IBM wants girls to think IT

IBM wants more women in the region to take an interest in careers in IT. The vendor is taking a "get them while they're young" approach by speaking to children in schools in the region.

  • E-Mail
By  Peter Branton Published  December 17, 2003

IBM wants more women in the region to take an interest in careers in IT. The vendor is taking a "get them while they're young" approach by speaking to children in schools in the region.

A two-woman team from IBM held a technology briefing at the International School of Choueifat, Dubai this month as part of an ongoing IBM programme to build technology awareness in regional schools. This is part of a global 'Women in Technology' campaign the vendor is running, aimed at helping young women "to understand and appreciate the opportunities of technology and to work with them to build a deeper understanding of how women can build careers in the information technology industry" as the company describes it.

The team, Dalia El Talawi, Thoraya El Ghawi, came to IBM Middle East through the 'Fresh Graduates Programme', a regional initiative that selected leading achievers in technology from regional universities and brought them into IBM as graduate employees.

"Often young women see technology as a 'guy thing': there's a perception that technology is a male dominated field, particularly in our region," said El Talawi. "The young women we're talking to are between 13 and 14 years old and today have an opportunity to start building their work with software and information technology as they start to formulate career choices.

The three hour workshop focused on areas of technology where women have excelled and where there are opportunities for women to build interesting and appropriate careers.

"There are fields in computing that particularly attract female recruits, and we want to share information and knowledge regarding those so that other young women can start to appreciate how they can work with technology," said El Ghawi. "We both arrived at technology as a career choice very much by accident: there was nobody there to show us the possibilities and potential that technology offers women. We both hope that, with this ongoing programme, we can extend that help to more and more women in schools in our region."

A major part of the session was working interactively with the students to build a series of websites, showing the girls how simple it can be to use today's software tools to work with technology and achieve real results.

"We are very keen to extend this programme to other schools and work with more and more students moving forward," said El Talawi. "We'd be delighted to hear from other schools that would be interested in hosting similar sessions."

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code