Every year, worldwide leader in IT and networking, Cisco Systems, supports Girls in ICT Day, a global event founded by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
As part of its Girls Power Tech Global Mentoring Initiative and celebrated in support of the annual United Nation’s International Girls in ICT day employees at Cisco offices worldwide spend the day with girls age 13 to 18, encouraging them to consider education and career paths in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math.)
This year, the Nigerian leg of the Girls in ICT event was held on 4th May 2017 at Cisco’s Victoria Island office.
Girls from the Nigerian Navy Secondary School Ojo, Federal Science and Technical College Yaba, Federal Government College, Ijanikin, and Saint Michael’s Anglican College Sururele Lagos were invited to participate in STEM focused mentoring activities with Cisco employees, in order to provide them with insights and opportunities for women in tech.
Girls Power Tech is a special learning opportunity directed at female students to connect using Cisco Telepresence and Jabber collaboration solutions to interact with other females across the globe and with successful women working at Cisco and elsewhere. It is part of Cisco’s enduring commitment to encourage more diversity in the industry.
Speaking at the event, Olakunle Oluruntimehin, General Manager, Cisco Nigeria (and English speaking West Africa) said – “It’s important for Cisco to help build the diverse talent pipeline that can capture the amazing opportunities of the 21st Century’s Internet of Things economy.”
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 2015, 80+ Cisco offices are participating and 3000+ girls are attending from 50+ countries which grew in 2016 to 104 Cisco offices participating and 5000+ girls attending from 61 countries. 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.