To commemorate the “International Girls in ICT Day”, Grameenphone has arranged a panel discussion at the GP House recently not only to recognize the efforts of women in the ICT field but also to encourage further inclusiveness ensuring gender equity.
Michael Foley, Chief Executive Officer of Grameenphone, presented the keynote paper at the start of the session.
This was followed by an informative panel session attended by renowned leaders and industry experts from the ICT sectors. They discussed and debated about the current scenario for girls in ICT in Bangladesh, how an organization can facilitate, and create more opportunities in the future.
Regarding the panel discussion, Michael Foley stated, “Technology has become a critical tool in fields as diverse as art, history, archaeology, law, primary teaching or graphic design. It is estimated that within the next ten years there will be two million technology jobs that cannot be filled because of the lack of qualified ICT specialists. Bangladesh, with its rapid growth, is an opportune market where females can not only thrive but also play a significant role in achieving the digitization goal.”
Yasir Azman Deputy CEO & CMO of Grameenphone said, “Girls face social, cultural and legal barriers to pursue a digital career. These barriers are not limited to any one country or single context and are driven by deeply-held views about the role of girls in society that are now negatively impacting their chances in the digital world. We believe that together we will break down the boundaries and drive an inclusive culture towards growth.”
The panel discussion was attended by Reduan Hasan Khan, Head of IoT Grameenphone Khaleda Ahsan, Former Chief Engineer, Department of Public Health Engineering, Government of Bangladesh; Bushra Mehreen, Senior Manager-Research, Quantum
Consumer Solutions Limited; and Soaiba Sarwat Synthia, Head of Digital and Analytics Operation, Grameenphone. Gender diversity and female leadership crisis is rampant Southeast Asia, especially in the tech sector. Girls face social, cultural and legal barriers to pursuing a digital career. These barriers are not limited to any one country or context and are driven by deeply-held views about the role of girls in society that are now negatively impacting their chances in the digital world.
Subsequently, a lack of female role models plays a significant role in the gender gap in developed countries. When women do not see their peers entering technical careers and leadership roles, they are less likely to take an interest in those fields or to believe that opportunities exist for them to do so. The implications of the digital gap among young people extend beyond skills disparities and a lack of technical understanding.
International Girls in ICT Day is an effort to encourage and inspire more girls and young women to consider pursuing studies and careers in the ICT field and join the tech industry.