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Digital Frontiers Institute, Omidyar Network commit to increase women’s roles in the digital identity sector

Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI) is offering 20 full scholarships for female candidates in DFI’s Digital Identity online certification course, with support from Omidyar Network. Increasing gender representation in the rapidly expanding digital identity sector and the roles they play in the larger fintech ecosystems is a priority for South Africa-based DFI.

Fintech companies in Africa, in particular, are grappling with an underrepresentation of women in leadership roles. DFI’s 2017 Fintech Talent Africa report found that among 400 industry leaders and professionals, only 12.5 percent are women. Similarly, female-led fintech ventures are funded at a fraction of male-led ventures (less than 10 percent) globally. The scholarships will directly enable women from Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America to advance professionally with strong technical skills and networks.

“The digital identity sector needs a diverse set of perspectives to ensure that it empowers,” said Thea Anderson, director at Omidyar Network’s Digital Identity Initiative. “The women who will take this course will learn to create, issue, and regulate Good ID – that is, identity that empowers and protects individuals’ rights to privacy, security, and enables individual-control.”

Through the four-week online certification course, which begins 29th October 2018, students will:

  • Understand the core language and concepts of the digital identity field
  • Understand and learn to apply the principles of Good ID
  • Analyze public, public-private, and private models of digital identity
  • Evaluate types of digital identity systems for financial service providers
  • Develop digital identification strategies and explore linkages to the SDGs

“There is a reason that the Sustainable Development Goals now include provision for a ‘Leave No One Behind’ approach when it comes to identification,” said Debra Ogilvie-Roodt, Chief Commercial Officer at the DFI. “If we do not move quickly to address this challenge, the poor — and especially poor women — are going to get left behind in terms of services and access to the formal economy. Simply providing universal coverage of legal identification will not be enough. We need the right kinds of voices and people in decision-making positions, especially in a digital space, to ensure that the solution is of the highest quality and directly addresses the needs of the most vulnerable communities.”

DFI has trained 2 400 students in 18 cohorts across its seven courses over the last two years, including 60 in the beta digital identity course launched in May 2018. As alumni, the scholarship recipients will have immediate access to DFI’s community of industry professionals representing public, private, and development sectors in 60 countries through its online community “Switch” and to physical communities of practice established in 18 cities globally. Students represent more than 600 organizations in 85 countries.

For more information on applying for the scholarship programme, contact Debra Ogilvie-Roodt at debra@digitalfrontiersinstitute.org.

Cleo Turner
Cleo is DFI's CDFP coach and helps our students with the apply section of the Certified Digital Finance Practitioner (CDFP) program. As part of her role Cleo shares useful resources and insights from a wide variety of sources and authors with our community.

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