Last week’s FCC-sponsored International Girls in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Day focused on promoting gender equality in the ICT field by encouraging girls to consider a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education or a tech career. Keeping in mind how teens and tweens communicate and garner information, the day featured a Twitter chat (which ended up with more than 670 tweets and more than 360 Twitter participants) focusing on how ICT has helped improve the lives of women and girls in their careers, education and health. Tweeted Commissioner Mignon Clyburn (soon to be acting FCC chair), “Promoting gender equality is near and dear to my heart, so when the director of the ITU’s Development Bureau invited me last year to lend my voice to their efforts to use ICTs to empower women and girls, it was an easy decision.” Participating tweeters forwarded some ideas of their own: “Do not be afraid of the computer.” “Experiment with software and Internet activities to help you learn.” “Technology helps girls with disabilities through ‘assistive’ technologies that help with everyday living.” “Girls should check out available clubs/groups at their school for options in technology.” “Take advantage of free online courses, learn new languages through online tools, and learn how to fix through watching ‘how to’ videos.”
 
Dovetailing on this is a new program for women already working in the ICT world. Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) are accepting applications for several mentee slots as part of their Women’s TechConnect Initiative; deadline is June 17. The year-long mentorship program pairs "Women in Technology" award winners (co-sponsored by CTDaily) with high-potential women with less tenure. "Our data tells us that women occupy only 21 percent of technology management positions in our industry, even though they make up 43 percent of the full-time cable workforce," says Parthavi Das, WICT chief of staff. Add Cathy Oakes, SCTE’s senior vice president/Operations, "Diversity is essential to the modern cable community, and technology offers so many opportunities to bring more women into our industry.” Winners will be announced Oct. 23 during SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta. For more information, contact Das at pdas@wict.org.

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