Today is officially ICT Day and in honor of that LG has partnered with Forge Academy to promote career opportunities for young girls in the technology sector. Girls in ICT Day aims to build awareness about the gender gap in ICT, support technology education and skills training, as well as encourage more girls and young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
When you consider that in 2020 women occupied just 23% of tech jobs in South Africa and women in the ICT sector earning 20% to 25% less than their male counterparts, then you understand why the United Nations International Telecommunication Union created the day to bring more awareness to such issues.
One of the causes of this problem lies with education and the above stats reflect a massive gender gap not only locally but also globally. In the case of education, female students are often not encouraged to take STEM-related high school subjects, which explains why only 13% of South Africa’s STEM graduates were women in 2017.
Where does LG come in? Well, the company hopes to bridge the gender divide in technology by showing its support for Girls in ICT Day and working with initiatives that inspire girls and young woman to pursue STEM career paths and partnerships such as the one with Forge Academy prove that. Through this link up with Forge, LG will roll out sustainable programmes throughout the year to drive skills development amongst girls and women.
Farzana Abdul, Human Resources & Legal Director at LG, explains: “As a global leader in advanced technology, this issue lies at the heart of our vision for the industry. Our corporate citizenship programmes are driven by partnerships between local community citizens and dedicated NGOs. Through this partnership with Forge Academy, LG will actively support more girls and women to become frontrunners in the future of ICT, democratising access to technology in our country.”
Forge Academy is a next-generation education facility that focuses on giving African students the skills they need to thrive in a digital age. The academy uses a hands-on lab approach, and encourage learners to become the makers and builders of tomorrow by giving them access to the innovative technologies that underpin the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Included is augmented reality, robotics, app development, and 3D printing – all of which offer unique career paths that will become increasingly important in a tech-driven future.
Martine Solomon, Non-Executive Director at Forge Academy, added: “Technology will only continue to create new career opportunities. If we want to tap into the true potential of the youth and technology, we need everyone – especially girls – to get involved. This partnership with LG is an exciting step forward in achieving that.”