A Celebration of Girls and Young Women to Pursue a Career in Tech

April 25, 2024 | Blog

This 2024 International Girls in ICT Day will be celebrated on 25 April. The main celebration will be in the Philippines and hosted by the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT). This year’s theme is a celebration of “Leadership,” a call for the “critical need for strong female role models in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers”. 

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), although the rise of women fills 40% of high-skill occupations globally,  the ICT-related fields and or courses remain low. “Women are nearly absent from software development, engineering, technology research, academia as well as at the highest levels of policy making. They also tend to leave science and technology jobs at higher rates than men,” they said.

But the gap between the ratio of men over women doesn’t stop on the actual space they occupy in this world, it has a long history of social, economic, and cultural issues. Today, the power struggles have evolved into a new landscape of socio-political problems, but only this time: women–with all the great leaders, movers, and shakers all throughout the generations who paved the way– fight back for equality they deserve.

Also read:  International Women’s Month: IT Group, Inc. Inspires Inclusion for Women

There’s no better way to ensure women’s rights than to celebrate and empower little girls all over the world, reminding and reassuring them that they belong, they can, and they have the right to occupy space in whatever chosen life and career they want, especially in Information and Communication Technology. This year, in celebration of the UN’s International Day in Girl ICT Day, IT Group, Inc. (ITG), the leading IT Solution Partner in the Philippines and ASEAN region, is supporting this advocacy and sharing our story of women who are leaders in their own right.  

Also read:  HerStory: Women in Tech Part I

Invest in Girls’ Education and Future

Moreover, ITU revealed that it’s no secret that the leadership gender gap in every industry between men and women in every sector, the largest of all, can be found in the STEM fields. “Women in ICT often find themselves in junior or support roles rather than in managerial roles, with little opportunity for advancement. They are also less likely to hold an executive position, become ICT entrepreneurs, or be represented among science and technology policymakers,” ITU added. 

However, inequality in opportunities didn’t start with adults; in fact, this is just the effect of an issue many countries are having a hard time addressing: supporting and encouraging girls through education and access to free learning. “The reasons are many. Barriers to girls’ education – like poverty, child marriage and gender-based violence – vary among countries and communities. Poor families often favor boys when investing in education,” UNICEF said. “Around the world, 129 million girls are out of school, including 32 million of primary school age, 30 million of lower-secondary school age, and 67 million of upper-secondary school age.” 

Also read:  HerStory: Women in Tech Part II

Start Them Young, Train Them Right

On the other side of the story, girls who have a chance to thrive and have a decent education often will face another struggle when it comes to opportunities after they graduate. On a positive note, the hope and fight for equality, especially for young girls and women, will always guide the next generation in making a difference. “To thrive in STEM, girls and young women must be exposed to women in leadership positions, fostering inspiration and breaking down barriers that hinder their progress. The Girls in ICT Day 2024 theme aims to address these challenges, encouraging empowerment and leadership development for a more equitable future in STEM,” ITU said. 

“Investing in girls’ education transforms communities, countries, and the entire world. Girls’ education strengthens economies and reduces inequality. It contributes to more stable, resilient societies that give all individuals – including boys and men – the opportunity to fulfil their potential,” UNICEF said. “But education for girls is about more than access to school. It’s also about girls feeling safe in classrooms and supported in the subjects and careers they choose to pursue – including those in which they are often under-represented”  

Also read:  IT Group, Inc. Celebrates 20 Years in the IT Industry 

Women in Tech  

Last month,  International Women’s Month was celebrated with the theme #InspireInclusion, and IT Group, Inc., continuously supports women and girls pursuing careers in tech. 

  • ITG values women; we have an average total of 34.37% of women employed across our regional offices. 

  • By country, we have 41% in the Philippines, 25% in Indonesia, 63% in Malaysia, and 30% in Singapore, respectively.

  • In terms of leadership and management roles, ITG has an average of 30.10% of women taking the lead to drive the company’s success. 

“Inspiring inclusion for women in the tech industry is crucial for leveraging diverse perspectives, fostering innovation, and enhancing business performance,” said Justine Ng, Head of Human Capital for IT Group Sdn. Bhd (MY) and IT Group Pte. Ltd. (SG). “By promoting gender diversity, companies can attract top talents, address biases, and create a more equitable workplace, ultimately driving better outcomes for both individuals and the industry as a whole.”

Women who Lead

To inspire young girls and women out there, ITG women who lead expressed their message and hope for every girl and young woman who is interested in pursuing a career in ICT or the Tech Industry in general. “The tech industry isn’t just for men, to be honest. [In fact,] any industry isn’t just for men. But if you feel there’s no room and space for you or an opportunity to be part of the tech industry because you are a woman, that’s unacceptable. In any organization, make sure you can be part of it,” said Almira “Mimi Navarro, ITG’s Chief Marketing Officer.  [Make sure] you’ll have a voice and a share, and your inputs should be [recognized] and validated. Do not let anyone invalidate you as a woman. Because we are not just a woman—we are a woman. Do not discriminate yourself; if you do, how will you conquer a male-dominated industry like tech if you keep doubting yourself? [Lastly, remember] we have the right to take space because women provide balance.”

Meanwhile, ITG Malaysia’s Practice Head, Shafina Hamid, has some solid advice to give. “There are many challenges [in the Tech Industry, especially for women]. [But if you work hard], so is the fruit of labor that comes of overcoming all of them. Above all else, don’t sacrifice what makes you unique or your personal life to achieve all your goals in life. You can have it all if you set your heart to it!”

Let’s Celebrate The Future of Tech with Girls and Women of ICT

For over 20 years in the industry, IT Group, Inc. has been the leading IT Solutions Partner in the Philippines and the ASEAN region. As an ISO 9001:2015 Certified company with four regional offices located in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia, helping 200+ clients across the ASEAN region on their digital transformation journey and has a solid portfolio of 250+ successful projects, we are an ally for women, and we do advocate for girls and young women to be part of the tech industry, as the company is driven by strong-willed and empowered women who are part of ITG’s success through the years, providing clients system-wide innovative solutions from Business Management Solutions, IT Management, Integration & Automation, and Enterprise Data Management to IT Infrastructure.