Huawei chooses Spain to launch its first Women’s Academy for Rural Innovation in Europe

Women make up half of the world’s population, yet they continue to face structural challenges that unfairly prevent them from realizing their full potential.

In addition, in rural areas women face a double obstacle, for that reason Huawei has created the Women’s Academy for Rural Innovationan institution in which highly talented women from 15 European rural areas come together to acquire the necessary skills and tools to promote the digital age from the very rural areas in which they live.

Every year, on October 15, Europe and the world celebrate Rural Women’s Day. On the occasion of this special date, Huawei brings the first Women’s Academy for Rural Innovation in Europe to Castilla y Leónthe largest region in Spain and Europe.

Berta Herrero, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion of Huawei Europe and Director of the Academy points out that: “Women are essential to achieve an inclusive and solid digital transition. However, in rural areas they face a double problem: in addition to the gender gap, they also need to overcome the urban-rural gap. This latest challenge is an obstacle to equal opportunities throughout the European Union. For this reason we have created the Women’s Academy for Rural Innovation, following the numerous initiatives of female empowerment, digital inclusion and talent development that we have successfully developed in recent years. This unique and innovative program is designed to empower talented women from rural Europe to gain the necessary skills to shape digital transformation from the beauty of their own villages. Our goal is to definitively close the double gap that prevents women in rural and depopulated areas from becoming the leaders our world needs, and to make it easier for rural Europe to benefit from the endless opportunities that digitalisation offers.”

Tony Jin Young, Huawei’s main representative before the EU institutions, highlights that: “Huawei has been in Europe for 22 years. It is an integral part of the region’s innovation ecosystem and is a reliable partner in the green and digital transitions. In 2021, Huawei ranked second in the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. With R&D in our DNA, and our determination to leave no one behind in the digital age, we pay special attention to rural areas. For all these reasons, Huawei strongly supports the development of talent and digital inclusion.”

The 15 participants (each from a different EU Member State) will be selected by an independent jury and will receive a full scholarship to attend the programme. Applicants must be of working age, live in a rural area, and wish to create a positive impact and take advantage of new technologies to foster economic growth locally.

This project will focus especially on entrepreneurship and the use of new technologies in rural areas. It also covers the digitization of SMEs and the keys to access financing and ensure the sustainability of companies, exploring the potential offered by the latest innovations for a greener future. The program moves away from the traditional “classroom style” and delves into the different aspects of new technologies and the immense potential that innovation brings to rural areas, especially those at risk of depopulation. An innovative, enriching and attractive concept that combines high-level discussions with specific tutoring.

This edition of the 2022 Women’s Academy for Rural Innovation will take place between October 23 and 28 in different locations in Castilla y León, including the Parador de Gredos and Candeleda. Applications are open until September 27 and you can apply from here.

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