Written for: https://sci.ngo/vov/celebrating-girls-in-ict/
April 28th is International Girls in ICT Day. in honour of this day, we reached out to Valentina, our European Solidarity Corps volunteer, for her thoughts on women and girls in information and communication technology. Currently, she taking part in a project in Greece with the Social Hackers Acadamy, a socially conscious hacking and coding NGO. Read what she had to say below!
As we set the pace to commit to a better world where social justice and equality prevail, women are at the core of this transformation. The UN Sustainable Development has established 17 Goals to transform our world by 2030. What we can see in the third sector is the vast number of projects being dedicated to achieving these different goals . Speaking from my volunteering experience here at Social Hackers Academy, this NGO has been working and developing its activities to offer a high-quality education on web development (SDG-4), and digital skills addressed to people from vulnerable backgrounds such as migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. As of now, there is a rate of 33% female students within its students, and it’s constantly seeking to have a more gender balance in every new cohort (SDGs-5,10). The organization’s mission is to bridge the gap between the demand in the ICT sector and the men and women coming from diverse backgrounds. They empower these people by teaching them digital skills to help them get a job in the tech industry, by supporting them throughout their course, with peer to peer meetings from the educational team, offering soft skills courses and coaching from its employability department (SDG-8).
The ICT sector is fast-paced, with an ever-increasing demand for skilled professionals. The tech industry that we now know is a male-dominated world, and, as we evolve as a society, it is essential to understand what is behind the present-day scenario. Influential women started the journey to achieve what we know today as the technology industry. During the 19th century, Ada Lovelace developed the first computer program. By 1945 the first computer programmers emerged, and they were all female. Although women dominated in the beginning, the technological sector shifted and became a male-dominated industry in time. Nowadays, the statistics regarding women in tech are a big red flag to the gender gap that exists, and there is still a long way to go.
As research shows, we know that these inequalities have much deeper roots, starting long before the workplace, with access to education and gender stereotyping of STEM subjects such as physics and science. Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, reports that the number of male graduates in STEM areas outnumber female graduates.
We can be sure that women will continue to resist and stand their ground in their journeys to become whatever profession career they choose, whether in the tech industry or any male-dominated area. The journey to raise awareness and tackle the gender gap in the industry is happening, with more generations coming together to fight inequalities, create more spaces, and deconstruct stereotypes.