ITU Launches Web Portal for Girls in ICT
To help girls and young women access training, job opportunities and career information in information and communication (ICT) the ITU has today launched a new one-stop shop.
Despite ICT being a fast-growth industry the number of young women pursuing a career in technology has been falling in the US since the 1980's, the ITU reports. Back in the 1980's young women, the report continues, were gaining 37 percent of computer science degrees; today, that number has fallen to below 20 percent. The situation is even worse in OECD countries where less than 20 percent of ICT specialists are women. In launching the portal the ITU aims to help girls to find information on training, scholarships, internships ICT contests and awards, tech camps, online girls’ networks along, with many other programmes, in a bid to encourage more girls into the industry.
Evidence shows that girls and young women tend to lose interest in careers in technology early on and for a number of reasons. Sometimes it can simply be down to the image portrayed of the industry with labels such as unfeminine, too challenging, or just plain boring attached to the subject.
On the launch of the new portal ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré said that such entrenched ideas were no longer relevant as the rise of apps and the explosion in telemedicine, remote learning systems and research and development were making the ICT industry the most exciting choice any young person can make. "The industry is entering unchartered waters of creativity, innovation and entirely new ways of working, interacting and learning," Dr Touré added.
Professionals in computer and information systems are ranked among the top 20 best-paying jobs – on a par with surgeons, orthodontists, airline pilots and lawyers, at a time when, the European Union calculates, in 10 years time there will be 700,000 more ICT jobs than there are professionals to fill them. Globally the estimated shortfall is even greater.
'Women and Girls in ICT’ is the theme of ITU’s upcoming World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, to be celebrated on 16 May 2012 while an annual global 'Girls in ICT Day' will be held on 26 April 2012.
To find out more about this exciting initiative aimed at encouraging girls into a rewarding and worthwhile career visit the ITU 'Girls in ICT' web portal.
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