She founded the Turkish Women's International Network (TurkishWIN) in 2010, which gathers open-minded and open-hearted women with cultural, professional, and family ties to Turkey to build a legacy in supporting the next generation of Turkish women and to meet women with a passion for changing the ratio to know she is no longer alone in this journey. Million Women Mentor movement is one of the giveback programs of TurkishWIN. Launched in 2021, the Million Women Mentors program, dubbed Milyon Kadına Mentor in Turkish, connects private, public and NGO sector leaders with young women (15-25 year old) for mentorship opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.  Starting in March 2023, the movement includes non-STEM fields and leaves no young woman behind or without a chance to find a mentor. Currently, over 850 mentor and and 140 organizations joined forces to reach 1 million mentoring connections in 10 years.   Before becoming a full-time social entrepreneur, Melek Pulatkonak worked at Microsoft’s Global Startup Business Team. Before that, she was the Deputy GM at Microsoft Turkey responsible for Developer and Platform Evangelism. Prior to moving back to Turkey for Microsoft, Melek was the President & COO of Hakia, a semantic technology company in New York where the company received $25 million in funding. Before her tech entrepreneurship journey, she held various roles in the finance sector in New York, from advising the Istanbul Stock Exchange Chairman to ADR researcher as the Research Associate at the New York Stock Exchange. Melek Pulatkonak has an MBA from the Columbia Business School and a B.Sc. degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

CSW67 Side Event:  Disrupting the Gender Digital Divide