Every year, Cisco participates in Girls in ICT Day. We open our doors to young women all over the world and inspire them to pursue a career in information and communications technology (ICT) through hands-on exposure to the latest technology and engagement with industry professionals.
What: Women can help fill the global IT gap
Women comprise a mere 27% of workers in the computer science, engineering, and physics fields in some of the world’s emerging economies. Many companies report difficulty finding skilled people for technology jobs. Women represent a large, untapped resource of technology talent.
- More than 1.4 million computing-related job openings will exist by 2020, with only enough computer degree graduates to fill 30% of them.
- Women earn 57% of all U.S. undergraduate degrees but only 18% of undergraduate computer and information sciences degrees.
- Women earn 41% of doctoral degrees in STEM fields, but make up only 28% of tenure-track faculty in those fields.
How: Exposing young women to tech opportunities
Every April, Cisco participates in Girls in ICT Day, a global event organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Employees at Cisco offices worldwide spend the day with girls age 13 to 18, encouraging them to consider ICT as an education and career choice.
- Cisco events include office visits, tours, and presentations by Cisco female employees about their career paths and life in the technology field.
- Students use Cisco TelePresence and Jabber collaboration solutions to interact with other girls across the globe and with successful women working at Cisco and elsewhere.
Cisco’s participation demonstrates that women are powerful catalysts for change in society, and that technology is an enabler that can help them accomplish extraordinary things.
- In 2014, 75 Cisco offices participated and 2331 girls attended.
- Cisco has pledged that 20% of its workforce will spend 20 hours a year on STEM mentoring by 2020, with an emphasis on women and girls.
- When women are able to earn an income, they typically reinvest 90% of it back into their families and communities.