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Key IT Forum encourages women’s involvement in ICT industry

7 December 2015 03:07 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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From left: Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation Executive Director Ho Se Mun, MillenniumIT Project Director Vidumini Ranasinghe, LOLC Chief Risk Officer Shamini Wickremasekera, University of Moratuwa Computer Science and Engineering Department Senior Lecturer Vishaka Nanayakkara, Microsoft Education Programmes Manager Yashinka Jayasinghe Alles, FITIS Manager Administration and Operations Chadika Yahampath, Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Head and Spokesperson Rosy Senanayake, ICTA Chairperson Chitranganee Mubarak, TechAdvisor.lk Editor Mihiri Wikramanayake and FITIS Chairperson Chinthaka Wijewickrama


“I am sad women in leadership don’t surpass 10 percent practically in every sphere of life. When we talk of gender indicators, of course Sri Lanka tops the region in education and health. We brag about our literacy rates. Even though we have these beautiful, sweet-sounding statistics, I am saddened that women in leadership do not surpass 10 percent in practically every sphere of life, whether it is the public sector, private sector or may it be in politics. Politics is of course appalling. We need to change this cultural mindset and fix this problem,” said Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Head and Spokesperson 
Rosy Senanayake.

She was the guest of honour at the ‘Women in IT Forum’ held at the BMICH, Colombo recently.

The forum kicked off with an opening address by ICTA Chairperson Chitranganee Mubarak, who emphasized on the role ICT plays in empowering women and the importance of harnessing that power, whether it is through a stay-at-home mother following her dream of baking cupcakes promoted through a Facebook page, or a young woman who wants to rise to the top of the field.

Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation Executive Director Ho Se Mun, sharing insights on Singapore’s inclusiveness of women in IT, said, “What do you picture when you think of IT? Guys in slacks with keyboards looking very geeky. And it’s up to us to change that and ensure the industry is made of more than just ‘programmers’.” 

“Education is the key. I think it’s important that we not only educate the students but actually the parents as well,” she noted, explaining the many instances that girls have told her that their parents have discouraged them from pursuing a career in the IT sector.

The speech was followed by a panel moderated by TechAdvisor.lk (an online tech website, which included women leaders from the local IT industry) Editor Mihiri Wikramanayake, MillenniumIT Project Director Vidumini Ranasinghe, University of Moratuwa Computer Science and Engineering Department Senior Lecturer Vishaka Nanayakkara, Microsoft Education Programmes Manager Yashinka Jayasinghe Alles and LOLC Chief Risk Officer Shamini Wickremasekera. They shared their thoughts, career paths and how they manage to ‘do it all’. The women urged the young students to reach for everything they aspire to be.

The panel covered a range of topics including how women need to stop inhibiting themselves, how to focus on their careers in spite of societal norms suggesting otherwise and the importance of proper support from corporates to ensure that women can juggle a career and motherhood, driving home the message that women can do it, if they set their mind to something.

Event partners, MillenniumIT CEO Mack Gill said, “We’re extremely happy to have been a part of this event. Earlier this year, we held a similar event for university students and the response was terrific. We hope to spread our empowerment message to more young women across the country and encourage them to develop a dynamic career in IT. As a company, we create opportunities for women to balance their personal and professional lives, through flexible working hours, work-from-home options and the on-site crèche for the children of MillenniumIT employees.” 

“As an industry, ICT is the fourth largest contributor towards our country’s gross domestic product (GDP) but very few women are involved in it. So it’s essential that we do something to change this. Last year, Google became the first tech company to release its diversity statistics and many other big names such as Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, etc., followed suit. With only one in three employees being women in most of these companies the lack of diversity in the IT has become a global issue,” said FITIS Chairman Chinthaka Wijewickrama. 

He highlighted the importance of gender balance and equality in the IT workforce. The Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) in collaboration with MillenniumIT and TechAdvisor.lk held a forum on women in IT under the tagline of ‘We can do IT’ as part of Infotel 2015, he said.
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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 


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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 


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