Girls In ICT Day Asia Pacific Page- Our Story
One of the best reasons for this celebration is the job opportunities available in the ICTs ! The sector has a pressing need for a wide range of ICT talents: there is a growing gap between the digital skills needed by employers and the number of jobseekers with the required technical know-how. This means that highly qualified women in technical fields will have a significant number opportunities available to them. However, not enough students are prepared for studying math, engineering, computing, and sciences in higher education. Consequently, the number of female technical students is disproportionately low.
ICT companies are looking to attract and promote women because achieving greater workforce diversity is good for business. The lack of young women participating in ICT studies is reflected in companies and government agencies around the world. The sector is currently male-dominated, especially at senior levels. Where women are present, it is often in low-level, low-skilled jobs. Fortunately, many companies and organizations are looking to increase the number of women represented in the sector, realizing that increasing the number of women at the top positively impacts financial performance. Those that ignore diversity issues, meanwhile, risk on-going labour shortages. ITU, as the leading United Nations agency for telecommunications and ICTs, encourages and works toward gender balance in the ICT sector at all levels, through many initiatives, including the EQUALS Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age, a global, multi-stakeholder partnership committed to closing the gender digital divide.
Supporting the education of women and girls in the ICTs is also in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 5, which is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls through, among other domains, ICTs. Not only do jobs in the tech sector lift women out of poverty; but also a more gender-balanced sector offers fulfilling mid- and high-level careers, and enables highly talented women to springboard to the top of the career ladder. This is good for everyone.
As UN Secretary General António Guterres said,
``Gender equality is a human rights issue, but it is also in all our interests: men and boys, women and girls. Gender inequality and discrimination against women harms us all. There is overwhelming evidence that investing in women is the most effective way to lift communities, companies and countries. Women's participation makes peace agreements stronger, societies more resilient and economies more vigorous… Gender equality is the unfinished business of our time``.
“Girls in ICT Day is all about inspiring girls and young women to pursue STEM studies and to leverage the power of digital technology.”
– Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, ITU BDT Director
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