As I listened to the State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening, my ears perked up when I heard these words “Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job”. While I agree that this is” inexcusable”, I couldn’t help but feel gratified that President Obama called attention to our deficiency in 21st century skills-based education.
Although unemployment continues to be a challenge in this country, the demand for technology specialists is on the rise. Projected to grow by 10, 20 and in some cases 50 percent in coming years, jobs like Computer Support Specialist, Analysts and Systems Administrators are in high demand. Read More »
“As the leading specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICTs), ITU looks towards its Members to harness the catalytic role of ICTs in creating far-reaching opportunities for women and girls by eliminating gender disparities and empowering them to meet their goals and aspirations. I call upon all stakeholders (including policy makers, regulators, operators and industry) to adopt policies and strategies that will promote ICT opportunities for women and girls.
Cloud computing—delivering infrastructure, services, and software on demand via the network—offers attractive advantages to the public sector. For example, it has the potential to reduce information and communications technology (ICT) costs by virtualizing capital assets like disk storage and processing cycles into a readily available, affordable operating expense.
One of the most significant cloud computing opportunities for the public sector is the ability to share ICT resources among multiple agencies. While governments have tried hard to create frameworks geared toward shared services, these have not always been successful. Cloud computing offers an easier and less burdensome route to more efficient and effective public sector information management.
Of course, cloud computing is not without its challenges:
A service provider residing outside of a government’s legal or territorial jurisdiction may put access or security at risk.
Open standards and interoperability may not be guaranteed, leading to the risk of vendor lock-in.
Data privacy is a concern when using public clouds. This can be addressed by the development of private clouds.
Business continuity will continue to be a concern. Cloud computing, however, may also mitigate this risk, as cloud vendors are likely to use more robust and better-maintained computing platforms that provide more redundancy and are less likely to fail.
The evolution of the cloud is big news within mature tech markets in North America, Europe and Asia. But, what will cloud services mean for developing countries? More than you might think.
At its core, the cloud promises lower costs for information and communications technology (ICT) and ubiquitous access to information and applications. These benefits look attractive to any business, but for companies in developing economies — companies less likely to have the capital for large, modern ICT infrastructures — the cloud could provide an enormous benefit.
I participated in a panel about Girls in ICT at ITU World Telecom on October 27 2011 chaired by Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau and learned this:
Job opportunities in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) continue to grow, and many countries and regions are predicting a shortage of qualified staff with math, science, engineering and computing skills to meet the growing demand. At the same time, many companies are looking to increase the number of women in the sector. This means that highly qualified women in technical fields have significant opportunities available to them. Unfortunately teenage girls and young women often never even consider a career in ICTs. There is a lack of awareness among students, teachers and parents on the opportunities presented by a career in ICT.
Former US FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate was present in the audience at this session and called out a program that she and actress Geena Davis are engaged in regarding Gender and Media. Greena Davis was featured in the film Miss Representation, which explores how the media’s misrepresentation of women has led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.
This makes it that much more important to make sure girls and young women are aware of the resources available to help them prepare for and enter the ICT sector. Check out The Girls in ICT portal, which provides listings for scholarships, internship and training opportunities, tech camps, Girls in ICT Day events, online networks and so much more! Check it out and spread the word!
So now you must be wondering where is Cisco in this space?
In May 2011 Cisco France set up a connected girls day that included members from the industry and conducted workshops on technology and its applicability to society. Take a look at the following video to experience the event:
On September 25, 2008, Cisco hosted its first worldwide Connected Women event, demonstrating collaboration in business. Live events ran in 9 cities across the world with more than 400 senior female customers and partners coming together for a series of stimulating and practical presentations centred on collaboration, sustainability and the importance of technology. The opportunity to ‘Inspire and be inspired’ was a theme throughout with contributions from high -- level external business speakers at the different events around the world.
Cisco will be running the next Connected Women event in April 2012. By running this event we intend to both inspire our guests and for them to in turn provide inspiration through the sharing of their personal successes and innovative practices. The April event, like previous sessions, will be a real testament to what we can all achieve through greater collaboration.