April 29, 2013 - 5:52 pm
By Brittany L. Stevenson | New Media Associate

On April 25, the FCC was proud to celebrate International Girls’ in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Day with a Twitter chat focusing on how ICT has helped improve the lives of women and girls in their careerseducation, and health

The purpose of International Girls’ in ICT Day is to promote gender equality in the growing field of information and communication technologies by encouraging school-aged girls to consider a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEMeducation or a tech career.  Technology plays an increasingly important role in all aspects of our lives.

“ICT is one of the fastest growing job sectors and one of the best paying.  The U.S. Bureau of labor statistics estimates a 21.8% growth in ICT jobs in the United States by 2020. At the same time, there is such a big talent gap in ICT that there will only be enough qualified workers to fill one third of those jobs. On the bright side, this situation presents a great economic opportunity for anyone considering a career in ICT.” Excerpt from Opening Statement for International Girls in ICT Day Ambassador Betty E. King

For the 1ST time, an FCC commissioner, Mingnon Clyburn, participated in an FCC-hosted Twitter chat by giving opening remarks:

“Promoting gender equality is near and dear to my heart, so when the Director of the ITU’s Development Bureau invited me last year to lend my voice to their efforts to use ICTs to empower women and girls, it was an easy decision. I commend this initiative, and am pleased that the FCC will be spreading awareness of these important issues.” - Commissioner Clyburn

The #GirlsTechDay chat featured 5 panelists discussing how ICT is related to health, education, and careers: Abdulhalim RIJAAL(@Rijaal3rd), U.S. Department of State;  Susan Carroll Schorr(@SchorrItu),International Telecommunication Union (ITU); Michelle Gilder (@USOPM) Program Manager at Office of Personnel Management (OPM); Kecia Ray (@keciaray), Ed.D., Executive Director, Learning Technology & Library Services, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and Girlshealth.gov (@girlshealth), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Women's Health.

We would like to recognize and show appreciation for the 671 #GirlsTechDay tweets, the 362 Twitter users who participated and/or promoted our hour-long discussion through informative and original tweets, retweets, and questions. Thank you for helping us reach more than 1,800,000 people with over 53 million impressions for our #GirlsTechDay chat.  This chat was a great success due to our panelists, and the dynamic engagement of our followers and chat participants sharing their experiences, offering tips, and asking questions about ICT.  

Resources & Tips  from #GirlsTechDay Chat:

  • Internet access is a fundamental need today. It is a necessity, not a luxury.
  • Do not be afraid of the computer. Experiment with software and Internet activities to help you learn.
  • Technology helps girls with disabilities through “assistive” technologies that help with everyday living http://go.usa.gov/TRxd 
  • Girls should check out available clubs/groups at their school for options in technology.http://go.usa.gov/TNSF 
  • Check out girlsinictportal.org, a listing of over 500 programs and organizations for those interested in ICT.
  • US DOT has a program, TechWomen, offering a 5 week mentorship with a tech company. see: http://techwomen.org 
  • 93% of teens have computer access and 78%  have a cellphone.  The web is a clear point of access for youth:http://goo.gl/M6TJi .
  • One challenge in a classroom with technology is bullying. We recommend that everyone check out http://stopbullying.gov for tools.
  • Take advantage of free online courses, learn new languages through online tools, and learn how to fix through watching “how to” videos…

The #GirlsTechDay chat was an opportunity to highlight resources, offer tips, and showcase ICT as a great career choice for anyone, male or female.  Today we live in a society where ICT has become the way with which people connect with peers, educate themselves, seek employment, receive medical attention, and become informed about the world around them. The Internet allows ideas to reach a broader audience, and gives people a voice.  The #GirlsTechDay chat was centered on how technology is a catalyst and how it helps improve the lives of women and girls in their careerseducation, and health.

If you were unable to join our #GirlsTechDay chat, you can view the chat feed via Twitter or read the full transcripts.  Thank you for your support; we are looking forward to hosting more chats and engaging with the public on various issues.