People & Society |
Male Champions of Change Institute / accelerateHER



Embargoed until: 13:15 Pacific Time / 21:15 BST on Tuesday 8 May 2018 and 06:00 AEST on Wednesday 9 May


Palm Desert, California, 8 May 2018: The leaders of 15 technology companies have launched a ‘Male Champions of Change’ strategy to accelerate development of the conditions and cultures necessary to enable women’s careers to thrive in the $3tn sector.

The strategy was announced to hundreds of technology leaders attending the Intel Capital Global Summit in Palm Desert, California by Male Champions of Change Institute Founder Elizabeth Broderick AO; Intel Capital President Wendell Brooks; accelerateHER’s Laura Stebbing and Poppy Gaye; and EQUALS, a global network made up of more than 50 partners, including its co-founder, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technology.  

The founding members of the Male Champions of Change Global Technology Group will include the Chief Executive Officers or senior leaders of Intel Capital, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures), the BBC, Blippar, BT Group, Conde Nast International, Henkelx, and Naspers. It will be chaired by Ms Broderick with additional Champions to be named this year. 

While it varies across countries, on average only 18 percent of undergraduate computer science degrees[1] and 26 percent of computing jobs are held by women. Just 5 percent of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women[2]. And in the high tech industry, the quit rate is more than twice as high for women (41 percent) than it is for men (17 percent)[3].

Speaking at the Summit, Ms Broderick said tech leaders recognise that the world of work is rapidly evolving, and the sector needs to change significantly to benefit from the vast talents of women, who make over half of the world’s employable workforce.

“Technology is driving exponential change across the globe and, in many cases, dramatic social, cultural and economic empowerment opportunities for women. Yet within the tech sector itself, women are sorely under-represented, and sadly, often rejected by a male-dominated system. This is unacceptable. It requires male leaders to step up beside women to better understand the underlying issues and together lead disruptive and constructive change.

“The Male Champions of Change strategy engages men of power to work in partnership with women to achieve gender equality and accelerate the advancement of more women into leadership positions. There is no global sector where this is more important to women’s future, and our future, than tech,” said Ms Broderick.

Intel Capital President Wendell Brooks, who is also Senior Vice President of Intel Corporation, said a strong focus of the Male Champions of Change Global Technology Group will be creating more inclusive workplace environments for women. 

“We want to ensure smart, creative young women can see themselves delivering leading tech solutions in the future or becoming CEOs of world-class tech organisations,” he said. “Women are not advancing at the same rate as men in our industry, and part of it unfortunately is systemic bias - conscious or unconscious.” 

His organisation, through its Intel Capital Diversity Initiative, has invested more than $125 million since 2015 in tech startups led by women and other under-represented groups. 

“The old excuses simply don’t wash anymore,” said Brooks. “With my Champions of Change colleagues, working side-by-side with women leaders in our sector, we intend to change that system to create equal, respectful and inspiring working environments for everyone.”

Poppy Gaye and Laura Stebbing, co-CEOs of accelerateHER, a solutions-based organisation part of the Founders Forum Group addressing the under-representation of women in tech, reinforced the business value of gender parity.   

“In an industry like technology where innovation is essential to survival, the diversity of opinions and experiences gender parity offers is a competitive advantage. The companies and investors integrating more women into leadership positions and working harder to identify women entrepreneurs on the rise will unlock significant value, creating inclusive, resilient businesses that are more profitable over the long term. The Male Champions of Change strategy is disruptive and will equip more tech leaders with useful tools curated from the private and public sectors for realising this value by addressing the under-representation of women in their organisations or investee companies.” 

The Male Champions of Change group includes private and public-sector actors, like EQUALS, to build a comprehensive program that also considers the socio-economic development potential digital gender equality creates. EQUALS co-founded by ITU, UN-Women, the International Trade Centre, GSMA and the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society, is setting the pace in this area by promoting awareness and building political commitment to support real action on a global scale in the areas of ICT access, skills, leadership and research. 

“ITU is committed to bridging the digital gender divide, by bringing women to tech - and bringing to women around the globe the life-changing resources available through digital connectivity,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “As part of this commitment, ITU co-founded the EQUALS global partnership, and we are pleased to join it and others in support of the Male Champions of Change initiative.”

The Male Champions of Change Global Technology Group is actively onboarding new members with the goal to reach 30 ahead of its first meeting, which will be held at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2019 by accelerateHER. It will be supported by EQUALS, in partnership with the Australia-based Male Champions of Change Institute. 


Notes to Editors:

About Male Champions of Change Institute 
The Male Champions of Change Institute is a not for profit organisation working with influential leaders to redefine men’s role in taking action on gender inequality. It activates peer groups of Male Champions of Change, supports them to step up beside women and drives the adoption of actions across the private, public, education, sport, community service and government sectors. More than 170 leaders are now engaged in the strategy, including the newly-established Global Technology group. The MCCs identify, lead and advocate broadly for disruptive positions to achieve gender equality within their organisations and collectively at an industry or societal level.  The MCC initiative is gaining international recognition as a high-impact model for engaging men of power and influence to drive progress on gender equality. It has been profiled by the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment as an opportunity for global scaling. 

About Intel Capital
Intel Capital invests in innovative startups targeting artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, workload accelerators, 5G connectivity, virtual reality and a wide range of other disruptive technologies. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested US $12.2 billion in 1,520 companies worldwide, and more than 650 portfolio companies have gone public or been acquired. Intel Capital curates thousands of business development introductions each year between its portfolio companies and the Global 2000. For more information on what makes Intel Capital one of the world’s most powerful venture capital firms, visit or follow @Intelcapital.

About accelerateHER
accelerateHER is a global centre of excellence for addressing the underrepresentation of women in the technology industry. Part of Founders Forum, a network of the world’s leading digital and technology entrepreneurs, accelerateHER works with the brightest and most inspirational digital founders, corporate CEOs and senior investors to provide the tools needed to remove barriers to and realise the value of gender parity. We test, measure, showcase best practice and share our learnings across the sector to help build more inclusive and profitable technology businesses. 

EQUALS is a ground-breaking global network delivered by a committed partnership of corporate leaders, governments, non-profit organizations, communities and individuals around the world working together to bridge the digital gender divide - by bringing women to tech, and tech to women - and in so doing, bettering the lives of millions worldwide. EQUALS was founded in 2016 by five partners: the International Telecommunications Union, UN Women, the International Trade Centre, GSMA and the United Nations University.

For more information or to arrange an interview with:
  • Elizabeth Broderick AO, Founder of Male Champions of Change Founder and UN Special Rapporteur
  • Poppy Gaye or Laura Stebbing, Co-CEOs of accelerateHER

Please contact: