Today, Cisco is hosting 3300 girls from 56 countries in 91 locations as part of the inaugural ‘Girls Power Tech' mentoring initiative, coinciding with the United Nations' Girls in ICT day. Girls Power Tech is focused on mentoring girls aged 13-18 to learn first-hand about career opportunities in information and communication technology (ICT). Events have taken place since April 16 and continue through May 22.
More than a thousand Cisco mentors will share career advice, anecdotes from their own careers, and demonstrate a variety of Cisco® technologies. The hope is that these girls will go on to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects in higher education, before joining existing female ICT luminaries.
Action is drastically needed to address the shortfall of women in technology careers. According to the European Commission, only 30 percent of the region's ICT workforce is women. This is compounded by the fact that only 29 out of every 1,000 female graduates have a computing or related degree. Of these 29, only four go on to work in ICT-related services.
"The technology industry has never been more dynamic or more exciting. Now, more than ever, we need to be doing all we can to build the diverse talent pipeline that will lead our industry into the future", said Chuck Robbins, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales. "Girls Power Tech allows young women to explore the incredible opportunities available to them in the technology sector and helps to build the skills and the mindset needed to be our leaders of tomorrow."
Girls in ICT Day is an annual day of activities organized by the International Telecommunications Union aimed at improving the understanding of careers in ICT among girls. Cisco has supported Girls in ICT since its inception in 2011.
"Every year, Girls in ICT Day gains momentum worldwide thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of universities, schools and of course our partners in the technology sector. I applaud Cisco for its commitment and invaluable efforts to raise awareness of the amazing possibilities open to girls who pursue a tech career. Working together, we are really making a difference!" - Mr Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General.
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