In the past 10 years, the percentage of female personnel at CERN has barely increased: women still only account for about 20% of the total. One of the reasons for this slow growth might be that, in general, girls and women are not encouraged to study or work in a technical field. Diversity is an important objective in our work community, so CERN has been trying to narrow this gender gap.
A couple of weeks after organising the Django Girls programming workshop at IdeaSquare, CERN participated in the annual Girls in ICT Day event held on 27 April at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva. These events, held simultaneously in several countries worldwide, aim to inspire young women and encourage them to follow a career in the field of information and communication technology (ICT).
This year, six motivated participants from the Django Girls workshop at CERN seized the chance to present their projects on website programming, which they started in IdeaSquare with the help of ICT experts. The girls were happy to explain their learning and creative process, and their projects got a remarkably good response from the audience.
The event kicked-off with an interactive opening ceremony, connected with Beirut and Vilnius via a live webcast, and with a live smartphone-based quiz – to the participants’ surprised delight.
Other schools presented projects varying from robotics to programming a satellite. In addition, ITU had organised relaxed small-group discussions between the attendees and an international group of female role models, where the professionals could answer questions and explain what motivated them to work in ICT.
All the incredibly talented girls who took part in the Girls in ICT Day confirmed what we already knew: girls and women in this field are much needed and should be taken seriously. With the amount of knowledge that was packed in one big room at the ITU headquarters, these girls could rule the world, no doubt!