Updated: Oct 20, 2021
Originally published on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 by The Jamaica Observer.
Youth Can Do IT (YCDI) marked Girls in ICT Day 2021 with the second staging of their two-day virtual event #iamWITy (I am woman in technology). High school and university students and working professionals in attendance were educated, empowered and encouraged to take up space as women in technology.
Sponsored by NCB Foundation, Microsoft Caribbean and Jamaica Technology and Digital Alliance (JTDA), the event was held from April 22 to 23 under the theme 'Amplify your story: What will you create '. International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated worldwide, annually, on the last Thursday of April, with the goal of “creating a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies”.
Minister of Education, Youth and Information Fayval Williams and Lieutenant Colonel Godphey Sterling, head of Jamaica Cyber Incident Response Team at the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology reaffirmed their commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and urged companies to create a pipeline for women entering the industry. Keynote speaker for day one, Sheree Martin, head of retail banking at NCB, encouraged participants to adopt the right “heart set”. Dr Tarika Barrett, CEO of Girls Who Code, challenged the audience to close the widening gender gap in tech.
The daily workshops provided participants with hands-on opportunities to learn invaluable skills from leading experts in the field. Topics included: Storytelling with Data from Raquel Seville, CEO of BI Brainz; Cybersecurity with Dr Moniphia Hewling, CEO of eMRock Online; User Experience from the JTDA IEEE group; Marketing and Branding with Kadia Francis, founder of the Digital Jamaica Platform; and Monique McIntosh, co-founder of Digital Disruption Agency; Agile Leadership with Nicole Safley from Elevate Agility; and Data, Artificial Intelligence and Coding from the Microsoft team of Iasia Brown, Jasmine Greenaway and Adriana Menedez.