The number of women in the ICT workforce is unfortunately very low – hovering around 30 percent. But if the insightful feedback, eye-opening observations and encouraging outlooks expressed by our #CiscoChat participants is any indication, the future for women in both ICT and STEM is on track to be exceptionally bright.
From the value women bring to ICT, to best practices for encouraging girls to explore careers in these fields, “Why the World Needs More Girls in Tech” #CiscoChat participants were not shy in speaking on this subject. If you missed the conversation, led by our own Monique Morrow, CTO Evangelist-New Frontiers Development and Engineering at Cisco, take a look at some of the highlights and share your thoughts below.
1. What can attract girls to pursue a degree in ICT?
Without a realistic expectation that they can succeed in ICT, it’s inevitable that young women may not actively pursue ICT or STEM-related degrees. Thankfully, participants had amazing ideas on how to positively push young girls toward higher-education opportunities in ICT and STEM.
2. What skills do you think women bring to the technology table?
There’s no doubt that girls and women have the talent, drive and the skills to be successful in ICT and STEM-related fields. And in regards to skills that women in particular can bring to the tech table, intuition, patience and diverse perspectives were touted time and time again.
3. Are there any social inequalities that having more girls in the IT workforce can break?
Shedding stereotypes and overcoming obstacles can be a challenge for women who desire a career in the IT industry. But those who find success in this field have the power to redefine perceptions and expectations for the ambitious girls and women who are following in their footsteps.
Some of our #CiscoChat participants even mentioned a few of the stereotypes that continue to plague women who want to work in IT. Thankfully, they now know their value and rock the field!
4. What are some of the best ways to attract (and retain) a girl to join the ICT workforce?
The fact that the world needs more girls in IT, ICT and STEM is clear, and our #CiscoChat participants enthusiastically shared several clear and implementable solutions to give girls incentive and inspiration to embark on the technology career paths they may not know are theirs for the taking.
Of course, a bit of humor never hurts.
This #CiscoChat was the perfect lead-in to one of the most exciting and impactful events Cisco has the privilege of joining.
As in years past, we’re now gearing up for Girls in ICT Day. All over the world, we’re going to open our doors, welcoming scores of young girls with bright minds, endless ambition and the desire to make their mark in the ICT fields. They’ll get hands-on-exposure to innovative technology and most importantly, engage with some of our most dynamic women leaders who show them that yes – the world needs them in ICT.
Be sure to join our next discussion using hashtag #CiscoChat and view the recap of this chat here.