The technology world, as most of us are aware, is largely male dominated. Regardless of their tech talent, women are typically disregarded in favour of their male counterparts – even if they are just as skilled and knowledgeable. However, Candy wants this to change, and with the backing of a new initiative, she hopes that the girls of Botwana both now and in the future will find an industry as equally open to females as it has been to men.
Botswana’s Initiative to empower young girls
Botswana is hoping to make a change to technology stereotyping in future generations. By supporting the initiative of giving young girls the confidence and empowerment to pursue careers in Information Technology, it will give the girls the knowledge they need and self belief that will allow them to soar in an industry that has been too long dominated by men. Through various mentoring programmes and events, it plans to inspire young women to become IT engineers and leaders; more importantly still, it will show them that the IT world is becoming an equal male-female playing field.
Below is a picture of the recent mentorship programmes held in Botswana to help empower Secondary School girls in ICT.
It’s up to females to change the long-held gender stereotype of the IT industry being a man’s world. Classically, cultures internationally have attributed technology to being for men, or a man’s job, or simply just an area of work unfit for women. Of course, men have been at the forefront of several technological advances throughout history – this is simply a documented fact. However, it is time for women to make the change, and push forward so they too are at the front of what has become a very fast-paced technological world. Women should not settle for being sidelined and underestimated purely through historical and unfounded gender assumptions. Future generations should not face the same issues, or feel the doubt in their potential that women have long suffered already. It is the woman’s time to innovate, believe and become equal competitors in the opportunities the IT industry has ready to take.
Perceptive of a female IT graduate future in Botswana
Female ICT students in Botswana have, on completion of their studies, looked at pursuing degrees in other industries after feeling that they have nothing to contribute to the male dominated IT world. There is a common belief that many women studying ICT study it in order to pass, rather than to establish a presence in the evolution of technology. It is very rare to find a woman in Botswana’s software or IT industry, regardless of whether it be a coder or a networking engineer. Furthermore, people in Botswana believe that women, if in IT, are assumed to be most comfortable teaching it to Secondary School students. This is a limiting assumption, yes, but it does indicated that women have an aptitude for grasping technology, and that there is plenty of room to give women the push they need to be empowered and explore the opportunities available across the sector.
What should women do?
It’s time for women to explore their talents and start to produce inventions to rival those previously exclusive to men. Girls should be able to look up to female IT engineers so they have the role models they need to relate to and believe in, so they too can believe that they can be a part of the ever-changing IT industry. Women should not be intimidated by what the industry has been in the past, as it’s about what it’s becoming, and where, with women, it can go. Women need to be vigilant, strive to work hard, experiment and be continually persistent with achieving their goals in the IT world. It’s the female’s time to become the creative inventor, to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, to become a name recognized globally next to a brand such as Apple or Samsung, and to be heard: Botswana is simply giving them their voice.
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