ITU has launched a new web portal focused on helping girls and women access training, job opportunities and career information in the fast-growing information and communication (ICT) sector.
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.
It’s a little-known fact that women were the original programmers of ENIAC, the US government’s first ever computer. But while teenage girls now use computers and the Internet at rates similar to boys, they are five times less likely to consider a technology-related career.
It wasn’t always so. In the US in the 1980s, for example, young women were earning 37% of computer science degrees; today, that number has fallen to below 20%.
The lack of trained female professionals means that in OECD countries, women now account for under 20% of ICT specialists. It also means that most developed countries are forecasting an alarming shortfall in the number of skilled staff to fill upcoming ICT jobs. The European Union calculates that in 10 years’ time there will be 700,000 more ICT jobs than there are professionals to fill them; globally, that shortfall is estimated to be closer to two million. Learn more...