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As we embrace the annual International Girls in ICT Day celebration, ITU Secretary-General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, emphasized that “Our future is digital and we need women to lead it​.”

This year’s theme is “Leadership,” and the ITU Secretary-General shared several figures that serve as a “call to action” and highlight the importance of equal representation and women in tech in building a sustainable digital future. Notably, less than a quarter of all ICT ministers are women, while only 32 out of 165 ICT regulators are led by a woman. In the private sector, women technologists occupy less than a third of positions, while facing a 21% pay gap.

In response, “we must prepare young women and girls to become tomorrow's visionary women leaders,” Bogdan-Martin stated.

Girls in ICT Movement

Over a decade ago, the ITU launched its Girls in ICT initiative to inspire young women to explore careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). “It is now a global movement and a vital platform for addressing the barriers still facing women in the tech world, especially in emerging fields ranging from artificial intelligence to quantum computing,” continued Bogdan-Martin.

She noted that this “lack of equal representation can result in flawed product and service design, bias in machine learning, exclusionary policy and decision-making.” As the first female Secretary-General at the ITU, she can relate to the difficulty of breaking the glass ceiling. “For me, leadership is more than holding a job title or position of power; it is about harnessing the power of ideas and innovation to spark transformative change.”

Furthermore, “we cannot build the innovative, safe and sustainable digital future we need without half of humanity,” she added. Calling on the international community, she encourages “more young women to take up STEM careers and bridge the digital divide once and for all.”

“To all young women and girls: your potential is unlimited, your ideas are powerful, and the STEM world is waiting for you,” Bogdan-Martin concluded.

Telecom Review Group Supports Women in ICT

This year, as a testament to Telecom Review Group’s commitment to empowering women in ICT, an exclusive feature has been dedicated to distinguished women executives from NEC, Ericsson, du, Nokia, PMP Strategy, and Huawei, giving them the opportunity to share their views and insights on how to bridge the gap, break the stereotype, advocate inclusive opportunities, and ensure inclusivity.

In 2022 and 2023, the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit designated a particular panel to women in ICT, inspiring industry leaders to discuss the value women bring to the table, the gender equality in the telecom and ICT fields, and the importance of diversity and inclusion.

To read more about Telecom Review’s women in ICT interviews, click here.

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