How to celebrate International Girls in ICT Day

Teacher Helping Female Pupil Line Of High School Students Working at Screens In Computer Class

International Girls in ICT Day, an initiative backed by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), the UN’s specialised agency for information and communication technologies.

Girls in ICT Days aims to encourage and empower girls and young women to consider studies and car​eers in the growing field of ICTs,​ enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.

International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of April.

Over 357,000 girls and young women have already taken part in more than 11,100 celebrations of International Girls in ICT Day in 171 countries worldwide.​

Government ministries, national ICT regulatory authorities, ICT companies, academic institutions, UN agencies, and NGOs around the world are all encouraged to join the global effort and ​​celebrate International Girls in ICT Day.

So how we can encourage more girls into STEM?

Currently in the UK, women make up only 17 per cent of the technology workforce. This is statisticly lower than any other industry sector.

So how can we encourage more girls into STEM?

Start early

Currently only seven per cent of students taking computer science A-level courses are female. Further to this, just half of the girls that study IT and Tech subjects at school go into a job in the same field.

According to studies, girls are more likely to be put off taking STEM subjects at school, due to the gender stereotypes of ‘boy’s subjects’.

There are currently a number of campaigns aiming to tackle to gender disparity and to encourage more women into technology roles.

The Tech She Can Charter is a commitment by organisations to work together to increase the number of women working in technology roles in the UK. It aims to tackle the root cause of the problem at a societal level by inspiring and educating young girls and women to get into tech careers and sharing best practice across the organisations involved.

The Tech Talent Charter is a commitment by organisations to a set of undertakings that aim to deliver greater gender diversity in the UK tech workforce.

Tech She Can and the Tech Talent Charter are working closely together to address the gender imbalance in technology roles.

Alongside this, the WISE campaign calls for gender balance in scient, technology and engineering, from the classroom to the boardroom.

However, more work needs to be done at an early age to encourage girls into STEM and tech and to combat the stereotypes.

Showcase women in tech role models

By highlighting inspiring women in tech, girls can see what careers and achievements are open to them. WeAreTechWomen has showcased some awe-inspiring women as part of our Inspirational Profile series – below are just a select few examples:

Discover more inspiring women

Get involved

There are a number of women in tech charities and not-for-profits that aim to get girls interested in ICT and STEM. You can find out more on our volunteering page here.

Stemettes new logo featuredStemettes

Stemettes aim to inspire the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths(STEM) fields by showing them the amazing women already in STEM via a series of panel events, hackathons, exhibitions, and mentoring schemes.

All girls will be able to make informed decisions about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), so that eventually women can be proportionally represented in the field. So that we can have 30 per cent+ of the UK’s STEM workforce being female, as opposed to just 13 per cent.

TeenTech featuredTeenTech

TeenTech run lively large scale but sharply focused events to help young people, their parents and teachers understand the opportunities in contemporary industry. TeenTech is aligned with STEM – all activities are designed to help students understand the context for subjects they are learning at school.

TeenTech events across the UK with a supporting award scheme so students and teachers can take their interests further. Many events are deliberately sited in areas of greater social need and TeenTech encourages schools to bring mixed ability students. Each event brings together 10 students from 30/50 different schools and 30/50 organisations and universities for a day of challenges and experiments that are carefully timetabled.

Students are then encouraged to run their own projects to ‘make life better, simpler or easier’ with support from industry in the TeenTech Awards. These projects are structured so they are a valuable experience for every single student who participates, not just those who reach the final at The Royal Society or the winners who are invited to Buckingham Palace.

Code Club featuredCodeClub

A nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11

CodeClub create projects for volunteers to teach at after school coding clubs or at non-school venues such as libraries. The projects they make teach children how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites. CodeClub volunteers go to their local club for an hour a week and teach one project a week.

Each term the students will progress and learn more whilst at the same time using their imaginations and making creative projects. Terms 1 & 2 use Scratch to teach the basics of programming. Term 3 teaches the basics of web development using HTML and CSS. Term 4 teaches Python and so on.