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Women and technology

bMobile's Naresha Ali Belmonte talks tech with participants at the Women in Lead
bMobile's Naresha Ali Belmonte talks tech with participants at the Women in Leadership conference

At the recent Women in Leadership Series, presented by Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business and held at the Trinidad Hilton, it was evident how much female executives depended on their smartphones and how much they use technology to balance their professional and personal lives.

The conference, which featured US-based internationally known business coach Libby Gill and co-sponsored by bMobile, was attended by over 300 professional women from companies representing a diverse range of local industries.

At one table the conversation piece was about apps and how useful they are in our busy lives and how ultra productive we had become with the ability to phone, email, instant message and more. According to the latest stats by the mobile analytics and advertising company APSALAR, women lead the way in the world of apps. They install 40 percent more apps than men, buy 17 percent more paid apps and spend 87 percent more on apps. As such, makers of apps are now being guided to appeal to women in order to have staying power in the market.

The study also found that while men used apps related to business, games, navigation, travel, health and fitness, women were more interested in social media, news, productivity, lifestyle, and books.

The busy executive or professional, profiles that fit most of the women who attended the Women in Leadership conference, is short on time yet still wants to enjoy the things she loves.  Using apps on a daily basis brings greater balance and order to her life.

Complementing the aims of the conference B-Mobile showcased a booth with the theme “Women and Technology – Apps for Good Living”, featuring the latest smartphones, affordable service plans and some useful information on a variety of apps suitable for  women juggling a hectic career, family and  extracurricular interests.

 ComScore , a   global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics, projected back in 2010 that women would have a great impact on the mobile space once barriers like access to smart devices and easy data connectivity were eliminated, noting "Once women connect, they engage; once they engage, they embrace; once they embrace, they drive. And that's the future." With the launch of 4G and bZones and making the world’s best smart devices available, bmobile has made new tools available for women to empower themselves.

People like Neresha Ali-Belmonte are living that future. Naresha, bMobile’s marketing manager is also a mother and says her job takes her out of office quite often but like most women her smartphone, loaded with the right apps, makes it easy for her to keep up with all that is taking place in and out of the office.

“These days a person doesn't have to be in an office to do business. You could be in your home or at a conference like this and still do most of what you have to get done. Additionally the many bZone hotspots across the country have become an additional office for some. This connectivity coupled with a variety of productivity, social networking and entertainment apps makes it even easier for the serial multitasking woman." 

“The combination of smart device, apps and connectivity has given users an unprecedented level of empowerment in all spheres of life – professional, social and personal. On the one device you can get work email, apps for managing your finances and health as well as school updates for parents.”

When it comes to handsets, none stand out as being more woman-friendly than others Ali-Belmonte said.

"Women choose handsets based on their personal tastes then they customise to suit, by adding the apps that they want or physically changing the appearance of the handset with eye catching accessories."

Arlene Holman, Senior Communication and Events Analyst at bMobile, agree that apps certainly enhance her lifestyle. She uses the “Flipboard” app to pull the tech and world news that she cares about since the topics covered are aggregated based on her pre-selected interests.  She also swears by the “Simply Wine” app for ideas on what wine works best with what food, which comes in handy for professional or social meetings over dinner.  

According to ComScore, women are actively engaged in the information age through e-commerce, social networking and family and personal improvement sites “but for their own reasons, in their own way and on their own terms.” Providing the technology tools they desire is one way of providing them and all users with a key to unlocking their full potential.