While new technologies are developing continuously, there is a significant gender divide in the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) sector. Only 30 per cent of the around 7 million people working in ICT’s are women, according to an article published by the European Commission in 2016.
“The majority of the people in the IT industry are men and for the women when they participate in IT they don’t see a lot of other women that they can socialize with”, says Hong sharing about her working experience in this industry.
Nhu Nguyen Cao Quynh, a Vietnamese freelancer working in ICT sector, says that there are many opportunities for women in her country. However, certain occupations are more accessible and desired for women in Vietnam.
“In my opinion, every woman has her own choice. It depends on the background. We have many women who have work as a teacher. In Vietnam, teacher is a good job and it not so hard. The men want to marry the women who work in Education.” Nhu added.
Nevertheless, like Hong, some women in Asia chose another carrier path. Representing FOSSASIA, Hong has been a regular speaker at tech conferences including Liber Graphic, Open Tech Summit, and Urban City. Currently, she is bringing together an inspiring community across the borders and ages to create a better future with information and communication technologies.
“FOSSASIA is a big network. We also have many women members, especially from India where we have a big and active group of women involved in Open technology”, said Hong. “They organized workshops for women interested in coding and to encourage more women to participate in IT,” she added.
Hong said “I am not specialized in computer science but I got really inspired by the people in the open tech community. I believed that if I can learn how to do that, any woman and girl can learn how to code. I really encourage the women to try out open technology.”
(Copyright: UNESCO/Nyein Chan Myo – this content was first published as part of the Youth Newsroom of the Regional Roundtable “Youth at the Heart of the Agenda 2030: The Case for Space” here: http://www.case4space.org/newsroom)