MORE THAN 100 students, teachers and industry representatives participated in the second celebration of Girls in ICT Day in the Bahamas.
Girls in ICT Day, part of a global initiative led by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), was held on April 28 at the British Colonial Hilton and hosted students from 24 schools throughout Nassau and the Family Islands. Its purpose is to promote the use of and access to Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) by women and girls; to expose young women to the myriad of opportunities in the sector and to empower girls and young women with the knowledge that careers in ICTs can be very beneficial.
The event was hosted by the Utilities Regulation & Competition Authority (URCA) in partnership with the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), Cable Bahamas, The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (ZNS) and other service providers in the electronic communications sector.
The event was a one-day symposium for senior high school girls in grades nine to 12, and was designed to give students the opportunity to meet and speak with outstanding women whose jobs require significant ICT skills.
The students were treated to words of wisdom from many women working in ICT positions throughout the country.
Presentations included an informative and personal keynote address from Julianna Mahelis, a pilot at Bahamasair, who said when she told persons that she worked for the airline, she would often be asked “oh what is it like being a stewardess”.
Another highlight was the panel discussion featuring Shantelle Lopez, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager at the Water & Sewerage Corporation; Lynda Burrows, Senior Manager IT Operations and IT Helpdesk at Commonwealth Bank; Kendia Barr, Information Technology (IT) Teacher at Old Bight High School, Cat Island; Caron Klein, Enterprise Resource Planning Manager at BTC; and Shayvonne Moxey-Bonamy, Senior Meteorological Officer at the Bahamas Dept of Meteorology.
The girls also participated in activities led by fellow student Gabrielle Hollaende, of Lyford Cay International School and a prospective computer game creator, and IT educator Ramona Wells. They were given the opportunity to visit a host of exhibitors representing various areas of ICTs, including The Amoury Company, BTC, BTVI, Cable Bahamas, Fourth Terrace Diagnostic Centre, Synergy Bahamas and URCA.
“Thanks to URCA for making this experience possible.
“Being around the ICTs field for a day, I had an awesome time. I hope to be back next year by God’s grace,” remarked a 10th grade student from Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School in Spanish
“My career is cooking, but that might change into ICTs,” she said.
“Almost 70 per cent of attendees indicated their interest in pursuing studies and/or careers in ICTs as a result of the event, which speaks to its success,” added Mavis Johnson-Collie, Corporate and Consumer Relations Manager at URCA.
“We look forward to this event growing and evolving each year as we look for unique and engaging ways to expose our young women to the opportunities that abound in field of ICTs in the country.”