International Girls in ICT Day 2024 Celebrates Women's Leadership in Tech

The article highlights the importance of empowering girls and young women to pursue careers in ICT, addressing the gender digital divide and promoting female leadership in STEM fields for a more inclusive and innovative tech industry.

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Salman Khan
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International Girls in ICT Day 2024 Celebrates Women's Leadership in Tech

International Girls in ICT Day 2024 Celebrates Women's Leadership in Tech

The International Girls in ICT Day, celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday of April, aims to promote women's participation and leadership in information and communication technology (ICT) fields. This year's theme, 'Leadership', underscores the critical need for strong female role models in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.

While women now fill 40% of high-skill occupations globally, their participation in ICT-related fields remains low. Women are underrepresented in software development, engineering, technology research, academia, and policymaking. They also tend to depart STEM jobs at higher rates than men. The Girls in ICT Day 2024 theme aims to address these challenges by encouraging empowerment and leadership development for a more equitable future in STEM.

Why this matters: Bridging the gender digital divide and empowering girls and young women to pursue careers in ICT is vital for creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce, driving innovation, and achieving gender equality in the rapidly growing tech industry.

The United Nations and other organizations are working to support the girl child in ICT, develop role model programs, and invest in educational initiatives to ignite girls' interest in coding, programming, and tech problem-solving. UN Women, as the convener of the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for gender equality, calls for providing platforms where girls can create, develop, and implement tech-driven solutions.

Young women and girls need to see themselves as change-makers in the ICT field and have access to learning environments that combat gender bias and promote diversity. The UN Secretary-General has called for a global digital compact that places gender equality at the heart of its priorities, ensuring women and girls have equal access to leadership training, career development, and opportunities in the ICT sector.

Initiatives like the African Girls Can Code Initiative, spearheaded by the African Union Commission and UN Women, aim to empower young women to pursue careers in the ICT sector. Events celebrating International Girls in ICT Day were held worldwide, including at the FEU Tech Innovation Center in Manila, Philippines, and hosted by Huawei South Africa, showcasing the achievements and potential of young women in tech.

"On International Girls in ICT Day, the world needs to come together to ensure the meaningful leadership of girls in ICT, in all their diversity, to shape the decisions made to achieve a shared digital future," emphasized the importance of cultivating leadership skills in young women to navigate and shape the future of technology.

Key Takeaways

  • International Girls in ICT Day promotes women's leadership in STEM fields.
  • Women are underrepresented in ICT-related careers, with higher attrition rates.
  • Bridging the gender digital divide is vital for inclusive workforce and innovation.
  • UN and organizations work to ignite girls' interest and empower them in ICT.
  • Cultivating leadership skills in young women is crucial for shaping tech's future.