Houlin Zhao
Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union
Houlin Zhao

ITU is working towards closing the gender digital divide through several initiatives, including the International Girls in ICT Day, EQUALs, the Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age, the EQUALS in Tech Awards, as well as the Broadband Commission Working Groups including one on the Digital Gender Divide. Internally, ITU recognizes that gender equality helps foster a more creative and effective organization which is linked to increased productivity and innovation. Much still remains to be done to achieve equal representation of women and men at all levels both in the sector and at ITU. It is with great pleasure as an Geneva Gender Champion, to further strengthen our efforts in the area and to work together to break down gender barriers.


I support the IGC Panel Parity Pledge.
  • I commit to extending the panel parity pledge as an organization-wide pledge; ITU will aim for balanced panels and avoid single-sex panels, and when someone else from ITU is invited to speak elsewhere, ITU will request gender representation in panels before accepting.

  • As Secretary-General of ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference taking place in Dubai this October, I commit to fully and actively encouraging balanced representation of women in delegations and in the key roles of chairs and vice chairs. Progress will be publically tracked and reported.