The early mood
The Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) in collaboration with the iCentre of Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB), Tech One Global and Google Developers Group (GDG) Women Brunei Darussalam, today held the nation’s inaugural Girls in ICT Day celebration with an official opening of a series of events organised for the girls and young women in Brunei.
The guest of honour to officiate the event was Yang Mulia Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. The event took place at the KHUB building in Kg. Anggerek Desa. Also present at the event were deputy permanent secretaries, AITI Members of Authority, senior officials from BEDB and government institutions, and representatives from the ICT industry.
In his opening speech, the Chief Executive of AITI, Awang Hj Yahkup bin Hj Menudin mentioned “ICT provides new digital opportunities to end discrimination, promote gender equality and to empower the girls and women.” Hj Yahkup also highlighted that “within the local ICT industry, our latest record reveals that only 36% of the total workforce in ICT companies are made up of women.
Majority of these women hold administrative and management positions, very few are technicians, IT engineers and system programmers, and only a minimal number of female owns ICT businesses or holds a leadership portfolio within the business organization. Women are undeniably underrepresented in the ICT professional sector as a whole.” He then emphasized that building the awareness and skills, as well as providing clear ICT career paths and opportunities for the girls and women have to take place. Programs have to be designed to encourage the interest and participation of girls and young women to pursue ICT studies and ultimately a career in ICT related field.
Guest of honour Datin Paduka Hjh Adina, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, encouraged more women to be involved in ICT to follow the role models of female technopreneurs such as Hjh Salma, Shavon and Sophia
Hj Yahkup, Chief Executive of AITI, highlighted that 36% of the total workforce in ICT companies are made up of women
Group photo with the guest honour and the organisers of the Girls in ICT Day
The officiating event today also saw the guest of honour taking a tour to the two parallel workshops, namely Vid-IT and Tech-IT, where Yang Mulia Datin Paduka Hajah Adina had a closer look on the various ICT activities held for the girls and young women. The Vid-IT workshop has seen active participation by Year 10 female students in making a simple animation video using Adobe Flash. The workshop, facilitated by Dyg Khairunnisaa Saaniah binti Dr. Haji Kamsani from Tech One Global, also include students’ presentations to compete for the most creative videos.
Meanwhile, the Tech-IT workshop, a talk-a-thon session was held for the female students from the higher learning institutions. The workshop facilitated by Dr. Mona Kassim from the iCentre has gathered the audience to discuss on various ICT-related topics presented by aspiring women and entrepreneurs in this field.
Some of the young ladies entrepeneur sharing their ideas and experiences
The Girls in ICT Day activities will continue with another workshop to be held at AITI tomorrow (1 May 2013), called Pitch-IT. It is a pitching session for lower sixth female students that is aimed to encourage participants to generate innovative ideas on mobile apps as well as pitching of ideas towards commercially viable products. Another on-going activity to mark the Girls in ICT Day is the one-minute video clip competition, known as Clip-IT, organised by AITI. This competition aims to promote the use of ICT medium and encourage participations from girls aged 13 to 19 years, to produce a short video clip with the theme “IT’s a Girls’ World”. Entries to Clip-IT are opened from 25 April to 17 May 2013, and members of the public are invited to vote for their favourite clips starting from 18 to 22 May 2013 through AITI’s website.
By the end of these events, it is hoped that the participants would be inspired and be more attracted to the fields of ICT, and be aspired towards a career path in ICT-related professions. AITI and its supporting partners once again highlighted that this event is not intended to discriminate the males; but rather to promote and increase the involvement and interest of the females in ICT with the support of its male counterparts.
Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of ICT. Celebrated worldwide on the fourth Thursday of April annually, this year’s Girls in ICT Day was observed on 25th April 2013.
For more information about the Girls in ICT events, please visit AITI website at www.aiti.gov.bn/girlsinICT
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