Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) last week, while celebrating the ‘International Girls ICT Day’ called on the girl child to take up careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM so they can brighten their future. President of the group, Mrs. Martha Omoekpen-Alade at the career fair organised to mark the occasion, said the event was put together to challenge the over hundred girls from several secondary schools in Lagos state, to sample the various career options available in the STEM field.
In her remarks, Omoekpen-Alade noted that a good percentage of girls were not going into science and engineering because they had no idea of the options available in the fields giving rise to her showcasing over 40 different career options in ICT alone in the fair. She stressed the need to have more girls in STEM as there is huge gender parity in most tech companies.
“Research has shown that companies with a more balanced workforce with women on board do better; their products would satisfy the needs of consumers more.
As long as users of technologies remain diverse, producers and inventors of technology must have diverse and balanced teams of males and females. This diversity can only be attained if girls begin to consider careers in STEM. Early interventions will enable girls understand that, limitless opportunities abound for them if they leverage on careers available in the field”.
Alade noted that stakeholders lament globally over the high rate of women dropout in the STEM field but revealed that WITIN with its partners were committed to reducing the female gender STEM leaky pipeline. Also the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, district VI, Mrs. Iyabo Osifeso commended WITIN on efforts in bridging the gender digital divide in the state, promising that the state government would always support where necessary.
Osifeso who was represented by Assistant Director of Education, District VI, Mrs. Taiwo Temitayo highlighted WITIN’s interventions including the training of teachers in the district and equipping girls with technology, saying many girls in the state had benefited a lot from the schemes.