Happy International Girls in ICT Day. This day marks a global initiative aimed at encouraging and empowering girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT).

Every year, we celebrate International Girls in ICT Day. It’s a special day that shines a light on encouraging girls and young women to think about a future in information and communication technologies, or ICT for short. This area includes all sorts of tech-related careers, from computer programming to digital communication.

Why is this day important? Traditionally, more men have worked in tech jobs than women. This day helps us remember why it’s crucial for girls to also get involved. More diversity means more creativity and better solutions in tech fields.

On this day, all around the world, organisations host fun and educational events. These might be workshops where girls can code their own apps, or talks from women who are rocking it in tech careers. The goal is simple, show girls that a future in tech is exciting and very much within reach.

This initiative isn’t just about having a day of fun. It’s about opening doors and breaking down barriers. The more girls get interested in tech now, the more balanced and inclusive our digital future will be.

Whether you’re a girl thinking about your career, a teacher or just someone curious about tech, International Girls in ICT Day is a great time to explore and get inspired. Let’s all help make the tech world a place where everyone, regardless of gender, feels welcome and valued.

Dr. Andrea Cullen, CEO and Co-founder at CAPSLOCK

“The tech sector has barely changed in over 30 years. The main challenge is that people fear change, even if it is for the better. They want to keep doing things the same way – recruiting from the same pool of people, that have the same background and qualifications. However, organisations must act now if they want to reap the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

“Simply put, a more diverse workforce makes business sense. Diversity should incorporate background and experiences and diversity in characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, age and sexuality. Having a wider pool of talent will also help to improve the skills gap that the sector is facing. Additionally, having a balanced workplace, where people are at all ages and stages of life, brings balance to what is generally a very male, white and middle-class environment. This makes work-life balance the norm and reduces the likelihood of burnout.

“To make a significant change and deliver a more diverse cyber workforce, we need to focus on leadership and change our language and processes for recruitment. This takes courage and is the biggest challenge we face. Having a diverse team helps others see it is a place for them. It isn’t just about attracting talent but it’s also about openness and retaining talent. We need to help individuals from diverse backgrounds to see themselves as role models who need to be out shouting about the opportunities within the sector.”

Libby Duane Adams, Co-Founder and Chief Advocacy Officer at Alteryx

“The presence of women in tech has undergone significant changes over the past decade. Many companies have dedicated considerable efforts to upskilling women, resulting in a rise in female enrolment in STEM studies and subsequent entry into data analytics roles. It’s been wonderful to see the number of women occupying analyst and data analyst job roles rise significantly.  Despite these advancements, however, significant gender gaps persist in tech and data analytics. Recent HESA data shows that only 31% of UK core STEM students in Higher Education are women or non-binary.

While strides have been made, there is still work to be done to address these gaps and ensure greater gender and racial equity within the data analytics field. The persistent gap in gender representation at the highest levels within the tech industry highlights an ongoing challenge in achieving gender balance at the highest levels of leadership.  With women only constituting 14% of tech leaders  in 2023, organisations must employ a combination of strategies, including addressing unconscious biases and actively promoting sponsorship to create opportunities for underrepresented minorities to demonstrate their leadership skills.”