Grace Hopper Award: Motivation for girls who want an ICT career

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Daji Liparteliani attending the opening ceremony of Grace Hopper Award. Photo: TBC
Daji Liparteliani attending the opening ceremony of Grace Hopper Award. Photo: TBC
Daji Liparteliani attending the opening ceremony of Grace Hopper Award. Photo: TBC

“Women who work in technology need to make a lot of loud announcements to tell as many girls as possible that the future is in technology and that, if they like this field, they should take bold steps to achieve this goal,” says Daji Liparteliani, founder of ehotelspace.com, a successful technology start-up.

Daji, a 29-year-old lawyer by profession, later became interested in technology and decided to develop an online platform that would help hotels create their own websites and digitize their sales. Launching a start-up has not been easy: finishing the work on ehotelspace.com coincided with the beginning of the pandemic. “The hotel business, which was a potential user of the platform, was particularly affected at the time,” explains Daji, “and we too found ourselves in a difficult situation, but my team and I did not lose our enthusiasm. We continued to work, and today we already serve more than 150 hotels. With the help of our online platform, our hotel clients digitally generate sales themselves, thus saving on marketing costs.”

Daji Liparteliani, alongside her start-up, is one of the distinguished nominees of the Grace Hopper Award 2021, which was founded in 2021 by the USAID Economic Security Program in partnership with UN Women and TBC Bank, a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The initiative was created to represent people, organizations and projects that are taking active steps to empower women in technology. In addition, a special award for the competition was established by UN Women, and Daji Liparteliani became its first recipient last year.

UN Women awarded the young entrepreneur with the opportunity to join the Silicon Valley-based accelerator US Market Access Center and its Acceleration Program, as well as enrolment in an intensive training course. Daji has just completed the practical and theoretical trainings. She attended lectures from experts in the field and received advice from leaders of the most prominent international companies and from investors in the world’s most innovative technological ecosystem, Silicon Valley.

“We in Georgia are not very often given an opportunity to hear experiences directly from Silicon Valley field trainers,” Daji says. “During those meetings, we went through the step-by-step, detailed techniques for improving a start-up’s performance and presenting it to investors. Those were the most important days for my start-up.”

In parallel with the training, Daji shared her newly gained knowledge with her team and started working on interesting novelties for the development of the start-up. Now she also wants to inspire others with her own success story: “We, the women who are in technology today, should become role models for other girls. I want my work and this award that I received to fuel their motivation too.”

UN Women continues to support the Grace Hopper Award. Receipt of new nominations recently closed, and the winners will be announced in June. After granting its special award to Daji’s young start-up last year, UN Women will award a business company for its gender equality initiatives this time around and will present the winner with a media coverage package.

Increasing the involvement of women and girls in information and communications technology, including support for the Grace Hopper Award, is part of the UN Women project “Good Governance for Gender Equality in Georgia”, funded by the Government of Norway.