Women earn 57% of all U.S. undergraduate degrees but only 18% of undergraduate computer and information sciences degrees, according to the National Center for Women in Technology. Yet according to U.S. Department of Labor estimates, more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings will exist by 2020, with only enough computer degree graduates to fill 30% of them.
And globally, women comprise less than a third of workers in the computer science, engineering, and physics fields in some of the world’s key emerging economies, according to a report by Women in Global Science & Technology.
Attracting more girls and women to the technology field benefits women, their families, their communities, and the businesses they work for. Women are powerful catalysts for change in any society: When women are able to earn an income, they typically reinvest 90 percent of it back into their families and communities.
To help tap this valuable talent pool and attract more women to careers in the information and communications technology (ICT) field, Cisco is participating in Girls in ICT Day – an international event organized by the by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, Cisco offices will hold Girls in ICT Day events, joining the global effort to encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the growing ICT field.
The events target girls age 13 to 18 and will include office visits, tours, and presentations by Cisco female employees who will discuss career opportunities and life in the technology field. Students will be able to engage with Cisco technologies, including collaboration platforms such as Cisco TelePresence® and Cisco Jabber®. These platforms will enable interaction with other girls participating across the globe and with leading women working within Cisco and its partners and customers.
Most Cisco events will take place on April 24, but many have already begun: For example, on March 27, 34 girls from 8 schools visited Cisco offices in Berlin, Germany. Tomorrow, April 8, 18 Cisco offices in 18 countries, including Egypt, Italy, South Africa, Pakistan, and the U.K., will welcome hundreds more girls.