UN Women launches new initiative supporting women’s engagement in ICT sector
Date: Monday, February 18, 2019
Women’s engagement in information and communications technology (ICT) is important for their own success, as well as for the progress of companies specialized in this field and for the entire industry as a whole.
However, fewer women are employed in the ICT sector globally - Georgia included - despite it being one of the most demanded and highly paid fields. This disparity stems largely from the stereotype that ICT work is still considered to be a “man’s job”. With the purpose of reducing these inequalities and supporting women’s engagement in ICT, UN Women began implementing a new initiative in partnership with the Innovative Education Foundation, GeoLab and universities aimed at providing free training courses in website development and social media marketing for women aged 18-35 in five regions in western Georgia.
As a first step in the implementation of this initiative, a Training of Trainers was held at Ilia State University in Tbilisi. Fourteen participants from various regions of Georgia deepened their knowledge in teaching website development and social media marketing, which they will then share among the women in their regions starting in March.
Why are women not represented in the ICT sector, and what are the ways to improve the current situation? Nana Dikhaminjia, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Ilia State University, spoke to the trainers about these issues: “For years, there were no opportunities provided to women to become engaged in this field, and now, when education is equally accessible for both genders, the problem still exists. This is caused by the stereotypes that we set for children. It is important not to tell them that mathematics is for boys or that engineering is inappropriate for girls.”
The participating trainers will train at least 80 to 100 women. The best 40 trainees will attend a paid internship with digital marketing and IT companies.
“There is much potential lost among the majority of women,” noted Temo Sakhelashvili, one of the training participants. “The project will enable them to acquire a prosperous profession and then to work remotely, perhaps with a flexible schedule. I am very motivated, and I want to share this motivation and knowledge among the project participants in my region.”
The initiative is implemented within the framework of the project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia”, with the generous financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.