The state has started a campaign inviting young women to study ICT

Sander Nõmmik
Author Sander Nõmmik

Today, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications started the campaign “ICT is everywhere” directed primarily at girls and young women to inspire them to study IT-related fields. 

The Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology said that the digital field is one of the fastest growing sectors, horizontally influencing all the others.

“However, at the moment, Estonia is lacking more than 7000 ICT specialists, and there are especially few female specialists in the field,” she said.

According to the OSKA’s labour market survey, the gender composition of Estonia’s technology sector is male-centric, with only 29 percent of all ICT workers female. In the same vein, last year, 71 percent of the students who started studying computer and information sciences at universities were men and 29 percent female.

Still lacking IT people

Member of board of the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications Andrus Järg noted that the need for people with IT competence has been growing year by year.

“A person with a good IT education can get a job in any industry since there are a handful of fields which can successfully function without using information and communication technology,” Järg said.

One of the motivational speakers of the media campaign, Kristi Kuusk, is a designer educated in information and communication technology whose work is a prime example of the breadth of the digital field.

“ICT is like a material that can be implemented in all walks of life. I am integrating it in traditional textile and fashion design by creating alternatives for the conventional fashion with the use of smart textiles,” she said.

This spring, visiting hours introducing the career options in information and communication technology sector reach the schools of Tallinn, Ida-Virumaa, Southern Estonia and Pärnumaa. Digigirls, the first one-day workshop for girls in the Tartu office of the mobile payment company Fortumo is expecting visitors on 30 March.

50 events in schools

During the two-year campaign, 50 media events take place in schools around Estonia and, in cooperation with Tech Sisters, 10 separate workshops in various technology companies.

“We can no longer speak of technology as a separate sector and it has not been the special field of a chosen group of people for a long time now,” said the organiser of the workshops for girls, member of board of the Kogukond Tech Sisters MTÜ, Hanna-Mari Kirs. “Technology and its users are everywhere from medicine to education, from manufacturing to catering. There is no doubt, the future belongs to those who are technologically literate.”

The partners of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications’ media campaign “ICT is everywhere” are, among others, Idea Group, Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Tallinn University of Technology, Kogukond Tech Sisters MTÜ and the educational programme “Enterprising school”.

StartIT, the website of the campaign introduces educational paths in information technology and describes jobs in ICT. The decision to choose a speciality is made easier by a mini-simulator offering options for both creative as well as tech-savvy people.

 Translated from the news portal Geenius, 14.03.2018