SWITCH SEA: Fostering diversity and gender empowerment in technical leadership of the Internet industry in Southeast Asia

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The project takes a gender-responsive and inclusive approach to provide education, training and mentoring for 100 women and LGBTQI+ engineers in Viet Nam, Thailand, The Philippines and Cambodia to help them advance their careers in the Internet industry.




The project aims to improve the knowledge and skills of 100 women and LGBTQI+ technical staff working on Internet network management and operations in Viet Nam, Thailand, The Philippines and Cambodia. The project will use a gender responsive and inclusive approach to improve project participant’s knowledge and skills across the following two areas and topics:

  • Network operations: Internet routing; Network security; Crisis/Disaster management; and Research.
  • Leadership and professional development: Project management; Management skills; Strategy and growth; Negotiation; and Public speaking


SWITCH SEA, which stands for Supporting Women in Internet Research Leaders in Southeast Asia, is a project of the APNIC Foundation aimed at supporting the professional development of women and LGBTQI+. engineers to improve gender diversity in the Internet profession.

The project was originally intended to implement a strategy that included face-to-face networking and training events as well as fellowships that involved international travel. In response to the COVID19 challenges, an updated project strategy will combine a range of online education, training and mentoring to support the ambitions of women and LGBTQI+ staff working in the sector, increase the visibility and recognition of their contributions to network operations research and development. The project will support 20 high-performing participants to receive additional support around technical research and publications.


Women and LGBTQI+ who work in Internet operations technical roles in Cambodia, Thailand, The Philippines, and Viet Nam are being empowered via increased professional visibility and more well developed professional network. They are also reporting increased recognition for their contributions to network operations Research and Development. There is also extensive training being offered to support their professional development.


Participants are engaged in training plans with some already receiving certification. In addition, they report improved participation in professional development activities. Participants are using an online platform to coordinate training activities and liaise with project coordinators, and have membership in the AnitaB professional development network.

At the time of the last progress report, 88% of participants had scheduled courses linked to their professional goals and over a fifth of participants had received certifications. Participants also reported much stronger understanding of the subject matter after program participation. All participants have signed up to the AnitaB professional network and at last progress report, over a third had signed up for mentoring sessions.


The project uses local coordinators in the four countries to coordinate with the 100 project participants.

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