On May 6, 2023, Sisters of Code conducted a successful event at IT Academy STEP Cambodia to celebrate international Girls in ICT Day 2023. This event was attended by the students from Happy Chandara School, Passerelles numériques Cambodia, Royal University of Phnom Penh, American University of Phnom Penh, Institute Of Technology Of Cambodia, Norton University, and University of Cambodia.
International Girls in ICT Day is established by ITU (The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations) and celebrated in over 150 countries around the world, to promote girls and young women's involvement in IT. For girls and young women to thrive in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers, they need to acquire skills to become both ICT users and creators in the digital world. That’s why “Digital Skills for Life” was chosen as a theme for Girls in ICT Day 2023.
During this event, girls have an opportunity to discuss in a groups on why they are interested in technology and how they perceive girls in tech and share it with others. Here is what our participant said:
"I chose computer science as a major at the university because I am really interested in technology and I can learn new skills which are useful for both my community and myself. In my class, there are only a few female students, so sometimes, I feel unwelcome in this male-dominated major. However, after investing some time in this field, I believe that girls can also learn to code and should have access to the same opportunity as boys."
At the same time, we also include a fun and engaging activity in our agenda which is the ICT quiz focusing on general knowledge and women's contributions in technology. This can help to raise awareness of the achievements of women in the industry and inspire students to pursue a career in ICT. Five students who get the highest score received a beautiful Sisters of Code t-shirt from Sisters of Code.
Moreover, Mrs. Kim Mithona, a Sisters of Code mentor and ICT teacher, shared her academic and career experience alongside the challenges and opportunities women in tech may face. She also provided tips on how to overcome those challenges and how to be successful like her in this field.
On top of that, we also invite Ms. Vat Kimly, a community and training development manager at Startup Factory Cambodia, to share her experience in a tech startup and to talk about the topic of "Thriving as a woman in a male-dominated industry". She showcased the challenges and opportunities women in tech startup encounter and what she did to break those barriers. She also mentioned skills girls need to develop to be ready for this industry.
Sisters of Code is a non-profit program initiated and managed by IT Academy STEP Cambodia. It the first female coding club in Cambodia with the goal is to encourage girls and young women to pursue tech education and inspire them to work in the tech industry. We hope that this event could help to create a new opportunity and bring more inspiration to students!