Cisco Supports United Nations’ Girls in ICT Day in Qatar 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

DOHA, Qatar - 29 April 2015 – Cisco hosted its first ‘Girls Power Tech’ mentoring sessions in Qatar 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 Qatar Academy and Al Arqam Academy 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 included an executive welcome by Reem Al-Mansoori, Assistant Undersecretary of Digital Society Development, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR), 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 Qatar, 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.

“ICT is a rapidly evolving field and the number of career opportunities in it are growing exponentially. Through TumahaTEC program, ictQATAR is working to ensure people are fully aware of the many different career paths within this sector. The ICT industry still needs engineers, programmers and developers, but it also extends well beyond that, to include careers such as graphic design, game development, digital content creation and more. ictQATAR is committed to connecting the most talented youth we have in Qatar to ICT career opportunities that will truly charge their ambitions,” said Reem Al-Mansoori, Assistant Undersecretary of  Digital Society Development , ictQATAR.

“I’m happy to be here today to participate in Cisco’s Girls Power Tech which I believe it 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,” she added.

Mohammad Hammoudi, General Manager, Cisco Qatar, 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 Qatar!”

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