The technology industry is celebrating Girls in ICT Day with companies helping the importance of the work of women in the industry and acting to encourage greater participation and a more diverse workforce.
Women are under-represented in the technology industry, as shown in repeated official company transparency reports, and Girls in ICT Day is a response to this disparity.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said that a strong demand for skills has coincided with a dramatic shortfall in those skills.
There has also been a "chronic" decline in the number of females applying for and completing science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies and in pursuing a career in information and communication technology (ICT).
"ICT is an exciting and rapidly growing field, offering interesting, important and well-paid job opportunities," said ITU secretary general Houlin Zhao.
"A career in ICT allows girls to use their creativity, work in international environments, and participate in shaping our future. With 95 percent of all jobs now having a digital component, digital skills are no longer just an advantage, they're essential."
Naturally, there is a lot of cross industry support. Maria Angelica Perez, head of diversity and inclusion for group function human resources at Ericsson, explained that her company supports efforts internally and externally.
"Gender diversity is a key focus of our own organisational strategy, and we have set a goal of women making up at least 30 percent of our workforce by 2020," she said.
"We are proud to be involved on so many fronts. And we do it because we firmly believe that, when workforces are diverse and more representative of their broader community, it's not only better for women, but better for society, industry and individual businesses."
John Chambers, chief executive at Cisco, and a supporter of Girls in ICT Day, spoke about the importance of strong mentorship opportunities.
"Globally, there will be shortage of around 40 million jobs that require high-skilled workers. We must make sure that these positions are open to young people from all backgrounds, including girls and young women who enter the technology industry," he said.
Cisco has launched its own mentorship programme called Girls Power Tech, and Microsoft has revealed some of its efforts and some inspirational staffers.
The British Computer Society said last year that women account for just 15 to 18 percent of IT professionals.
Intel has already pledged to invest $300m to increase the firm's diversity, while Google, which already has a 70/30 split, Microsoft, Twitter and others have all said that they are committed to the cause.
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