Women in Identity, champion of diversity in digital identity, launches Singapore chapter
SINGAPORE – Non-profit organisation Women in Identity (WiD), which champions diversity in the digital identity sphere, launched its Singapore chapter on Friday (Aug 28)with a virtual event.
Digital identity is a subset of the digital industry centred on the use of personal information to access public- and private-sector services.
During the event, Second Minister of Finance Indranee Rajah gave the keynote speech and took part in a panel discussion on the challenges in attracting women to Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers and the importance of digital identity.
Ms Indranee, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has “turbo-charged” the speed of digitalisation here, citing how working from home, shopping online and ordering food to be delivered are the new normal.
“All of these moves lead to the importance of having a digital identity. To digitalise successfully, we need a digital identity that can be used widely and securely.
“A national digital identity (NDI) helps to catalyse business innovations, and brings convenience to citizens and businesses,” she said.
She also noted that having a digital identity has been beneficial in the ongoing pandemic, as apps such as SafeEntry and TraceTogether help in contact-tracing efforts for Covid-19 infections.
The Covid-19 crisis has also shown the need to ensure everyone is part of the digital growth, she added.
“The global lockdown and our own circuit breaker put a spotlight on this. We saw how seniors, or the less educated or those from low-income households, had a much harder time than those who were digitally equipped and digitally savvy.”
She also said the Singapore chapter would “contribute greatly to ensuring that women are right up there in the vanguard of those with digital identity.”
In the panel discussion, she addressed privacy concerns about the TraceTogether app, saying the Government collects information on individuals only if the need arises, like if a close contact tests positive for Covid-19.
On the paucity of women in the corporate and technology sector, Ms Rama Sridhar of Mastercard noted that as it is a prominent issue for many progressive organisations, “we should see change in the coming years”.
She is Mastercard’s Asia Pacific Executive Vice President of digital & emerging partnerships and new payment flows.
Ms Indranee added that it was important to attract girls to Stem from an early age, by actively guiding them when they make choices, like the combination of subjects to take in secondary school s and the careers to pursue.
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