BOOSTING GENDER EQUALITY IN ICT THROUGH SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
We recently celebrated International Women’s Day as we do every year in March and gender equality is invariably the main theme of the day as it is still such a prominent issue. This year the overriding themes were ‘How will you help forge a gender-equal world?’ ‘celebrating women’s achievement,’ ‘raising awareness against bias’’ and ‘taking action for equality.’ One of the main sub-themes was celebrating tech women and innovation, indicating that this too is an area in which women face a certain amount of inequality.
Women’s inequality in ICT
ICT in particular it seems is an area of great concern for women, to the extent that an International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated across the world on the fourth Thursday of every April. Initiated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), it promotes the empowerment of young women though education and a career in the field of information and communications technology.
As one observer put it “As digital skills are needed by an increasing number of employees in various fields, ICT is one of the most promising fields for career growth. If, however, the gender dimensions of ICT—in terms of access and use, capacity-building opportunities, employment and potential for empowerment—are explicitly identified and addressed, ICT can be a powerful catalyst for political and social empowerment of women, and the promotion of gender equality.”
It is a sad indictment of humanity’s general lack of acknowledgement of skilled women in commonly male-dominated professions. As long ago as the World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva, 10 December 2003 the gender divide in ICT was recognised and spoken about and it was stated that ‘’If the gender dimensions of ICT—in terms of access and use, capacity-building opportunities, employment and potential for empowerment—are explicitly identified and addressed, ICT can be a powerful catalyst for political and social empowerment of women, and the promotion of gender equality.”
Fortunately now in 2021 a lot of businesses and organisations are becoming actively involved in education and skills training for people of all genders with no preferential treatment for males in the ICT field. To close the gender divide it is necessary for many role players to not only support International Girls in ICT Day but to actively become a part of the solution.
Aspiring to make a difference
We at Aspire Solutions have taken the initiative to fight gender equality in ICT at its very roots, which is by ensuring women have an equal opportunity to become highly skilled ICT exponents at a beginners level.
The Aspire Academy is a real inspiration for students and like-minded businesses who empathise with the need for what we set out to achieve. Determined to make a difference, we founded the academy on the principles of giving students of all genders and backgrounds the chance to learn whilst they work in a real ICT company to hone their skills.
This is just one example of our commitment to the growth of the ICT industry in South Africa and the efficacy of our ‘Start now’ philosophy which is implemented in every project we embrace. Contact us now to learn more and experience the Aspire Solutions difference as you grow with us as one of our valued clients.
We salute our young women everywhere on International Girls in ICT Day and all those who are aspiring to boost gender equality in ICT through skills development.