Every year on the fourth Thursday in April, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the global technology community celebrate ‘Girls in ICT Day,’ an awareness-raising initiative designed to pay tribute to women’s...
April 25, 2013
Every year on the fourth Thursday in April, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the global technology community celebrate ‘Girls in ICT Day,’ an awareness-raising initiative designed to pay tribute to women’s contribution to the technology industry and promote technology careers to a new generation of girls with an interest in science and math.
Since its inception in 2010, the day has been gaining momentum around the world, with over 1,300 events organized in 90 countries in 2012, and even more activities were set to take place in 100+ countries spanning 21 time zones during the course of the day.
This year, ITU celebrated the event both at home and abroad, with events organized at its Geneva headquarters as well as in Brussels, in partnership with the European Commission’s DG Connect.
ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadan Toured started the day in Brussels at a technology breakfast focused on promoting opportunities for girls in science, technology, engineering and moths (STEM), organized by the Women2020 organization.
Dr Toured also spoke in the European Parliament in which he highlighted the urgent need to redress the growing gender imbalance in the technology sector.
“Despite some progress, only 21 of the Fortune 500 companies are run by women,” he said.
“There are only 16 women ICT ministers out of its 193 member state governments, and only 10 of the world’s 160 independent ICT regulatory authorities are headed by a woman.
“In a world where over 95% of all jobs now have a digital component, and where there is a large and growing skills shortage in the ICT sector, we need to get more girls involved in science, technology, engineering and maths, and we need to get more girls taking an interest in ICT careers.”