Young women urged to adopt STEM as world commemorates girls on ICT Day – KBC
Young women across the country have been urged to embrace science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to secure their future in the increasingly digital labor market.
This comes in light of the existing gender gap in STEM fields, which most girls shy away from, as their male counterparts continue to dominate.
This appeal was launched during the commemoration of the International Day of Girls in ICT which takes place every fourth Thursday in April around the world.
This year’s event was commemorated practically under the global theme of Connected Girls, Creating a Better Tomorrow.
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Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth in partnership with Konza Technopolis, the Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Maureen Mbaka urged girls and young women to use available resources to advance their skills and knowledge in STEM fields as they seek to create and seize opportunities in the tech space.
“Under the aegis of the ministry, we have initiatives like the Ajira program, the district innovation centers (CIH) as well as the youth empowerment centers. There are over 300 of them spread across the country with the aim of giving young people access to digital skills for their empowerment. As we celebrate this day, we want to urge our daughters to undertake careers in ICT and embrace STEM education in schools, ”said CAS Mbaka.
She further urged the younger generation to take advantage of the tech space to open up more opportunities for themselves as the future of work is online.
“As a young workforce, we need to be aware of the changing nature of work going digital. With the pandemic in place, it is important to note that the demand for digital work has accelerated and that everyone must learn to work with computers remotely and meet their short-term work commitments, ”she said. added.
During the event, ICT Authority CEO Katherine Getao urged girls to fearlessly pursue their dreams, noting that the ability to make change is within themselves.
“For the young girls and women out there, just remember you can do whatever you want. Have a positive attitude, put your mind to it and go for it because there is no space for a specific gender, ”she said, adding that stakeholders in the STEM sector need to strengthen partnerships and ensure that more girls are supervised. and guided to careers in STEM fields.
Yvonne Maua, Konza Data Center Project Manager, noted that mentoring for young women is very important once they are on board, as it allows them to continue to progress in the field.
“We also need to focus on mentoring young women in STEM. I say this with hindsight, remembering the first days of working in the sector. My journey in ICT has been merged with many mentorships that have shaped me a lot, ”she said.
At this event, which was also attended by other key women in the ICT sector, young women were also invited to identify role models of inspiration and development in their careers.
Citing testimonials from the industry, Ms Celestine Ukpere of Shule Africa Kenya pointed out that with technology that cuts across all sectors of the economy, women also need to combine their careers with ICTs and use science and technology to achieve success. better companies.
Since 2011, more than 377,000 girls and young women have participated in these celebrations around the world. Led by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), it is a day in which governments, national information and communication technology (ICT) regulatory authorities, ICT companies, institutions academics, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were able to join hands in celebrating girls and encouraging them to actively consider careers in STEM.
The event was also attended by Eng. John Tanui, CEO of KoTDA, Ms Rosalind Murithi, Director of Risk Management and Internal Audit, Kenya Communications Authority (CA), Ms Charity Wanjiku, Co-Founder of Strauss Energy Limited, Ms Ashley Kibali, CEO / Founder of Seventy-Two Media Groupe and Caroline Muia ICT Manager, ICM in Konza.