How can we inspire girls to take up the new technologies that will be key to well-paying jobs in the 21st century?
SheLeadsIt, a global nonprofit organization operating in Switzerland, Canada and Jamaica, with initiatives in the Caribbean, Africa and Europe, is creating opportunities for women and girls to be economically and socially empowered, bringing about transformational change in their own lives – as well as the lives of their families, communities and countries – through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
ITU News recently caught up with the co-founder of SheLeadsIt, Nicole Pitter-Patterson, and Ayanna T. Samuels, consultant for the organization and one of the only female rocket scientists in Jamaica.
Together, they discuss their efforts to address gender equity and create change for girls all over the world through technology upskilling and innovative approaches to ICT education in the Caribbean.
“Our commitment is about empowering women to take hold of the fact that there is no enterprise or industry where they do not have a seat at the table or an equal voice,” — Nicole Pitter-Patterson.
“The fact that we are able to be a part of the change we want to see completely inspires us,” added Ms. Samuels, an aerospace engineer.
Watch the full interview below:
They agreed that women’s empowerment is a joint effort that requires the participation of men and that there is still a lot of work to be done as women remain a minority in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields.
To advance their agenda, SheLeadsIt has partnered with Girls in ICT Day, an ITU initiative that aims to create a global environment that encourages young women to consider careers in the growing field of ICT. To date, over 300,000 girls have taken part in more than 9,000 celebrations in 166 countries worldwide.
For the upcoming Girls in ICT Day on April 26, a Hackathon will be held in 5 countries across the Caribbean, including Guyana, St. Vincent, Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. It is expected to reach over 1,000 girls who will participate in hands-on upskilling sessions, webinars, workshops and more to create their own ICT products.