International Girls in ICT Day 2022

Science, technology, and innovation are key drivers of our increasingly global and digital society. But less than 30% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professionals are women. Globally, in tertiary institutions, there is approximately half the number of girls studying STEM subjects compared to boys. With this inequality persisting through the 21st century, the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion of women in STEM is dire. The main goal of Girls in ICT is to cultivate the presence and digital skills of young women and girls [aged 12-24] in the career field of STEM, particularly ICT.

The importance of young people’s empowerment in STEM and ICT is a key focus at ITU this year. The first ever Generation Connect Global Youth Summit will be held from June 2nd to 4th in Kigali, Rwanda, preceding WTDC. This event has been co-designed by the youth for the youth and will have sessions focused on women empowerment in ICT and STEM. It will be in hybrid format to allow participation from around the world.

Join us for the April 28 Girls in ICT Global Dialogue on Access and Safety

Session Type: Virtual
Platform: Zoom
Time: 14:00 to 15:30 CEST

Register here


Watch the session

2022 Theme: Access and Safety

Access and Safety was selected as the 2022 thematic priority as part of the initial step for girls to be able to access the digital environment in a safe way. According to ITU’s latest data, the proportion of women using the Internet globally amounts to 48 per cent, compared to 55 per cent of men. In relative terms, this means that the global Internet use gender gap stands at 12.5 per cent. If women are unable to access the Internet and feel safe online, they are consequently unable to develop the necessary digital skills and engage in digital spaces. This in turn diminishes their opportunities to pursue careers in STEM related fields. The 2022 theme hence seeks to encourage discussions and events aimed at overcoming the access and safety barriers that girls face when they aspire to pursue STEM studies and careers.

Girls in ICT Global Dialogue

The Girls in ICT Global Dialogue will mark this year’s celebration of Girls in ICT Day. It will take place in the framework of the WSIS Forum 2022, as part of Gender Mainstreaming track in which the forum promotes and maintains gender equality and women empowerment, guaranteeing the inclusion of women in STEM/ICT.

The dialogue will feature inspiring young role models who will share their experiences and testimonies on access and safety in STEM/ICT, alongside active stakeholders sharing their perspectives, as well as their best practices on access and safety. This dialogue will also highlight the importance of multisectoral engagement and call for action in empowering women through technology.

The discussions will focus on 4 main topics:

  1. Equal Access: Unequal access to the internet and technology means that individuals are not able to benefit from digital technologies and its diverse opportunities. Most survey respondents said that the first thing that they would do when they want to learn something new or find out latest information is to search on the internet. How can unequal access affect girls in STEM/ICT and what can we do to change this worldwide?
  2. Accessibility: People with disabilities may encounter additional difficulties regarding access to online resources. STEM subjects use lots of diagrams and formulas in their instruction and, for example, in the case of someone visually impaired this adds an additional level of difficulty for women interested in STEM. How can we make our programmes and STEM/ICT related studies and workplaces more accessible and inclusive?
  3. Gender stereotypes and workplace environments: Gender stereotypes and societal roles prove to be a significant barrier to education in STEM/ICT. These stereotypes proliferate a sense to a woman that they are incapable and not supposed to be in this place. Male-dominated workplaces and ‘bro’ culture can create a toxic workplace environment and has been identified by respondents as one of the primary barriers to STEM/ICT careers. What type of gender stereotypes and toxic workplaces have they experienced? How can we change these environments for the better? What is the role of an encouraging workplace?
  4. Safety Online: Online Safety is a key component to girls and young women’s lives today. If girls and young women do not feel safe online or have had unpleasant experiences in the digital environment, they are likely to not feel confident in engaging in future STEM education and careers.

Expected Outcomes

The main goal of the Girls in ICT Global Dialogue is to create a discussion around Access and Safety through Girls in ICT, which would lead stakeholders to be inspired to create and support similar programmes and activities in their respective regions and countries throughout the year.

Panellists

Ms. Doreen Bogdan Martin

Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 

Moderator

Ms. Anaëlle Cathelineau

Deputy Secretary General, 2020 Futurecasters-Global Young Visionaries Summit

Moderator

Ms. Louise Carvalho

Diversity & Inclusion Programme Leader, CERN

Ms. Shanta Arul

Director, Global Technology & Innovation, Public Policy, Netflix 

Ms. Courtney Gregoire

Chief Digital Safety Officer, Microsoft

Ms. Shamma Bin Hammad

Founder-CEO, CyberHero

Ms. Syeda Shafaq Karim

Director (Wireless) and Head of the Committee on Gender Inclusion in ICTs, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)

Ms. Elizabeth Kolade

Member of the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria, and Mentee in the 2021 cohort of the ITU Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme

Ms. Lydia M. Logan

Vice President, Education and Workforce Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, IBM

Ms. Helene Molinier

Senior Manager for the Action Coalition on Innovation and Technology at UN Women

H.E. Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen

Ambassador for Innovation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Ms. Sophiyat Sadiq

Generation Connect Africa Youth Envoy

Ms. Claire Sibthorpe

Head of Digital Inclusion in the Mobile for Development (M4D) team, GSMA

Ms. Alicia Tambe

Head of International Organizations for Connectivity & Inclusion, Meta 

Ms. Vidhya Y

Co-Founder and Trustee, Vision Empower

Agenda

TimeDiscussion
14:00 – 14:05Welcome 
14:05 – 14:12Introductory remarks
14:12 – 14:27Fireside conversation I: Equal Access/Connect the unconnected
  • Ms. Claire Sibthorpe, Head of Digital Inclusion in the Mobile for Development (M4D) team, GSMA
  • Ms. Syeda Shafaq Karim, Director (Wireless) and Head of the Committee on Gender Inclusion in ICTs, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)
  • Ms. Sophiyat Sadiq, Generation Connect Africa Youth Envoy
14:27 – 14:42Fireside conversation II: Accessibility
  • Ms. Alicia Tambe, Head of International Organizations for Connectivity & Inclusion, Meta
  • Ms. Shanta Arul, Director, Global Technology & Innovation, Public Policy, Netflix
  • Ms. Vidhya Y, Co-Founder and Trustee, Vision Empower
14:42 – 15:02Fireside conversation III: Gender stereotypes and workplace environments in STEM/ICT
  • Ms. Helene Molinier, Senior Manager for the Action Coalition on Innovation and Technology at UN Women
  • Ms. Louise Carvalho, Diversity & Inclusion Programme Leader, CERN (European Centre for Nuclear Research)
  • Ms. Elizabeth Kolade, Member of the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria, and Mentee in the 2021 cohort of the ITU Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme
  • Ms. Lydia M. Logan, Vice President, Education and Workforce Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, IBM
15:02 – 15:17 Fireside conversation IV: Online Safety
  • H.E. Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen, Ambassador for Innovation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
  • Ms. Courtney Gregoire, Chief Digital Safety Officer, Microsoft
  • Ms. Shamma Bin Hammad, Founder-CEO, CyberHero
15:17 – 15:28Open Q&A
15:28 – 15:30Closing remarks