We need more women in the ICT sector
In theera of digital transformation, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has become one of the most powerful tools when it comes to socio-economic development. Needless to say, ICT is a very resourceful sector.
Many countries have begun to recognize the potential of ICT as an incomparable catalystfor economic progress, poverty reduction, GDP growth, and so on. Inspired by other countries,Bangladesh is now contending with global ICT success. To achieve this, the government and private sectors have come forward to bring the nation to the digital arena.
Bangladesh′s ICT industry has been developing consistently over the past three decades. It was just a few years ago that women in Bangladesh were less interested in the sector. Their participation was not prominent. But, recently, people’s attitude towards the sector has changed for the better.
The government has taken many steps to bring women into the limelight as the inclusion of women is key to advancing society. The government has emphasized ICT training, which offers scholarships and job opportunity for women.
The ICT ministry has arranged many programs such as the Digital World, ICT Expo, National Hackathon, Connecting Startup Bangladesh, etc as well. Under a tri-party partnership, ICT training buses are in form to train female students in rural areas.
The sector might be the most promising for creating job opportunities, but the number of women within it is still not up to the mark, even in the more developed European countries.
The ICT sector is usuallyvery male-dominated because the participation of women is seldom taken into account. One of the reasons for this might be the stereotypical mindset that women are not capable of performing technology-based jobs.
Renowned tech companies, in the past few decades, have changed the world a lot, not only in terms of technology but also in the participation of women. If we think about engineering and technology universities, we can find that the portion of female students is increasing at an accelerated pace.
Notable numbers of women are working in engineering sectors nowadays.
But, still, women need inspiration and a push forward as their inclusion is still a mere footnote. We need to set examples which will inspire others. Those examples will instigate an unsung female engineer or an IT think tank to come forward with her idea.
Tech companies are trying to bring in more women in the IT sector. For example, we have Huawei Bangladesh’s flagship CSR program “Seeds for the Future.” A group of selected top students gets the chance to share their tech-related ideas and get industry leading training in ICT at Huawei’s headquarters in China every year.
Through this program, the company helps Bangladesh train ICT talents.
Like every year, Huawei arranged this program last year and selected a group of 10 students who went through a full training session. It is inspiring that, among the 10 students, four were girls.
And I was one of them.
That selection helped me a lot to gain advanced IT knowledge and inspiration to go the extra mile in my career.
Women empowerment is being a big concern in our country and it is good that the government, MNCs, and other organizations are dong their bit. This process must be carried on. If all the tech companies come forward to encourage and train women in this particular sector, someday, soon enough, women’s contribution to the ICT sector will be significant and equal to men.
This would most certainly make this world a better connected and intelligent place to live in.
Sarah Cynthia Gomes is a student in the Department of EEE at Dhaka University.