California Emerging Technology Fund Calls for Closing the Digital Gender Divide

For immediate release, contact Nadine Hugg, 415-744-2387, nadine.hugg@cetfund.org

California Emerging Technology Fund Calls for Closing the Digital Gender Divide

April 26, 2018

California Emerging Technology Fund President and CEO Sunne Wright McPeak will call on the 2018 Women's Conference today to stand for Digital Gender Equity in order to provide women equal access to educational and career opportunities.

California Women Lead is hosting the 2018 Women's Conference in Anaheim.  McPeak, who is a Director of the organization, will moderate the kick-off panel, Women Leading in Business, and ask for a deeper commitment by policymakers, lawmakers and regulators to eliminate digital inequities and empower all Californians with access to affordable high-speed Internet and opportunities to pursue careers in technology.

McPeak said she plans to spur discussion among attendees of the 2018 Women's Conference about how to elevate opportunities for women in the California workforce of the future.

"All women, whether young students or seasoned professionals, deserve equal opportunity to pursue their dreams. Careers in STEM are critical to join the technology revolution and be competitive in the global economy," McPeak said.  "It starts with having affordable high-speed Internet accessible to all residents and students, from urban neighborhoods to rural communities. We must all stand up for Digital Gender Equity.

The Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley found in a 2017 Statewide Survey on Broadband Adoption that 5 million Californians do not have access to broadband Internet and another 7 million are underserved.

McPeak said educational institutions, beginning in grade school, must work to ensure Digital Equity across California's schools.  Last year, the World Economic Forum wrote: "Most job growth will continue to come from STEM fields, yet only 12% of engineering students are women...Encouraging girls' STEM education from an early age and teaching digital literacy to women and girls are the first steps toward closing future gaps."

The conference, which runs from April 25-27, will feature more than 40 speakers.  Panel sessions will highlight topics including how women can be successful in business and government leadership roles, how to develop communications and networking strategies and advice for young women looking to grow their careers.

ABOUT CALIFORNIA EMERGING TECHNOLOGY FUND & SUNNE WRIGHT MCPEAK

Sunne Wright McPeak is the President and CEO of  California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to close the Digital Divide by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband.  With McPeak's vision and drive, CETF has positioned California as a national leader in closing the Digital Divide, initiating groundbreaking applications such as the California Telehealth Network, Digital Literacy, Smart Housing Policy, School2Home (to improve education), and Get Connected! (to drive adoption).For more information, visit www.cetfund.org.