Case study

The role of benchmarking in improving the inclusion of women and girls in Tech

This case study examines how benchmarking has contributed to promoting more sustainable practices towards human rights issues in the technology industry. Through WBA’s Digital Inclusion Benchmark, the technology sector has undergone three iterations of being benchmarked, first in 2020, then in 2021 and more recently in 2023. During this time, WBA has measured improved performance by a number of companies on the indicator of digital inclusion of women and girls in tech. But what is WBA’s contribution to this improvement in business practices towards digital inclusion? Through interviewing a group of companies, Globe, Telefonica, Orange and Dell, who have all improved their scores since the first iteration, and two key stakeholders, the UN women and Women at the table, this case study details some of the mechanisms and processes with which WBA has supported digital companies. This includes the granularity of WBA’s datasets which compares companies in each sector.

The findings of the case studies increase our understanding of the process through which WBA’s outputs, including the publication and socialisation of methodologies and results, have contributed to companies changing behaviour and improving sustainable business practices related to human rights, i.e. the outcome level of WBA’s Theory of Change.

WBA hopes these examples will support other companies, both within the tech sector and beyond, with improving their disclosure and business practices towards human rights-related issues, such as digital inclusion of women and girls. Furthermore, we hope this report encourages companies to implement more effective monitoring systems to measure how their business activities improve the lives of key stakeholders across their value chains and in the societies in which these companies operate.

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