Tech Needs Girls!
April 25 is International Girls in ICT Day. This day was set aside in 2010 by the UN agency ITU (International Telecommunication Union) to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
One day may not change the equation on its own, but it does give us the opportunity to raise awareness within our own community about the challenges facing ICT. Here are some key points raised in the Digital Inclusion 2012 Report:
- Teenage girls now use computers and the Internet at rates similar to boys, yet they are five times less likely to consider a technology-related career.
- Most developed countries are forecasting an alarming shortfall in the number of skilled staff to fill upcoming ICT jobs.
- One of the reasons why the ICT sector continues to be generally perceived as a male-dominated industry is because most high-value and high-income jobs in this sector are occupied by men.
- Gender balance in high value ICT jobs in both management and on company boards has been proven to improve business performance.
- In order to secure initial gains made, women already active in the ICT sector need to take the time to engage with community initiatives to mentor girls and women and participate in virtual and face to face communities of practice.
If you are a women in tech, then you provide an important key to unlocking the untapped potential of many girls and young women. You are the role models, showing girls and young women that the ICT sector has a wide variety of career opportunities. You can also be the mentors, engaging with girls and young women directly to spark their interest and then help them build their confidence, cultivate community and develop a tech identity.
Whether you are a woman or man in tech, here are a few ideas for how you can participate in the Girls in ICT Day:
- Share the What IS a Dot Diva? video with a girl or parent and start a dialogue. Were they surprised at the variety of ICT careers represented?
- Share the Girls in IT infographic with an educator or someone with an ICT career. Were they surprised by any of these facts?
- Tweet your thoughts about the day & use the hashtags #GirlsinICT #techneedsgirls
- Share your thoughts about the day on Facebook, facebook.com/techneedsgirls
- Create a video & share your passion about your career & tag with GirlsinICT and techneedsgirls
- Be interviewed on Geek Gurl Diaries about your career
- Map your girls & women in tech event or activity
What else would you add to the list?