International Girls in ICT Day
This year on the 28th of April, we celebrate the International Girls In ICT Day. That special day is dedicated to a global movement, whose purpose is to draw more attention to the constantly rising need for more girls and women involved in the ICT sector. In focus for 2022 are access and safety.
The United Nations International Telecommunications Union wanted to emphasize the importance of promoting technology career options for women worldwide as an important step towards achieving sustainable business development in that field. So in 2010, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) adopted Resolution 70, which called for support of “gender equality and the empowerment of women through international communication technologies”. It also established every fourth Thursday of April to be International Girls in ICT Day.
The information and communications technology (ICT) sector is one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic industries in the world. It offers a wide range of career opportunities for girls and women, from entry-level jobs to top management positions.
However, despite the many opportunities that the ICT sector provides, girls and women are still underrepresented in this field.
Why do we need a special day that honors women in ICT?
International Girls in ICT Day reminds us that we still have a long way to go until girls and women are equally represented in information and communications technology-related jobs.
The purpose of acknowledging the women working in ICT sectors is to encourage more young girls to choose education in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). Thus there will be more women employed in the ICT sector.
According to a recent study by the World Economic Forum, it will take us more than 136 years to close the gender gap in this industry. Furthermore, global figures reveal an alarming economic gender disparity as women (the primary caregivers in the family) are twice more likely to be unemployed than men. As a result, 47 million girls and women are living below the poverty line.
At the same time, ITU predicts for the coming five years an estimated deficit of more than 2 million professionals in the information and communication technology field. So STEAM careers give real chances for girls and women to gain valuable skills and knowledge and enable them to compete for better-paid jobs.
The ICT sector is a field generally dominated by men, as women occupy less than 25% of the positions related to the tech industry. The main reason is that girls are less likely to choose education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), both in school or university. So it is our duty as a society to encourage more girls to study STEM subjects and later choose a career pathway in the ICT field.
ICT improves people’s life from around the globe
Better healthcare, better communications, improved environmental management, and a better educational system – all this progress in our community is thanks to technology advancements during the last decade. ICT professionals are often involved in some of the most inspiring and innovative projects shaping our present and future.
Having a special day dedicated to girls in ICT is a way to inspire both governments and businesses to unite their efforts and find faster solutions for onboarding more women in the ICT field. Both public and private sectors should work together trying to ease the access to all resources that help girls acquire the needed skills and become successful ICT professionals.
After all, empowering more girls in the technology field has not only а short-term positive effect for them and their families as financial independence but also has a lasting long-term impact on the socio-economic development in any region.
Access and Safety
The motto of 2022 International Girls in ICT day is access and safety. Technology has become an integral part of our lives and is a key factor in many areas and professions. Be it art, history, product design, education, and more. The future awaits us with jobs driven by technology and innovation. And girls should be equipped with valuable tech skills to fit in that future.
To encourage girls worldwide to gain diverse skills in technology, we need to build a safe environment accessible to everyone. It is vital to provide them with reliable and secure access to the Internet and different digital tools. Institutions that represent the ICT sector continue to search for solutions on how to lower access barriers for girls while also improving online safety for young women.
How to commemorate International Girls in IT Day?
There are several ways to mark this day:
- Your company can partner with local schools to encourage more girls to participate in the technology, computer programming, or robotics club;
- You can conduct workshops (including virtual ones) to promote STEM career opportunities for young women;
- It is crucial to put into the spotlight more female leaders in the tech industry so that girls can have relatable role models to follow;
- Partner with local science centers and invite girls’ groups to join for a tour;
- Invite girls organizations in your company’s workplace to learn more about different tech skills they can acquire. Discuss different career pathways, career attainment, and advancement in the ICT sector in a creative and inspiring manner.
The ICT field is an industry where women are greatly needed. Tech firms with diverse workforces stand out with better performance, more engaged employees, and more loyal workers. As our society evolves, we need to keep up the pace with the latest technological advancement, and this can only be done if we have more women in ICT. Girls need to know that their voices are heard, that their skills are needed, and that they belong in the tech industry!