Latin America’s ComSoc Chapters Commemorate the International Day of Girls in ICT

By Esmeralda Asurza - IEEE ComSoc Peru Chapter Vice-Chair and Yessica Sáez - Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, IEEE ComSoc Panama Chapter Chair

The International Day of Girls in ICT is an initiative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that aims to raise global awareness of the importance of promoting studies and careers in ICT for girls and young women. Every year, on the fourth Thursday of April, the Girls in ICT Day is celebrated in more than 150 countries around the world.

For girls and young women to thrive in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers, they need safe and reliable access to the Internet and digital tools. That is why, in consultation with young people, the ITU identified “Access and Security” as the slogan for girls in ICT 2022.

During April 2022, the ComSoc Panama and ComSoc Peru Chapters celebrated girls and young women through motivational messages, photo contests, conferences, and discussion panels, encouraging them to pursue studies and careers in the ICT sector.

Yessica Sáez, ComSoc Panama Chapter Chair, participated in several discussion panels and conferences related to girls in ICT. On April 19, Mrs. Sáez spoke with Ciencia en Panamá about the contributions of women in ICT through history. On April 21, she spoke with the Panama Chapter of the Internet Society about the International Day of Girls in ICT and the importance of promoting careers and professions in technology among women and girls.

The Comsoc Panama Chapter was also invited to participate as specialists in the +Terclass project, an initiative of +Móvil and Fundación Cable & Wireless Panamá, to give a virtual class about ICT aimed at high school students of the San José de Malambo School in Arraiján, Panamá.

On April 29, the ComSoc Panama Chapter hosted a Virtual Distinguished Lecture, “Communication, computation, and privacy trade- off in machine learning for smart environments,” with Dr. Damla Turgut, a Charles Millican Professor of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida and IEEE ComSoc Distinguished Lecturer.

The IEEE ComSoc Peru Chapter also organized several activities during April to conmemorate International Girls in ICT Day. The discussion panel For more girls in ICT took place on Thursday, April 28, and was led by Helga Medina, WICE coordinator of the ComSoc Peru Chapter. This activity aimed to share experiences of the panelists in relation to their work as promoters in the development of girls in STEM education, as well as solutions to promote access and security in our society so that girls can safely access the digital environment.

The photography contest, “Niñas en TICs,” had the purpose of promoting and celebrating the different roles of girls and women in STEM through the publication of photographs via social networks.Three categories were considered: Girls, Students (undergraduate), and Professionals. The winners of the Student and Professional categories received annual IEEE and ComSoc memberships. The winner of the Girl category received a book, The Future Is Feminine, which has inspiring stories about the situations that girls and women face on a daily basis, showing how their protagonists transform them to empower themselves. More details about this panel are here:

See the winners of the contest here:

Flyers of the events where Yessica Sáez, ComSoc Panama Chapter Chair, participated.

Flyer for the discussion panel “For more girls in ICT”