23 April 2015 is globally recognized as Girls in ICT Day. Created in response to the lack of women who work in technology, Girls In ICT Day exists to raise awareness on empowering and encouraging girls and young women to consider studies and careers in information and communications technology.
Why does it exist?
Simply put, the realms of technology have, from their outset, been seen as male-dominated worlds. Of course, that’s changing – a little look at the rise of Marissa Mayer at Yahoo (LINK) and the incredible women working in technology fields in South Africa will tell you. Take a peek at Tech Girl and you’ll soon realise that women in IT stand a very different ground than they did a decade ago. Today, Ekasilabs will also be hosting a Girls in ICT Day event, in collaboration with Geekulcha. But it’s not something to become complacent about, because we’re still not seeing true equality in the IT spheres and in many aspects of employment.
What is being done?
Events are held across the globe to highlight integrating girls and women into the workplaces of IT, with companies and organisations ushering in and encouraging girls to take their rightful place at PCs. Corporates, NGOs and small businesses get involved too, with schools also signing up to promote the cause.
That’s nice, but what should I do about it?
Social change, almost always, begins at home. So while you may think your daughter wants a Barbie house and your son is destined to dominate the Xbox, it’s not always going to be that way. Changing it up is as simple as swapping the things you put into your child’s hands. That’s the thing about entrenching the idea of equality and eliminating gender bias – it starts at home. So yes, in honour of Girls in ICT day:
- Settle your daughter down in front of the computer and teach her how to do something. Get her keen on coding (link to ‘how to get your kids coding piece’) or discover something new together.
- Settle in with your tablet and show your daughter the inner workings of a computer, or sign her up to learn a tech skill online.
- Take a screwdriver to that old radio you’ve been meaning to fix but secretly know it’ll never work again, and take it apart, with the help of an eager assistant.
- Encourage your daughter to explore the world of technology, and consider a future career in ICT.
Whatever you do, remember that you do it to spark a flame, and that flame could one day become a very bright fire.
For more information on Girls in ICT day, please visit the website or download the flyer here.