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Today is International Day of “Girls in ICT Industry”

“Expand the horizons, change the attitude” – under the slogan “Woman in the ICT Industry” is celebrated worldwide on April 26th. It was initiated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN specialized body. The day is internationally celebrated every year on the fourth day of the fourth week of the fourth month, starting in 2010 with the aim of creating a global environment that encourages girls and young women to think about starting their career in a growing ICT field.

 

It should be noted that 12% of Armenian students specialize in information and high technologies, and one-quarter of them are girls. 63% of Armenian ICT specialists are men and 37% are women.

 

At the same time, women are less involved in ICT decision-making positions. According to the Enterprise Incubator Foundation Survey (2015), women account for only 1.3% of ICT companies. Approximately 360 ICT enterprises make up 30% of technical staff, 15% of ICT managers and only 1.3% as strategic and planning managers.

 

According to Seda Papoyan, founder of Girls in Tech Armenia, at first glance, it seems that women and girls in Armenia’s IT sphere do not have very serious problems. “In reality, however, there are a number of deep-rooted issues in our area, and our work is aimed at solving them. The first problem facing girls is the discrimination encountered in the educational process, so often girls leave the field. Everything starts from school, when a girl chooses technology, she often has to go against public opinion, the accepted stereotypes. Already in vocational education, especially when girls are able to express themselves, at some point they say, “That’s not your mind.” If girls, however, succeed in overcoming these barriers and reaching the labor market, they still basically share the secondary roles of the sector. Very few find themselves in engineering and programming, because there is a lack of trust in women, “she says.

 

Information technology sector is mainly male, in turn, Narine Abazyan, Chair of Women and Information Society NGO, confirms this fact with her years of experience. “Today, our high school students have quite good progress in mathematics and physics,” says Narine Abazyan, “but in the future, when a career choice is raised, they usually choose finances, languages, and much more on the advice of their parents, few people choose IT, it comes with a lack of information, and besides, it seems that women and the general public are not visible women’s ideals that can serve as an example for the growing generation. Women and the Information Society NGO, along with other organizations working in the field, tries to eliminate this gap and break stereotypes, promoting the involvement of women and girls in Armenia’s information society and identifying new names in this community.

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