Mentor Young Women, Girls in Cybersecurity, Technology Fields - Communications Minister

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has urged women who have made it in the cybersecurity and technology fields to serve as mentors to young women and girls.

That she said, would motivate young girls to pursue Information and Communication Technology careers and address the low representation of women in the cybersecurity and technology fields.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful who made the call in Accra yesterday at a forum on Women Cybersecurity and Technology, stressed that women ICT professionals and those who had made it in technology could be a force to inspire girls and women to love and develop interest in ICT and cybersecurity careers.

The forum as part of the Cybersecurity Awareness Month, dubbed Empowering Women to step into technology and Cybersecurity careers was to discuss Ghana’s Cyber Security Act 2020, particularly its implications and the role of stakeholders.

It was organised by the National Cyber Security Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization. Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, who moderated a panel discussion, said there were low women representation in technology and cyber security.

The panel discussion involving the Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Mrs Patricia Obo-Nai, Ms Folake Olagunu, Programmes Officer Internet and Cyber Security of Economic Community of West African States, Ms Adoma Peprah, Country Manager Visa.

The rest are Ms Lucy Quist, Managing Director of Stanley Morgan, Ms Farida Bedwei, Chief Executive Officer of Byte the Bits, Ms Adjoa Asamoah, Information Systems Audit Lead of Bank of Ghana to share their experiences in the technology field and encourage women and young girls to opt for ICT careers.

The Minister of Communications and Digitalization said there were low women workforce in the ICT sector in the country and that ought to be addressed.

“The priority and policy of the government is to address the gender digital gap and address the domination of the sector by men’’, she said.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said that was the reason why government had introduced the Girls in Information Communication Technology programme to mentor, motivate and expose young girls to the opportunities that existed in the ICT sector.

She said government would continue to create an enabling environment for women and girls to pursue careers in Cybersecurity and ICT. Mrs Owusu-Ekuful urged women, young women and young girls to take advantage of the numerous ICT opportunities and mentors available.

In their submissions, the Women in Technology and Cybersecurity entreated young girls to venture into the ICT sector. They said irrespective of the course they offered at school; they could become ICT professionals if they developed interest in the sector.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization, Mrs Magdalene Apenteng, said there was the need to bridge the digital gender divide. That, she said, would help women to take advantage of the opportunities and potentials that ICT offered.

She said the low women’s access to technology was, among others, due to some negative cultural practices. The Chief Director said government was committed to working with the National Cybersecurity Authority to address the gender digital gap.