Creating equal opportunity for women is a cause important to Misha Malyshev, both within his work as CEO of Teza Technologies and within his philanthropic involvement around the world. The month of March is a significant time to celebrate the cause and highlight the need for more action to end gender inequality. March is National Women’s History Month, dedicated to highlighting American women’s contributions to history and continued achievements in politics, business, the arts, culture and other areas of modern society. International Women’s Day also falls during the month, on March 8th. The holiday, observed by the United Nations and the global community, similarly celebrates women’s social, cultural and economic achievements and is a call to action for gender parity, women’s rights and an end to gender-based violence and inequality worldwide.
A major focus of Dr. Malyshev’s philanthropic involvement is working with organizations that create educational and economic opportunities for women and girls. In the U.S., Misha Malyshev is a regular sponsor for Girls Do Hack, an annual event that teaches girls about STEM careers. He also serves on the global leadership council for buildOn, a nonprofit organization that works to empower youth in urban areas in the U.S. and constructs schools in some of the poorest areas in the world. BuildOn also serves as an example of an organization that has prioritized gender parity within their core mission.
Nearly a quarter of young women in developing nations have not completed primary school, and two-thirds of illiterate adults in the world are women. Educating and empowering women and girls has become a strategic priority within all of buildOn’s work across the globe. For every school that is constructed, the buildOn team works with the support of community members and leaders. The local community also agrees to educate an equal number of girls and boys in each buildOn school. BuildOn provides Adult Literacy Classes to teach adults basic literacy and math skills, and more than three quarters of students in these classes are women. These classes help women achieve greater independence, enhance their earning potential and improve opportunities for their children and families.
More recently, buildOn partnered with In A Perfect World to launch several new programs aimed specifically at elevating the status of women worldwide. With their #StrongerTogether campaign, they are working to break the cycle of poverty and further empower women in developing areas. Part of this initiative is a newly-launched apprenticeship program in which women are given the opportunity to shadow workers during buildOn school-building projects and learn construction skills. Women who go through the program will also have the opportunity to be hired as a member of the buildOn skilled labor team. The organization is also helping develop female leaders to serve in their local communities as part of buildOn’s leadership team. So far, there are three female Country Directors who work as ambassadors between communities in their home country and buildOn’s global team.
Each year, the UN designates a campaign theme for International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”, calling for gender parity by 2030. Spreading awareness using the hashtag #PledgeForParity, the campaign calls for equal inclusion of men and women in leadership and equal opportunity in government, business, education and all areas of life. Organizations like buildOn, their leadership body and global team, are carrying this mission into their day to day work, both during and beyond International Women’s Day.