Women only occupy 17% of tech jobs which has a disproportionate effect on their influence over its design and ultimately the use of technology. Research has also found that women are considered better coders, but only if they hide their gender. It is critical that we change the narrative and create a global environment which encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

In the spirit of International Girls in ICT Day, an initiative backed by all ITU Member States (The United Nations specialized agency for ICT), Oxfam is hosted a Twitter debate with the ITU to discuss how we can level the playing field for girls in technology.

Joined by a set of expert panellists, we explored questions like:

  • What employment opportunities are there for young women interested in ICT careers?
  • What are the opportunities presented by ICTs for girls to advance their rights?
  • What examples do you know about where girls have used ICTs to promote their education or livelihoods?
  • What are the barriers faced by girls in using technology? What are the risks of them being left behind?

The panel included:

  • Ronda Zelezny-Green, @GLaM_Leo a US Fulbright Scholar and 2015 Outstanding Young American, is in the final year of a PhD in ICT4D in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London.
  • Chisenga Muyoya @MissChissy is a proactive leader with a deep passion for social change and has over 5 years of experience in the ICT sector.
  • Judith Adem Owigar @owigarj| @akirachix is Operations Director at AkiraChix (www.akirachix.com): a not for profit organisation that aims to inspire and develop a successful force of women in technology who will change Africa’s future.
  • Martha Omoekpen Alade is a researcher, technologist and an entrepreneur; who formed Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) ;an NGO that provides networking, entrepreneurship and professional development opportunities through technology for women in Nigeria, inspiring girls to embrace the emerging tech markets as inventors and innovators.
  • Regina Honu is the CEO of Soronko Solutions. She was recently unveiled as the 2016 Vlisco Brand Ambassador. She was featured on CNN as one the 12 inspirational women who rock STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

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