Raising awareness about the gender gap in IT at Infotel 2015

Highlighting the importance of gender balance and equality in the IT workforce, the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS), MillenniumIT and TechAdvisor.lk will be hosting a forum on women in IT under the tagline of ‘We can do IT’ as a part of Infotel 2015. The event, a sequel to one held earlier this year in celebration of Women’s Day at MillenniumIT’s Malabe campus, will breakdown misconceptions and encourage more female students to pursue a career in IT. The event will take place on Sunday, November 22 from 10:30 am at the Committee Hall D, BMICH, Colombo. Entrance is free.

The event will kick off with an opening address by ICTA Chairperson Chitranganie Mubarak followed by a keynote address by Ms. Ho Se Mun, Executive Director, Singapore infocomm Technology Federation  (SiTF) who will talk about the role of women in IT in Singapore. Rosy Senanayake, the guest of honour of the event, will speak on the importance of gender balance in the road to nation building.

These sessions will be followed by a panel discussion featuring women leaders from the local IT industry - Vidumini Ranasinghe (Project Director, MillenniumIT), Vishaka Nanayakkara (Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Moratuwa), Yashinka Jayasinghe Alles (Education Programmes Manager, Microsoft) and Shamini Wickremasekera  (Chief Risk Officer at LOIT). The panelists will share their career experiences, the challenges they’ve overcome and the endless opportunities for growth and development for women in both the local and global ICT spheres.

Last year, Google became the first tech company to release their diversity statistics and many other big names such as Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn etc., followed suite. With only 1 in 3 employees being women in most of these companies the lack of diversity in the IT has become a global issue.

“While Sri Lanka can probably boast better numbers in terms of the gender diversity in the workplace, it’s essential that we do our utmost to increase the number of women entering the ICT arena,” explained Chinthaka Wijewickrema, Chairman FITIS. “We’ve seen that an equal number of men and women study IT in the local universities in spite of the gender divide within the workforce itself. So it’s important that we educate future women entrants into the tech workforce about the opportunities that lie ahead of them and encourage them to pursue a career in ICT.”

Speaking about the event, Mack Gill (CEO of MillenniumIT) said, “We at MillenniumIT are firm believers that gender equality should be an integral component in any organisation’s DNA. Whether it’s through events such as this which help break down many of the misconceptions about women working in IT or through mentoring programmes, bridging the gender gap is an essential step for any company’s succcess.”