Three Caribbean girls who took the time to learn more about Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have been rewarded. Malea Antoine, Mataellia Breen and Jasmine Dusauzay each won an Amazon Gift Card valued at US$100 for participating in a recent Girls in ICT Day follow-up contest staged by the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL).
The contest formed part of ECTEL’s activities to mark the observance of Girls in ICT Day. According to the International Telecommunications Union, “While girls across the world tend to outperform boys in reading and writing skills, they continue to be under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)”.
This year it was observed under the theme, ‘Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures’, as such to build awareness about the gender digital divide, ECTEL partnered with four young women from the Eastern Caribbean who are thriving in the field of technology to stage a Virtual Tech Talk. This event attracted over four hundred (400) girls as well as boys from across the Caribbean.
Melisha Toussaint from Dominica, an Assistant Engineer at the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (Dominica) reminded the participants from Saint Lucia, Dominica, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago among other countries, to be more curious and not to shy away from seeking meaningful mentorship.
Janique-ka John from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Founder of the Women in Tech Caribbean Community and a Software Engineer in Brussels challenged the students to devise creative solutions to the world’s problems.
Meanwhile, Cheyenne Polius from Saint Lucia, the OECS Commission’s Representative – Outstanding Youth in Science reminded the students that the world was their oyster and that they can thrive in ICT even if they are from a small Caribbean country.
According to Ms. Polius, “The ECTEL Authority’s #GrilsInICT event is the kind of event I hope to see a lot more of in the region because I think it is extremely important for Caribbean youth to see people who look like them in spaces that are not historically diverse. Hearing the success stories of the presenters could help them realise that their dreams are within their reach. As a speaker, it was not only great to connect with Caribbean girls and boys but also to connect with the other inspiring speakers at the event. All-round, it was a truly rewarding experience!”
Closing off the presentations was Mindy-Luquiana Chicot from Saint Lucia, who serves as the Communications Specialist with Allez Inc., a new tech startup rideshare company. Ms. Chicot showed the possibilities of merging one’s passions with ICT to create solutions to issues such as transportation.
Following the event, Caribbean girls were asked to share one main takeaway from each speaker as well as a photograph of them interacting with technology. The Tech Talk can be seen in its entirety YouTube or on Facebook .
To continue the conversation to encourage young people especially girls to take a greater interest in Technology, two Caribbean women will be the guests on ECTEL Bytes on Wednesday, June 23rd. ECTEL Bytes is a Facebook Live show which airs on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 2 p.m. EST. The guests are Jody Simpson a Solution Engineer at Google and Founder of Techports and Janique-ka John, one of our impressive Tech Talk speakers.
ECTEL is the regulatory body advising the NTRCs on Electronic Communications/Telecommunications matters in its five member states of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.