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Converge women leaders encourage young girls to explore ICT route

Converge women leaders encourage young girls to explore ICT route

Women leaders from Converge ICT Solutions Inc. took the opportunity to inspire young girls to pursue professions in information and communications technology (ICT) fields in celebration of International Girls in ICT Day 2024.

This year, the country hosted the global commemoration of International Girls in ICT Day, with Converge joining hands with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in conjunction with the Digital Innovation for Women Advancement (DIWA).

Converge hosted the gala dinner attended by the Hon. Secretary Ivan John Uy (DICT), Dr. Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava (Director, Telecommunications Development Bureau, ITU), Undersecretary Atty. Jocelle Sigue (DICT), UN representatives, ITU youth ambassadors, organizers and partners from the PCW, USAID and DIWA.

“As a technology company, we are fully aware that women tend to be under-represented in our industry. Thus, at Converge, we have been deliberate in changing this norm to improve diversity, equality, and inclusion within the organization as we have always believed that a diverse and inclusive workplace drives better performance and fosters innovation,” shared VP and Head of Corporate Communications and PR, Jay-Anne Encarnado during the gala dinner at Illustrado restaurant in Manila.

As part of the celebration, Converge women leaders SVP and Corporate Compliance and Data Protection Officer Atty. Laurice Esteban-Tuason, AVP and Head of Service Operations Center Glycerinne Apolonio, and AVP and Program Management Lead for Digital Channels Jannica Juniller engaged with students in mentoring sessions at the Far Eastern University (FEU)  aimed at advancing women’s participation in the field of ICT

Esteban-Tuason joined the mentorship panel on artificial intelligence and data analytics, while, in separate sessions, Apolonio and Juniller took part in the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital creative sessions, respectively.

“As women leaders in a technology company, we see it as our duty to inspire, and empower the next generation, particularly young girls, who aspire to also become future leaders in ICT. We hope that our stories are able to encourage them into taking this route, and contribute to making our local tech sector more diverse, dynamic, and inclusive,” Esteban-Tuason said.

Students from FEU, Philippine Women’s University, St. Scholastica’s University, and De La Salle University were able to gain insights from the sessions, which covered topics including the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, digital careers in the gig economy, and digital creatives.

According to DICT, the celebration of International Girls in ICT Day is a fundamental step in breaking down the barriers that impede the progress and full participation of women in the technology sector. This year’s celebration was themed “Leadership,” highlighting the indispensable role of strong female role models in ICT, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

“We convene not merely to celebrate the achievements of extraordinary women, nor solely to acknowledge the potential of girls in the ICT sector. Instead, we gather with the resolve to dismantle the barriers hindering women’s full participation in ICT. We aspire to cultivate an environment where women stand as stalwarts of innovation and progress in ICT, STEM, and beyond,” said DICT Sec. Ivan John Uy.

According to United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, women continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles, especially in STEM work, as exacerbated by the digital access gap.

She mentioned that in 2022, data from the ITU revealed that women and girls using the internet were only at 63 percent, compared to 69 percent for men.

“The full equal and meaningful participation and leadership of girls in the digital sphere is not just a matter of equality. It’s a fundamental pillar for advancing sustainable development,” said Mohammed.

“Without more girls in ICTs, the world will continue to be designed by and for men and the potential of girls and women will remain untapped. Closing the digital gender divide requires women’s full representation and leadership,” she explained.

“All of our efforts form part of our promise to #LeaveNoOneBehind in this digital age. We are happy to be with like-minded people and together, let us build a future where we don’t even have to talk about women empowerment and gender equality because then, we are all equal,” added Encarnado.

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