Lim May-Ann highlights the importance of equity to unlock the value of data for our future




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On the occasion of International Women’s Day and its 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity, the Datasphere Initiative spoke to a range of policy professionals in the Datasphere Initiative’s global network, to ask them: why equity should be a core goal in policy and technical approaches to responsibly unlocking the value of data?

Lim May-Ann, Director, Fair Tech Institute, Access Partnership, and Emeritus Director of the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) shared her perspectives and identified specific actions that can be taken.

Read more about the campaign and other contributions here

One-sided. Unbalanced. Unfair. Invisible bias. Something is missing. These phrases have sometimes been used to describe technology and technical approaches in the internet and other next-generation technology space. Yet time and development march on unassailably on, and like the Y2K programming bug, we learn that it is more critical to identify and fix the problem before it becomes a problem. Different eyes and different perspectives are needed for this – and therefore equity must be a core goal towards unlocking the value of data for our future, and for future generations.

I am personally committed to developing and growing young professionals in their career paths, for both genders. I am part of a group of mentors at Advisory SG which matches mentor-seekers with senior professionals. In my work role at Access Partnership, I have a personal development programme that I offer to junior analysts that allow them to explore their personal interests in technology and data, and work with them to provide “taster sessions” for the various pathways they could take, so as to better chart out their professional trajectory. At Engineering Good, we work to empower all our volunteers with the technical tools they need to develop assistive technology that enables inclusive technology solutions to be created for persons with disabilities.

May-Ann is the Director of the Fair Tech Institute at technology consultancy firm Access Partnership, and is concurrently the Emeritus Director of the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA). She has worked extensively on technology policy development, including next-gen technology and data governance policies, digital economy, ICTs for development, cloud and data centre policy, data protection and privacy, as well as cybersecurity. She has worked with many global and regional organisations such as APEC, ASEAN, PECC, INTERPOL, UNIDIR, FELEBAN, and the ACCA on thought leadership development, government outreach, and stakeholder engagement efforts. A strong advocate for digital inclusion and sustainability, May-Ann volunteers as a young professionals mentor with Advisory Singapore, and is Chairman of the Board (2023-2024) for the nonprofit organisation Engineering Good, which focuses on assistive technology and digital inclusion of the underprivileged and disabled.

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