The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has launched what is billed as a “one-stop shop” for training, scholarship and job opportunities aimed at inspiring girls and young women to choose a career in technology.
According to a media release, the new web portal is focused on helping girls and women access training, job opportunities and career information in the fast-growing information and communication (ICT) sector.
It provides practical information on scholarship programs, internships, training opportunities, online networks, Girls in ICT Day activities and other resources. The portal is in recognition and response to the predicted need for skilled professionals and the fact that many companies and organizations are actively seeking to hire highly skilled technical women.
“This portal is designed to encourage girls and young women to prepare themselves for a career in ICT and inform parents, teachers and other stakeholders on why preparing for a career in ICTs is good for women and girls, good for business and good for societies,” reads the web portal.
It comes at time when despite the many obvious benefits, many girls still do not consider a career in ICTs, mainly due to lack of awareness among students, teachers and parents on what a career in ICT could offer.
The portal notes that “Attitudes can change when girls are invited into companies and government agencies to meet ICT professionals and see what life is like on the job. For this reason, ITU members agreed to recognize Girls in ICT Days on the 4th Thursday of every April in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Guadalajara, 2010).”
The portal is designed to help girls and young women aged 11-25 prepare for and pursue a technology career, providing links to scholarships, training and internships, ICT contests and awards, tech camps, online girls’ networks and other programmes that will give them a boost in entering what has become a largely male-dominated sector.