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blink | bmobile Supports Women and Girls in ICT

Panel of female ICT professionals
“Always believe in yourself and never give up; people believe in you, when you believe in yourself.” 
 
Those were the words of Aerospace Engineer, Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne as she delivered one of the many presentations at the Women and Girls in Information Communication Technology (ICT) Forum on Wednesday, at the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA). Alleyne spoke of her experience as an Aerospace Engineer in the United States and how her upbringing in T&T helped to propel her to a successful career in the field. 
 
While the theme of the conference centered on careers in ICT, the main idea stressed throughout the many speeches presented on the day, is summed up in that piece of advice given by Alleyne. Whether it came from a presenter in the field of biochemistry, animation, microbiology, fashion, social media or online security, the girls present at the forum would have taken home one message; don’t let being a girl stand in your way of achieving anything in life and especially not a career in ICT. 
 
“blink | bmobile always wants to be part of events that help educate and motivate our youths into industries that we are very closely knitted to and we are of course a communications technology company, so we are very proud to be a part of this event,” explained Natasha Davis, blink | bmobile EVP, Marketing. 
 
The event, hosted by the Ministry of Science and Technology, is in its second year and aims to bring about meaningful change in the personal and professional development of young women and girls. blink | bmobile was on hand to provide information and demonstrations on its products, how they can help further one’s career and the prospects of getting into an organization such as blink | bmobile. 
 
“We are here today to help show the young ladies present that it’s not that difficult to get into the ICT industry once they stay on the correct path of education and continue building themselves.” Said who? 
 
Minister of Science and Technology, Rupert Griffith kicked off the event by expressing his belief that the country was already on the road to change in terms of integrating ICT into everyday life and urged the young women present, not to take the diverse education they are afforded for granted, as it is a privilege for many in other parts of the world. 
 
“Your presence here today is proof that science and technology, engineering and mathematics will soon experience a transformation in which girls and young women join their male counterparts as active participants to making flourishing contributions in the digital economy,” said Griffith. 
 
As was emphasized over and over again, the beauty of ICT careers is that there are many more opportunities to create your own path and be your own boss than in most other career paths. And, with the world rapidly advancing towards being greatly dependent upon ICT for everyday functionality, it is imperative that more young girls begin to think about pursuing ICT careers. 
 
Students were able to sit in on a number of discussions from successful women in the field of ICT, including Maxine Williams, Head of Diversity at Facebook, who presented via Skype, Tricia Singh, who spoke on environmental biology and ICT, Shelley-Ann Clarke-Hinds, Executive manager of External ICT Relations at the Ministry of Science and Technology and Mel Gabriel, Editor and Curator of Caribbean Lookbook, among other equally inspiring speakers. 
 
And why should more women think about careers in ICT? Frances Coreia, Country Manager for Microsoft in T&T explained it like this; “We need more ladies because we think differently, we are wired differently and we solve problems differently. The use of technology in solving problems for us (women), is going to be different in the way a man will design it to solve our problems, so let’s get on board and do it today.” 
 
Coreia added that ICT presented a vast world of opportunities and women should not only stick to traditional careers, but rather focus on using ICT to make the world a better place in any way possible. “Whilst you may be thinking about traditional ICT careers like programming and creating games and entertainment,” she began, “I want you to take that to one step deeper and let’s think about how we can change the world into a better place with it. “ 
 
Cross-section of the large group of girls at the forum 
 
The Honorable Rupert Griffith delivers the feature address