GS6 Speakers

Susheela Venkataraman

Susheela  Venkataraman, Gender Summit 6 Asia-Pacific speaker

Principal Director, Office of Information Systems and Technology (OIST), Asia Development Bank (ADB).

Putting the Heart back in Technology - through Gendered Research [VIDEO]
Plenary Panel 4: Building Public Aspirations for Socioeconomic Improvement through Gender-Based Technologies

Dr Susheela Venkataraman is the Principal Director of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Office of Information Systems and Technology. She is responsible for planning, implementing, and maintaining ADB’s communications and information technology platforms and systems. Dr. Venkataraman has led teams in major consulting firms, working for governments and multi-national corporations in many countries and industries for about three decades. Her engagements focused on enterprise and community transformation. She holds a PhD from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, with an MBA from the University of Delhi and a Master’s degree in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Summary of talk for Gender Summit 6 Asia-Pacific:

Whether for economic empowerment, health, maternal well-being and education, or personal growth and development, technology holds a promise for the betterment of women’s lives. However, this is not a new promise. Each wave of “ground-breaking” ideas – from archaic washing machines to today's digital gadgets – brings hopes and aspirations that have not necessarily been fully realized. As the increasing digital gender gap shows, men benefit disproportionately from new technologies and innovations. This results in a vicious cycle with an ever-widening gender gap. Just as technology can enhance the quality of life of women, it can still, just as strongly, reinforce gender roles. Gendered design is key to this dilemma. Technology innovations today must be appropriate to and considerate of women's needs and requirements. This requires corresponding innovations in thinking, analysis, design as well as the manner in which they are implemented. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recognizes this need. This presentation draws upon examples from within and outside ADB, revealing how gendered innovations unlock the potential of technology, as an agent for development.