State Minister for the ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak on Wednesday said there would equal employment of men and women in the ICT sector by 2030, as the government was working to create an environment that enabled women.
In addition, he said almost all other sectors would be looking for skilled employees from the ICT sector in the near future.
The state minister made the comments while addressing a program to mark International Girls in ICT Day 2018, jointly organised by The Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID), Brac, Plan International, and Premier Labs in Dhaka.
Presenting a study titled “Breaking barriers and empowering Girls in ICT,” keynote speaker and BIID CEO Shahid Uddin Akbar said about 42% of students who study in ICT based courses such as engineering or computer science do so out of personal interest, while 18% study with the aim of gaining better salaries and job opportunities, 7% for work flexibility, and just 5% after being influenced by their parents.
The study was conducted last month on 168 female students from Dhaka University, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, and three private universities.
According to Shahid Uddin, one of the major barriers to the increased participation of women in the ICT sector is reluctance on the part of their parents.
“They (parents) think women are not capable of performing in technology based jobs. This is one of the major reasons why more girls do not take part in technology based education,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zunaid Ahmed Palak said 90% of jobs were now based on ICT and technology.
“Technology increases our quality of life and economic situations. By 2021, our target is to ensure the employment of 2 million young people in the ICT sector, from the existing 700,000,” he added.
The state minister stressed the need for bringing more female employees into the ICT sector, as the inclusion of women was key to advancing society.
Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury said many families do not want to spend the expenses necessary to send female children through technology related education.
“The government will take initiatives to provide scholarships for ICT courses to girls through the Education Ministry,” she said.
The speaker of the parliament also stressed for increased social awareness to bring women into ICT education and apprise them of the positive sides of ICT sector jobs.
“Bangladesh will need a lot of female IT specialists in the future,” she said.