Girls Encouraged to Follow ICT Career Paths to Realize Potential of the Internet of Everything
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – 11 May 2015 – Cisco hosted its first ‘Girls Power Tech’ mentoring sessions in the UAE recently, as part of a global mentoring initiative to support and complement the United Nations’ Girls in ICT Day on 23 April 2015, an annual day of activities organized by the International Telecommunications Union aimed at improving the understanding of careers in ICT among girls. Cisco has supported Girls in ICT since its inception in 2011.
Girls ages 13-18 from Dubai International Academy, GEMS Wellington International School, Greenwood International School, Jumeirah College, Kings’ School Al Barsha, and Umm Suqeim School were invited to participate in Girls Power Tech mentoring opportunities with Cisco employees, allowing girls to make informed career choices about working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). They also experienced Cisco technologies first hand and met with other Girls participating in ICT Day across the region via Cisco TelePresence.
The day’s agenda started with a welcome by Meghan McCarthy, Regional Sales Manager, Partner Organization and Commercial Segment, Cisco UAE, followed by an introduction to Cisco by Rabih Dabboussi, General Manager, Cisco UAE. Students then participated in an interactive learning session about the Internet of Things and Internet of Everything by Den Sullivan, Head of Architectures and Enterprise – Emerging Markets, Cisco.
During the day, students also engaged in group mentoring, an immersive telepresence experience, a demonstration session about the collaboration technology, panel discussion focusing about different career tracks and the IoT Young Women’s Innovation Challenge.
Globally and in the UAE, there is a massive shortfall projected in the numbers of workers trained for careers in ICT. Cisco’s ‘Girls Power Tech’ is focused on encouraging girls and young women in more than 50 countries, and 80 Cisco offices, to discover opportunities opened by careers in ICT. Often students are discouraged from pursuing careers simply because they either do not know anyone who works in these fields or they do not understand what people in these fields do. That’s why Cisco’s hands-on mentoring is so important. Mentoring also provides meaningful experiences for employees, with employee volunteers reporting higher level of engagement, loyalty, and longevity.
Walid Issa, Area Academy Manager – Gulf Region, Cisco, commented, “The technology industry in the UAE has never been more dynamic or more exciting. Now, more than ever, we need to be doing all we can to build the diverse talent pipeline that will lead our industry into the future. Cisco’s Girls Power Tech allows young women to explore the incredible opportunities available to them in the technology sector and helps to build the skills and the mindset needed to be our leaders of tomorrow.”
Reem Nassar, Partner Account Manager – Gulf Region, Cisco, said: “Women are under-represented in ICT careers around the world, but our continued support for Girls in ICT Day aims to reverse that trend. By encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM careers, they can be the next generation of innovators, and deliver benefits for their families, communities, and countries.”
Rabih Dabboussi, General Manager, Cisco UAE, 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 Everything economy. We are proud to sponsor Girls Power Tech as part of our overall global mentoring efforts and thank our Cisco employee volunteers for inspiring the next generation of ICT talent in the UAE!”
Photo Caption: Cisco hosted its first ‘Girls Power Tech’ mentoring sessions in the UAE recently, as part of a global mentoring initiative to support and complement the United Nations’ Girls in ICT Day
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