Mapping The Pacific, By Drone, For Women

Sustainable Development Goals
How is Jonina addressing the world's sustainable development goals (SDGs)?
SDG #5
Gender Equality
SDG #6
Clean Water & Sanitation
SDG #8
Decent Work & Economic Growth
Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
SDG #10
Reduced Inequalities

Meet Jonina Wetzell.

Jonina is a trailblazing entrepreneur who took part in our very first yher Pacific Islands program, in 2018.

She co-founded Kahuto Pacific Investments (KPI) with her husband, a venture that leverages new technologies to improve the efficiency and accuracy of planning for large scale social infrastructure projects. Jonina is also on a mission to increase the representation and inclusion of women in the emerging technology space across the region, and through KPI prioritises the employment and training of women in the company.

She grew passionate about supporting gender equality in the technology space after experiencing her family having different expectations for her and her brother. This was furthered when she experienced discrimination when attending events in the technology industry that were dominated by men who favoured speaking to her husband over her.

Research shows that women only make up 2% of CEO’s in the technology industry across the Asia Pacific region, and that the tech industry represents the worst female representation in leadership roles in the region.

This was a significant driver for Jonina to attend the yher program so that she could develop the necessary skills to build a successful business, as well as empower women to participate in the emerging tech industry across the Pacific Islands.

Today, KPI helps organisations and government collect and transform data via GIS Mapping and drone technology to improve existing infrastructure as well as plan for new infrastructure projects. Through their technology, they are able to survey in a couple of hours what would normally take multiple survey crews a couple of weeks. And this is important, because good infrastructure is needed in the region where approximately 6.9 million people still cannot access improved sanitation, and only 30% of residents in the region have access to electricity. These countries are also among the most vulnerable in the world to climate change.

KPI generates income through projects across a number of different ministries and authorities. Additionally, they have established key partnerships where they work closely with surveyors in Suva, Fiji who are very well established within the community and known to be the best. Through their #PacificImpact initiative Kahuto Investments will pledge to deliver its services for free for selected projects that have been targeted to deliver significant social and environmental impact. They aim to target highly visible and capable partners who are leading world changing projects. By working alongside partners such as the Red Cross and Save the Children, impact data will be readily available.

Today, KPI are one of only 3 recognized commercial operators in Fiji that can operate drones. Through applying the latest technologies in GIS Mapping and empowering women to lead these technologies, KPI aims to enable positive changes for the Pacific region, including access to clean water and sanitation, better roads, adaptability to climate change and the empowerment of women in technology.

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