Cisco Supports United Nations’ Girls in ICT Day in Oman with Girls Power Tech Initiative to Inspire Youth to Create the Digital Jobs of Tomorrow

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Girls Encouraged to Follow ICT Career Paths to Realize Potential of the Internet of Everything

MUSCAT, Oman – 11 May 2015 – Cisco hosted its first ‘Girls Power Tech’ mentoring sessions in Oman 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.

Twenty–five girls ages 13–18 from Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos Private School and the British School Muscat 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 from the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, and Turkey via Cisco TelePresence.

The day’s agenda included an executive welcome by Mahmood Al Kalbani, Account Manager – Commercial, Cisco Oman, and speakers Amal Al Mashayakhi, Information Security Training and Awareness Specialist, Information Technology Authority – Oman, and Huda Al Ghabshi, Internal Communication Manager, Omantel.

Students also participated in group or individual mentoring, an immersive telepresence experience, a learning session regarding the Internet of Everything and the IoT Young Women’s Innovation Challenge, and a site tour.

Globally and in Oman, 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 Oman 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.”

Iyad Alchammat, General Manager, Cisco Oman, 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 Oman!”

Photo Caption: Cisco hosted its first ‘Girls Power Tech’ mentoring sessions in Oman recently, as part of a global mentoring initiative to support and complement the United Nations’ Girls in ICT Day.

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