Expert advocates removal of cultural norms barring women, girls in STEM disciplines

Expert advocates removal of cultural norms barring women, girls in STEM disciplines
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ICT
ICT

By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

Mr Jide Awe, an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) expert, has advocated the removal of cultural norms and stereotypes that discourage women and girls from pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Awe made the call in Abuja on Thursday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the commemoration of the 2024 International Girls in ICT Day, slated for April 25.

NAN reports that the day aims to encourage young women and girls to build careers in ICT and also bridge gender gap in the tech industry, inspire girls to achieve their full potential in STEM.

The expert said there was a digital gender divide that had stunted the growth of the tech industry and the overall development of societies.

According to him, celebrating the day annually should not just be a slogan but should centre around how young women and girls can use ICT to solve problems and realise their dreams.

“Essentially, this entails addressing how girls and young women can be empowered to develop careers in the field of ICT.

“There can be no real change until girls and young women invest significantly in ICT careers and education.

“In addition to technical capacity, we must change culture in the ICT sector, stop the stereotypes and biases in the tech industry because the field is about solving problems and not a male field.

“The technology ecosystem is a space for everyone and in this regard, strong female role models and mentors in the ICT field are encouraged to speak on their experiences and provide guidance to young girls and women,” he said.

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The expert said that the world needed the talents, ideas of the women, adding that a more diverse and inclusive tech industry would help everyone towards shaping the future of technology.

He added that young women and girls should be encouraged and inspired to take up ICT careers and pursue STEM education.

“Beyond talk, society must walk the talk by equipping and supporting young women and girls by providing them with access to training, career information, opportunities and resources needed to become successful ICT professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders.” (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Deji Abdulwahab

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