New push to develop and retain more women in tech sector

2 days ago 45

SINGAPORE - Singapore Polytechnic student Syakira Sulaiman's passion for infocomm technology was first sparked when she learnt coding and creating applications for mobile phones in secondary school.

That led to an interest in website design, which she started to pursue seriously in polytechnic.

Now, the second-year studentis keen to help other girls gain a foothold in the tech sector, and discover that there are many different roles on offer.

She said: "I feel there is this misconception there are only technical roles in the industry. But in reality, there are different opportunities that girls can tap on like web designers, user researchers, and a lot of designing for applications."

Ms Syakira, 21, is one of more than 70 girls from five polytechnics who are part of a new all-girls tech committee launched on Friday (May 13).

The five polytechnics are Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, and Temasek Polytechnic.

The committee, called Cross-Polytechnic Girls in Tech Committee, is made up of girls studying infocomm technology courses in the five polytechnics, and will help to be a community of support for girls in tech.

It aims to reach over 700 girls each year.

On Friday, an initiative called the Singapore Women in Tech - driven by the Infocomm Media Development Authority - inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the five polys.

The MOU will pave the way for the committee and the polys to work closely on ways to develop, retain and deepen girls' interest in careers in the tech sector.

This will include talks, workshops, competitions, and mentorship opportunities by participating firms like Accenture, Cisco, and PayPal.

The girls will also be able to participate in this year's annual Girls in Tech Week in October. They will visit companies and attend workshops by women tech leaders on their career experiences.

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary, in a speech at the event held at Central Exchange Green, said women have played a significant role in advancing technology in Singapore.

Dr Janil said: "We are today one of the top tech talent hubs in the world. Part of that is because of the progress that we have made in getting women into the workforce and education."

He added that about four in 10 students today in science, technology, engine...

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