Countries across the globe, including Dominica, are observing ‘Girls in ICT Day’ on Thursday.
That decision to observe the day was made by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the primary body for telecommunications in ICT of the United Nation and every year at this time the entire world celebrates the invaluable contribution and achievement which girls are making in ICT advancement universally.
Minister for Information, Science, Telecommunications and Technology Kelver Darroux said in a statement that the initiative has the full support of all 193 member states of the UN and over 700 private sectors entities of the ITU.
He said the day is observed “with the aim of creating a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers and businesses in the growing field of Information and Communication technology.”
Darroux stated further that the ICT sector needs new talents “because not enough students are preparing themselves for studies in maths, engineering, computing and sciences.”
“Compounding this problem, the number of female technical students is proportionately low,” he stated. “The same is true right here in Dominica and we are in need of a cadre of trained young women in the telecoms ICT sectors to further develop our country.”
He mentioned also that ICT companies are looking to attract and promote women because achieving greater work through diversity is good for business.
“The lack of young women attracted to ICT studies is reflected in ICT companies and government agencies around the world,” he stated.
He revealed that the ICT sector is currently male dominated especially at senior levels, “where women is often seen in low level, low skilled jobs.”
“Fortunately companies are looking to increase the numbers of women in the sector,” he said. “ITU seeks to encourage gender balance in the ICT sector at all levels of the profession.”
He encouraged stakeholders from general public and private sector agencies to organize events with a vision to empower and encourage girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the field of ICT.
As part of the activities for the day he said, a Talking Point programme on State-owned DBS Radio hosted exclusively for young women and other female professionals in Dominica, highlighted work being done for young women in the field of ICT.
A workshop is also expected to be held at the Youth Enterprise Centre on High Street showcasing how young female students are able to develop ICT applications and design web pages from a tender age. A live TV program, aired on Marpin 2k4 by the National Youth Council (NYC) to entertain discussions and live callings from viewers and girls in the ICT, is also on the cards.
This year’s theme for the Girls in ICT Day is ‘Expanding Horizon and Changing Attitudes’.