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  Home : ITU-D : BDT Director's Corner : Speeches : Opening remarks, ITU TELECOM - Girls in ICT



Brahima Sanou, BDT Director

Opening remarks, ITU TELECOM - Girls in ICT


Ladies and Gentleman,
Thank you for joining us for today’s ITU WORLD TELECOM 2011 session on Girls in ICT.
It is a great honour for me to moderate this panel session and to have with us here today:
• H.E. Jasna Matic, Serbian State Secretary for Digital Agenda and proponent of Resolution 70

• Ms. Nidhi Tandon, Director, Gender Consultant & Trainer, Networked Intelligence
for Development (NID), Toronto, Canada and author of the ITU Girls in ICT Report, “A Bright Future in ICTs: Opportunities for a new generation of women”.

• Ms. Monique Morrow, CTO Asia Pacific and Distinguished Consulting Engineer, Cisco Systems (USA)

• Ms. Bitilokho Ndiaye, Technical Advisor and Gender Focal Point, Ministry of Telecommunication and ICT (Senegal)

• Mr. Daniel Reed, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft (United States)
Before turning the session over to the panellists, and you, the audience, I would like to share some thoughts.
• As we know, job opportunities in the digital economy continue to expand, and there is a growing demand for a wide range of ICT skills.

• This cuts across all regions of the world, with many countries and regions anticipating growing demand for qualified personnel with math, science, engineering and computing skills.

• There is a clear trend of declining in the number of women in ICT jobs in developed economies over time.
• This reduction of women in ICT professions has led many ICT companies to try to increase the number of women in the sector.

• What kinds of programs can be developed to better equip employers and employees alike in filling new positions in the ICT sector?

• How can we make the ICT sector more attractive to the next generation of young women?

• One way is for companies and governments to organize Girls in ICT Days to invite girls and young women to see what an ICT career looks like in person!

• ITU Members adopted a resolution at the 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference in Guadalajara, to celebrate ‘Girls in ICT Days’ on the 4th Thursday of every April.
• The next celebration will be held on 26 April 2012.
• ITU Council members also identified Women and Girls in ICT as the theme of the 2012 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day held in May.

• ITU will help girls find the information they need by developing an online, interactive Girls in ICT Portal with links to scholarships, training, internships, contests and awards, tech camps, online networks and, of course, Girls in ICT Day activities. The portal will go live on 11 November.

• Mark your calendars for 11.11.11!

• Ms. Susan Schorr, Head, BDT Special Initiatives Division, will give you a sneak preview of the portal at the end of the session.

• Ms. Nidhi Tandon, Director, Gender Consultant & Trainer, Networked Intelligence for Development, also developed a background study for the portal, entitled “A Bright Future in ICTs: Opportunities for a new generation of women”. Ms. Tandon will share the highlights of her report at the beginning of the session.

• Following her presentation, I will invite each of the other panellists to share with us, in no more than five minutes, why they are passionate about encouraging girls to take up careers and studies in ICTs, what they are doing about it at the country, corporate or personal level, and what they believe are the essential steps to increasing visibility for this vital issue so that every young woman is aware of the career opportunities the ICT sector offers her.

• I will then lead an interactive discussion between the panellists and the audience in the room.

• We also have someone who is tweeting your comments to a group of school children around the world.

• I will also try to take their questions and put them to our experts.

• May I please ask our Tweeter to let the school children know we welcome their questions and comments.

• In addition, I know that some of the Young Innovators and Digital Innovators invited to TELECOM 2011 are also in the audience, including the women innovators. I’d like to encourage them to join the discussion as well.

• I will close by asking every panellist to tell me what they’d like to see included in the TELECOM Manifesto for Change on this hot topic.

Geneva, Switzerland 10/25/2011



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