International Girls in ICT Day 2023, draws attention to the critical need for more women in the ICT sector and follows the 2023 theme of “Digital Skills for Life!”.
This year, Huawei Thailand, the world’s leading ICT company and digital transformation enabler, has joined the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s “Girls in ICT” Initiative and expressed its value proposition to drive digital inclusion and women’s empowerment in the digital era with a variety of trainings, seminars, and knowledge transfers.
According to recent data from ITU, the global proportion of women using the internet amounts to 57 per cent, compared to 62 per cent of men. If women are unable to access the internet or do not feel safe online, they will not be able to develop digital skills and participate in future digital spaces. This would subsequently diminish their opportunities to pursue a career in various STEM fields among others, stifling their ability to realize their full potential.
In Thailand, the Girls in ICT Day initiative aims to encourage girls and young women to pursue the study of STEM subjects, enhance their level of digital skills, and raise awareness on the meaningful and safe use of ICT. The celebration is organized by the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC), the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), and the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific through a series of training programs. Throughout these, Huawei will be an important partner that will organize a variety of activities and training sessions to reduce three core digital gaps.
According to Woragarn Likhitdechasakdi, CTO of Huawei Thailand Carrier Business Group, the first task is to “close the skill and knowledge gap”. Huawei believes that awareness is the first step when unpacking gender-related factors impacting digital inclusion. To this end, Huawei will offer ICT training classes on topics such as networks, 5G, and cloud, and will offer development sessions, hands-on practice, and an innovation exhibition hall visit. To further promote more girls to step into STEM careers, Huawei will also organize career seminars for passionate students with veterans in the ICT sector as well as internship opportunities if candidates are qualified.
The second task is to “close the digital infrastructure and connectivity gap”. As a technology company, Huawei firmly believes that ICT infrastructure is a vital step to ensure equal access to the internet. Towards this goal, Huawei is working with partners to improve last-mile internet that can reach more households. Huawei has developed a Giga village concept by utilizing fiber and 5G cover to reach rural households together with FWA.
In 2021, Huawei, NBTC, and ITU collaborated on the Giga Thailand whitepaper under the theme “Digital Infrastructure Benefits Everyone.” Huawei will keep working on this direction with the aim of enabling the ITU Connect 2030 Agenda.
The third and final task is to “close the application gap”. Internet connectivity will not bring any value to people without good applications. Huawei is now developing remote education solutions and 5G telehealth and telemedicine applications under the USO and other projects so that social resources can be used anywhere anytime for girls and boys in rural areas thanks to better digital connectivity. For this aspect, Huawei will bring girls from the “Girls in ICT 2023” project to experience these applications during the showcase.
Huawei is committed to supporting more girls and young women to understand the benefits of ICT in enabling their careers and aspirations. In the digital era, the engagement and perspectives of women will continue to create more possibilities for all, leading to more diversity, sustainable development, economic growth, and more liberty and stability.
In 2022, Huawei announced its collaboration with ITU to organize the “Walk into ICT Industry” event to promote the capacity of youth to understand the latest technology trends and applications. Over 20 students from all over Thailand were invited to visit the Huawei Customer Solution Innovation & Integration Experience Center (CSIC) in Bangkok and receive digital skills training provided by Huawei’s ASEAN Academy.
Similarly, in partnership with Thailand’s National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) and partners, Huawei held the first-ever ‘Women: Thailand Cyber Top Talent 2022’ competition, offering prize money to the winners totaling over 200,000 THB. The contest aimed to raise awareness on cybersecurity, empower women, and increase the number of cybersecurity workers in the ICT industry.
These efforts are in line with Huawei’s mission of “Grow in Thailand, Contribute to Thailand”, as well as to drive Thailand towards a future digital and intelligent era in which everyone is fully connected.