The GSMA today celebrated the annual ITU Girls in ICT Day with students from The Bridge Academy in Hackney, highlighting the exciting learning and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas.
The group of Year 8 (12-13 year-old) schoolgirls from The Bridge Academy spent the day at Wayra, Telefónica’s start-up accelerator, where they worked with developers to create a virtual reality (VR) experience, heard success stories from young entrepreneurs from Acorn Aspirations, and learned more about careers experiences from a number of female executives.
“We are thrilled to again be participating in the ITU’s Girls in ICT Day,” said Michel O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “Mobile technology has become central in the everyday lives of billions of people around the world and this will only increase in the years ahead, as nearly everyone and everything is connected by mobile. We want to ensure that young women are preparing themselves to take a leading role in this mobile-first future, by focusing on STEM subjects in their education and then pursuing and advancing in careers in technology.”
A major highlight of the day was the virtual reality experience led by Ada Rose Edwards of Samsung, where the students had the opportunity to do some basic programming and to edit a VR environment using the Google Cardboard viewer, mobile devices and laptops. The girls later put their VR experiences to use with an immersive virtual tour from Google Expeditions.
In addition to the activities in London, the GSMA also hosted a group of girls at the Mobile World Center in Barcelona, where speakers from the GSMA, HP and Telefónica showcased the impact of technology and mobile.
“Following on the Women for Tech programme and the Youth Mobile Festival, both launched at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Girls in ICT Day offers another opportunity for us to highlight the importance of technology in education and careers for young women in Barcelona,” said Therese Jamaa, General Manager, Mobile World Capital, GSMA. “We also want to help young women understand the breadth of careers available to them in the technology industry, from engineering and technical roles, to marketing and sales, and more. The possibilities are endless!”
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals
Participation in initiatives such as the Girls in ICT Day underlines the mobile industry’s commitment to helping to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities).
In 2016, the mobile industry became the first sector as a whole to commit to the SDGs, with mobile already contributing against all 17 SDGs. The GSMA and its members are focused on accelerating and amplifying mobile’s impact on the SDGs, to connect everyone and everything to a better future.