Fujn might be one of the few tech startups, if not the only startup, exhibiting at GITEX AFRICA 2023 (https://GITEXAfrica.com/) with 10 women coming from 6 countries and 4 continents. It is a privilege for us to be representing women in a significant way and in a historic technology event inaugurated for the first time in the African continent. Fujn is headquartered in Boston, USA. It is a tech startup designed by women, built by women, developed by women, executed by women, and funded (bootstrapped) by women, for women’s future of work. Fujn is founded in 2022, operates with a team of 20 women across 10 countries. Our upskilling platform has 5,000 women actively learners. Our community has 100,000 women living in 22 countries. So far, the most traction we have received, is in Africa and Southeast Asia. We have launched 6 services as of today and have 10 additional services to follow. We are fusing upskilling, work, and life of women, seamlessly. Hence, the word Fujn, which stands for fusion.
When we had the idea, a few years ago, to tackle the future of work of women, generative AI was not yet in the public spotlight. However, we knew then that the digital adoption has only one expected trajectory, which is becoming mainstream, across the globe. At that moment, we understood that the AI genie was out of the bottle, and no one could stop it. We can only manage it, be innovative about it, and implement sensible guardrails for the good of humans. We only knew that we must work harder and smarter to direct this zeitgeist to a positive outcome. The mission we have chosen is to help women thrive, with or without AI.
Fujn is honored to be taking on the role of representing women in a prominent technology conference, such as GITEX AFRICA 2023. Technology has become the brain of all economies. And women represent 50% of the markets within these economies. We believe representation is a sign of civilization advancement. We are convinced that representation is the logical illustration of human rights and democracy. We pursue this mission of representing women in technology in a material way. By material, we mean to represent women in the GITEX AFRICA 2023 event as tech founders, tech architects, tech investors, tech strategists, and tech enthusiasts. We are traveling to Africa to tell our story. More importantly, we would like to inspire many more stories, even better than ours, to come. Our big picture is anchored on the belief that digitalization is women’s historic chance to achieve gender equity if they pursue it. Digital brings:
- Learning, upskilling, knowledge, and know-how to their homes
- Remote and flexible jobs, freelance, gigs, entrepreneurship to their homes
- Global mentors, career counselors, and experts’ guidance to their homes
- Role models in one big global ecosystem that will inspire them how to start and execute
- Funding, if the idea is solid and the business plan is convincing
Gender equity, if enacted well, is estimated to boost Africa’s economy with an additional 1 trillion dollars and the Moroccan economy with an incremental $150 billion, by the year 2025.
For Company Recruiters:
At Fujn, we are working and hoping to build both a culture and a community of women who are self-aware but selfless, ambitious but balanced, expert but well-rounded in knowledge. We are working to inspire women to strive for a high IQ, but also for a high EQ. And now we are also aware of a thing called AQ, which stands for Adaptability Quotient. This word emerges with the shift happening in the future of work, accelerated with generative AI. AQ means workers must quickly adapt or inevitably become irrelevant. Fujn has a community of over 100,000 women from diverse backgrounds, educational levels, specialties, and expertise. Fujnistas, as we address our users, are doctors, architects, attorneys, scientists, psychologists, sociologists, creatives, artists, and engineers… Our community is growing fast, and we are offering recruiters access to a large pool of women talent with a high self-drive and a growth mindset that would advance any organization. Recruiters get many benefits from hiring women. They get the talent they require and the diversity they need. They get a workforce that represents 50% of their market who starts thinking with them, designing products with the right market fit for women, articulating messages that resonate with women, and setting HR policies that suit the non-linear lives of women thereby ensuring productivity, sustainable diversity, and the company’s long-term performance.
When we talk about a tech startup working on gender equity, it is helpful to give the context of this business. Typically, investors do not pay enough attention to understand how investing in startups like ours has a double benefit: the potential for a high IRR and ROI plus the positive social impact as an ESG business. Below are some data for Investors’ thoughts:
- As of March 2023, the Biden Administration has proposed the largest-ever US investment in gender equality programs, with US$3.1 billion for gender programs in FY2024. This budget proposal furthers the US administration’s aim to secure gender as a cross-cutting priority on both the domestic and global front.
- Assets in U.S. gender equity funds have doubled over the trailing three years to $1.3 billion, as of the end of February 2023, Morningstar found. Yet those funds represent less than 0.01% of total equity fund assets in the US.
- The total ODA disbursements related to gender equality amounted to $30 billion, with Germany, the EU, the US, the UK, and Canada as the top 5 donors.
- According to the UN, more than 100 countries have taken action to track budget allocations for gender equality.
We are a week away from the conference and are pleased to have piqued the attention of 15 investors who either invited us to meet or confirmed our request to meet them. The Fujn team cannot wait to tell these investors how we are executing our vision to build an insanely cool platform for an insanely cool mission of “enabling women to become economically independent skilled leaders.”
Human-Machine Equity (HME):
The time published on May 16, 2023: “Sam Altman, whose company is on the extreme forefront of generative AI technology with its ChatGPT tool, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and echoed his previous assertion that lawmakers should create parameters for AI creators to avoid causing “significant harm to the world.”
AI presents significant benefits but also momentous risks associated with many facets of the future: bias, democracy, security, wealth and power distribution, surveillance, freedoms….etc. However, the risk of jobs loss is the most obvious and imminent one:
- Goldman Sachs Predicts 300 million jobs will be lost or degraded by AI
- Oliver Wyman says 50 million Chinese workers must be retrained by 2030, as a result of AI-related deployment.
- The U.S. will be required to retool 11.5 million people with the skills needed to survive in the workforce.
- Wells Fargo says robots would eliminate 200,000 jobs in the banking industry in the next 10 years.
- Well-trained doctors could be pushed aside by sophisticated robots that could perform delicate surgeries more precisely and read X-rays more accurately to detect cancerous cells than the human eye.
This leads us to think: Women have requested, for a very long time, gender equity, because women’s lives are not the same as men’s. Hence, giving men and women the same treatment at work has been NOT equitable. Life’s mysteries are now calling us to advocate for EQUITY between men and women as humans versus intelligent machines. Here is why:
- Machines do NOT need to sleep and work 24/7
- Machines do NOT a vacation, fall sick, take sick leave, or need a social life
- Machines learn in weeks what humans learn in decades
- Machines do NOT demand a salary and benefits
- Machines do NOT require a corporate contribution to their retirement account
- Machines do NOT join unions
- Machines do NOT retire at their own discretion
Regulators, corporate leaders, legislators, activists, economists, and humanists, all have the duty to advocate for human-machine equity (HME) before it is too late. Fujn will continue to advocate for both, gender equity and Human-Machine equity (HME).
We are now working to explain how we want to cooperate with African governments to include women in the next wave of opportunities created by technology, and how to leverage technology to include women, in the economic fabric of societies. When we say include, we mean to include women in a structural way, not as an afterthought. We mean in all sectors, in all occupations, and in all levels of responsibilities starting from the top, not the bottom. We mean to include women in the design stage of everything, technology, legislation, policies, and strategies. We have high anticipation to explore partnership opportunities with participating inter-governmental agencies from Korea, Abu Dhabi, and Japan. We respect the work that the teams at Mastercard and OCP Group are doing in the areas of upskilling and women. It will be our privilege to join forces with them to transform the lives of some women for the better.
We are happy to share that Khadija Khartit, Fujn’s founder, will be speaking on behalf of Fujn team on the stage of GITEX AFRICA 2023 about two topics:
Panel 1-The Importance of Equality, Inclusion, and Diversity in Tech:
On this topic, She will be share her thoughts on the inclusion of women, immigrants, and minorities. She would like to raise awareness about the inclusion of the neurodiverse and the disabled as the mother of an autistic child and an advocate for special needs individuals. She also wants to raise awareness about the benefits of diverse expertise in tech design: humanities, art, law, social sciences, behavioral sciences, regulation, public administration….and more, in addition to hard science and tech expertise. Tech design done by cross-functional teams who consider eventual unintended consequences is a MUST with AI to avoid major harm to humans.
Panel 2- Building Technical Growth Communities for Women in Tech:
This topic is core to Fujn as our main mission is to help women “be in the know” about technology and to train them on how to leverage it to build minds, hearts, wallets, and better lives. We see technology as a magic tool for women to reimagine their possibilities. When the word technical is mentioned, some women get intimidated when they should not. Women can be senior directors in tech startups without knowing how to code, but it is a plus, if women code. Mrs. Khartit is hoping to inspire women to get curious, to immerse themselves in tech, its landscape, players, and lingo because, after that, their horizons will inevitably expand.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of GITEX Africa.