Women ‘Doing IT’ from Antarctica to the Sahara

Initiative follows the lives and careers of women in technology across every continent of the world

A new online initiative with a twist was launched last week. Aimed at promoting women in IT, by using a “Day in the Life of…” format, it features women across the globe — as far afield as Antarctica and the Sahara desert.

The idea is to follow the lives and careers of women in technology across every continent through an online diary format and photo album. The New Zealand representative is Shasha Ali, a sales coordinator at Gen-i in Auckland.

Entitled “Doing IT Around the World”, the initiative showcases 36 women in IT around the world and details their day on August 11 — from first sunrise in New Zealand and Antarctica to where the sun last sets, 44 hours later, in Hawaii.

The project’s aim is to address the declining numbers of girls and women taking up technology studies, as well as to help stem the tide of women leaving the IT industry, by showcasing real life examples of the multiple career paths and geographic locations that a career in IT can lead to. Many different roles are profiled, not just “traditional” IT roles, says Women in Technology New Zealand general manager Cheryl Horo.

There are so many roles in ICT young girls don’t necessarily know about, says Horo. These range from sales and marketing to data-mining to molecular biology — and they all come under the ICT umbrella, she says.

The women chosen are a wide range of ages and come from various industries and areas of technology — from a communications technical officer in Antarctica to the director of a Sub-Saharan ICT solutions provider. Each provides an image-rich “Day in the Life of…” diary that describes their work and passion for technology. The diaries, images and videos are available at: www.passionit.info. WIT is distributing the website link to schools so they can use it as a resource tool.

August 11 was chosen as “diary day” because on that day Hedy Lamarr was granted a patent for co-invention of the spread-spectrum broadcast communications technology that now forms the basis of wireless communications.

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