The first conference on technology and gender will be held with an all-women panel |  the daily

The first conference on technology and gender will be held with an all-women panel | the daily

For years, April 22 has been celebrated as the International Day of Girls in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). As part of this, the Women IT collective is hosting the first technology and gender conference this Saturday, dubbed “MIT Conf”, with more than ten presentations by women from different sectors of the information technology industry (IT, for the English acronym). . The goal of the initiative is to “raise awareness of the importance of building inclusive and diverse technologies” and the role women play in the industry, according to the event’s website.

Mujeres IT was born in 2018 on the initiative of Lucía Bustamante, founder of the organization and product designer. “As a woman who comes from the technical field, I have experienced first-hand that I am a minority in this field. In all rooms there were fewer and fewer women. It made me empathize with other women who were in the same situation and understand why we were so few,” Bustamante said the daily. So she created a meeting website for women in IT.

Over time, this small space between women grew and became what it is today: “A social project, made up of more than 1,000 volunteers [de distintos países de la región y el mundo] Work for gender equality” in the ICT sector.

“In Uruguay and globally, women make up 30% of the IT workforce,” said Bustamante, adding that this number has been slow to reach and spurring its growth is difficult. She pointed out that the gender gap is manifested by the lack of access and opportunity for women in the industry, which in turn means that technology is “built by homogeneous groups”. “Diversity is essential to building technology,” he said.

At the same time, women’s participation within ICT is focused on ‘soft skills’ areas such as ‘testing and design roles’, Bustamente said. On the other hand, the number of women in the “hard IT area”, for example in infrastructure, is “significantly” decreasing.

For the working person, the hurdles for women and girls in the IT industry start as early as “education”, from childhood. “There is a lack of role models for girls and boys to understand that tech-related jobs are not just for men,” he said. Once women in this field have entered the labor market, they face a “sticky floor” and a “glass ceiling”, “metaphors for the difficulties women have in leaving privacy and family to pursue professional development be able. he explained.

MIT conference

The conference will take place completely remotely on Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. It is aimed at people who are already working in the field as well as those who are taking their first steps or are interested in the topic.

During the event, exhibitors will share their experiences in the industry and there will be a variety of presentations on the intersection of gender and technology, the roles women are taking in the industry, inclusive and diverse technology, Women IT’s reduction actions among including the gender gap and women’s leadership in ICT.

Interested parties can reserve their place through the event’s website, where they can also consult the agenda, opening hours of each exhibition and the exhibitors. Registration costs ten dollars. All proceeds are used to support the Women IT project to carry out further activities.