On the fourth Thursday in April each year, attention is drawn to the critical need for more girls and women in the ICT field. The day aims to inspire girls to enter the ICT field.
Girls are underrepresented in ICT
The UN writes that the ICT field is dominated by men, and that one of the reasons for this is that there are more boys than girls studying subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Furthermore, they write that many girls avoid such subjects because they do not think they will use the technology. One reason why they don't think about investing in a technology career, writes FN, is that they don't know of any female role models in the industry.
Women in ICT - Frida and Inga
Frida Sorken Isachsen and Inga Karkauskienė are currently practicing at DAXAP. Frida as data analyst, and Inga as test developer in the Vibori project.
When we ask Frida why a day like this is important to mark, she answers: "To get women into ICT. It is important to show representation to get more people interested, and reduce the additional uncertainty of entering a male-dominated industry for women interested in ICT-related jobs.”
Frida developed her interest in ICT through daily use of technology and gaming. Through gaming, she has gained more knowledge about how a PC works. Frida goes on to say that she wanted to know more about how different programs work, and see what lies behind websites, apps and games. See the actual job behind it.
When asked what it has been like to be in practice so far, and whether she has encountered any challenges, Frida replies that the biggest challenge was at the start, it was getting to a new workplace. “But everyone is great, and it's a nice environment here. If something comes up, I can ask the others in the office, and that's how I learn."
When we asked Inga the same question, she answered "I like to learn and get to know new products that are being developed." She says that she encountered a language barrier and a lack of skills, and that it required training.
Inga became interested in a career in ICT when she studied technomathematics, where she was introduced to this field. "I have always been interested in working with different applications, so I always envisioned a career in the IT field."
Both exciting and challenging
What Frida thinks are the most exciting aspects of working in ICT are the problem solving you do all the time. “Right now I'm working with Python, which is a coding language. It's problem solving from when you start the code to when you have to do bug fixes. So there's a lot of thinking and analyzing your own work, which I think is really fun." Another big reason why she thinks technology is exciting is all the advances, and that there is always a lot to learn. "You can use it in many different industries, in everything from, for example, health to trains."
Inga thinks the most challenging aspects of working in ICT is that technology changes quickly. “There are many new tools and programs that help you in your job, and you have to learn how to work with them. Therefore, you must always be flexible. But it is also exciting, because you are always learning.”
“Women make up almost half of the world's workforce, but when it comes to technology, women only hold 25 percent of the jobs. Where women are present, it is often in low-skilled jobs.” - What do you think about it?
Inga answers “A complex question, modern women choose technology more and more often. However, the problem seems to be a lack of confidence in this area and a lack of knowledge. The reasons for these numbers are many, from structural barriers such as unequal pay to existing gender stereotypes in the technology sector."
What advice would you give to other women interested in pursuing a career in ICT?
Frida replies: "Actually, just not being afraid to try yourself. Considering that it is male-dominated, you can become a little unsure of yourself when you start, as there is little representation of women. Even if there aren't that many women in the industry, but you have an interest in it, you should try it out. Although you can be intimidated by the fact that there are many men.”
Inga's advice to women interested in pursuing a career in ICT is clear: “You have to do it. If a woman finds this field interesting, she must study and try, and I think you will succeed.”
Supporting the education of women and girls in ICT is part of the UN's sustainability goals. Sustainability goal 4 is about ensuring good education for all, where one of the sub-goals aims to ensure that women and men have equal access to good technical training and higher education at an affordable price by 2030. Sustainability Goal 5 is about achieving equality, and strengthening the position of all women and girls in society. The UN writes that Technology knowledge and jobs within the technology sector lift women and girls out of poverty.