An SDG Pioneer for Women’s Digital Empowerment

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Sonia Bashir Kabir, Managing Director at Microsoft Corporation, advocates digital literacy for Bangladeshi women to help them participate more fully in the IT workforce.

Microsoft, through its partners, has trained women in digital literacy and provided microcredit loans to women to start IT businesses. It has mentored 600 interns/students to solve real world problems by using technology. One programme educates women who are residents of villages to repair computers in their homes, which enables them to earn an income. This model takes the women from education to employability to entrepreneurship.

As the Country Manager of Microsoft Bangladesh, Sonia has partnered with donor agencies, banks, telecommunications companies and the student community to mobilize and grow Microsoft’s initiatives. She has worked to provide microloans to women to create IT businesses. In 2016, Sonia’s efforts were recognized by Microsoft and she was awarded their Microsoft Founder Award.

She was also appointed by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the Governing Council of the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries (LDC). She is recognized for integrating seven Global Goals into her business practices and strategies: no poverty; quality education; gender equality; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation and infrastructure; reduced inequalities; creating partnerships to meet the Goals.

Sonia serves as Vice President and Co-founder of Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT), Board Member for the Bangladesh Employers Federation, and Founding President of TiE Dhaka, a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring and entrepreneurship.

About Sonia Bashir Kabir

Sonia Bashir Kabir is a Managing Director for Microsoft Bangladesh and Board Director and Co-founder of D Money, a financial technology sector start-up. Sonia advocates digital literacy for women, and has let programs increasing women’s participation in the IT workforce. Through Microsoft she has worked to provide microloans to women to found IT businesses.

Sonia is also dedicated the transformative power of education. She serves on boards of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the Business and Computer Science Schools of North South University and the Business School of the Independent University Bangladesh.