Women in Lebanon redefining tech leadership

By Ornella Najem, Communications Officer, UNDP Lebanon

Posted June 27, 2022
Girl next to a banner
Photo credit: UNDP Lebanon/ Rana Sweidan

“The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector has been male-dominated for decades, and it is time we close this gap,” expressed Janeth Tawk, 31-year-old managing director of Greybell.

When Janeth returned to Lebanon, her country of origin, in 2013, she was on the lookout for a business idea that would fit the ever-evolving world of technology and bring together the promising skills of young women and men in her hometown.

Soon afterwards, she co-founded Greybell, a software development company based in the Bcharreh District of the North Governorate in Lebanon.

“Initially, we created 15 job opportunities in the village; with your support, our team grew to 30 professionals out of which 17 are women,” Janeth told us. “We also expanded by opening another branch in Beirut and a social media department,” she added.

Women infront of a computer
Photo credit: UNDP Lebanon/ Rana Sweidan

To support women’s innovative business ideas, empower their economic participation, and enhance their integration into non-traditional roles, UNDP, through the Government of Canada, trained and equipped 52 women-led businesses across the country.

“Women aren’t considering technology careers because no one is putting it forward as an option for them. I am a firm believer, however, that they can excel in any field,” Janeth said.

Greybell’s talent sourcing has offered local youth and people with disabilities an opportunity to learn and become key drivers of business development.

Young man
Photo credit: UNDP Lebanon/ Rana Sweidan

“Working through the computer, I am proving that my physical disability doesn’t limit my skills and capabilities,” Christopher Abou Lahoud, 22-year-old web developer.

 

PWD

“I have faced challenges when applying for work due to my disability. Greybell believed in me, coached me and I now have a full-time job-” Hanan

Photo credit: UNDP Lebanon/ Rana Sweidan
Young man

" I stayed in my hometown, close to my family and friends because of this opportunity-” Nadim, 25-years-old

Photo credit: UNDP Lebanon/ Rana Sweidan

Amidst a challenging socio-economic situation, Janeth and her team are brushing aside the hurdles, breaking stereotypical perceptions, reinforcing sustainable tech-driven economic growth in their rural area, and proving to the world that inclusive SMEs are the real engine of national economic recovery and rebuilding.

Photo credit: UNDP Lebanon/ Rana Sweidan