Needless to say, to close the gender equality gap in most economic, political and technological fields is still an imperative pending task in 2017.

However, this International Women’s Day, we celebrate those influential females, who have been working towards women’s empowerment and gender parity in three areas where we work: tech, elections and consulting.

This year’s IWD theme #Beboldforchange calls on everyone to take action and to celebrate women leadership in our spheres of influence. Improving women participation in tech is a cause close to our heart. Thus, we would like to recognize and bring attention not only to our superb colleagues but also to some hardworking females, who have accelerated change in election technology, electronic voting and e-Democracy.

  1. Dr Rebecca Mercuri, a computer scientist specializing in computer security and computer forensics. Mercuri is known for the Mercuri method,’ a version of a voter-verified paper audit trail. Her advocacy work has directly influenced the wording of state, federal, and international election legislation as well as standards and best practices guidelines.
  2. Dr Brigalia Bam, former Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa. Current member of the International Elections Advisory Council. She had served as a member of the International IDEA, Institute of Global Dialogue, the All Africa Council OF Churches and Unisa. Bam has expressed the idea that “the use of technology in elections is not just a technical issue, it is becoming a public policy matter.”
  3. Dr Nadja Braun Binder, a Research Fellow at the German Research Institute for Public Administration Speyer. She worked for the Swiss Federal Chancellery from 2001-2011 as a legal adviser in the Section of Political Rights (the Swiss electoral management body on the national level) and project manager of the Swiss e-voting project and then as head of the Legal Section. Her research and consulting interests include e-government and e-voting from a legal as well as from an administrative science point of view.
  4. Ardita Driza Maurer (Doctorand), a legal consultant in political rights, electoral legislation and new voting technologies. She has worked on e-voting since 2006 when she joined the internet voting project at the Swiss Federal Chancellery initially as a member and later as a director. She has contributed to drafting regulations and soft-law instruments on e-voting; planning, launching and supervising the e-voting channel; monitoring compliance with national and international standards and good practice. She participates in ongoing work on e-voting at the Council of Europe.
  5. Barbara Simons, a computer scientist, founder and former Chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). A critic of unauditable electronic voting, she is generally credited as a key player in getting the US League of Women Voters to change its stance on this issue. She was a member of the National Workshop on Internet Voting and co-chaired the ACM study of state-wide databases of registered voters. She is on the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
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5 women who have been bold for change in election technology