International Girls in ICT Day Date in the current year: April 25, 2024

International Girls in ICT Day International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated across the world on the fourth Thursday of April. Initiated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), it aims to contribute to the empowerment of girls and young women in terms of education and career in the field of information and communications technology.

Many people think that the term “information and communications technology” (ICT) is synonymous with IT, but it isn’t quite so. ICT is an extensional term for IT that highlights the role of unified communications and the integration of various technologies in enabling users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information. In other words, ICT encompasses all devices that store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit, or receive digital information.

For a long time, it was believed (and some people actually still believe it) that men are better at STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), whereas the humanities and social sciences are a more “female” field. Although there is no scientific evidence for this belief, gender stereotypes still impede the career growth of women in technical fields, including ICT.

As digital skills are needed by an increasing number of employees in various fields, ICT is one of the most promising fields for career growth. However, due to gender stereotypes that have persisted for centuries, the number of female technical students is disproportionately low, and many employers in technical fields would choose a man over a woman, even if her qualifications are identical to those of her male counterpart or even better.

International Girls in ICT Day was established in order to combat gender stereotypes and provide girls around the world with an opportunity to get technical education and pursue a career in ICT. Today, government agencies and companies around the world experience a lack of young women participating in ICT studies, and most senior positions in the industry are held by men, while women usually hold low-level, low-skilled jobs, and their promotion is limited by the so-called “glass ceiling”.

Fortunately, many companies and organizations realize that a lack of gender balance in ICT is one of the main causes of a workforce shortage in the industry, and so they are working to close the gender digital divide. It is these companies that actively support International Girls in ICT Day and other ITU initiatives dedicated to the elimination of gender inequality in the ICT field.

On the occasion of International Girls in ICT Day, companies, government agencies, educational establishments and other organization hold various events, such as open houses, seminars, workshops, job fairs, meetings with women who’ve built a successful career in ICT, social media campaigns, etc. These events and campaigns aim to show girls and young women that there are endless career opportunities in the ICT field and to encourage them to choose a profession based on their inclinations and talents, rather than gender stereotypes and other people’s expectations.

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International Girls in ICT Day, information and communications technology, international observances, gender stereotypes, gender imbalance