?Tech Needs Girls Prize? seeks to spark creativity

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?Tech Needs Girls Prize?, a new global technology competition designed to inspire more girls to embrace technology and invent the future. With over 95 percent of all jobs now having a digital component, the information and communication technology (ICT) sector is an exciting place to be. Yet, as a global shortage of ICT professionals looms and the uptake of girls and women into ICT-related study declines, research reveals that technology has an image problem. Put simply, too many talented young girls mistakenly consider an ICT career to be boring, geeky, uncreative, or a career path that lacks the ?world-changing? component many aspire to. Working in partnership with lead players in the ICT, education and media industries, ITU?s new annual Tech Needs Girls Prize aims to dramatically shift perceptions. The prize targets girls between the ages of 9 to 18 at the very time when they start forming opinions about their place in the world and their choice of career path. ITU and its partners will name and tailor a suite of competitions to different specialist areas, offering girls around the world a variety of options to get involved, gain confidence in their abilities, demonstrate their creativity, explore their ?inner entrepreneur? and learn first-hand how ICT can make a real difference. The prize will be awarded as part of the annual Girls in ICT Day celebrations. ITU is working with top players including Cisco, Intel, and the G(irls)20 Summit to inspire girls to take the tech challenge. Geena Davis, ITU?s Special Envoy for Girls and ICT, will also be lending her voice and the important work of her institute to ensure that girls are better equipped to be leaders and creators in the world of technology. The prize forms part of ITU?s Tech Needs Girls campaign, launched at Girls in ICT Day this year, which is leveraging the convening power of ITU to bring players in the ICT, education, and media industries together. This global call to action aims to transform the wide-ranging number of programs and organizational initiatives into a force for movement on the urgent issue of ensuring girls and women play a much more substantive role in the ICT sector and are better empowered to harness technology to transform their lives and their futures. Along with prize, a mapping tool has also been launched to allow all players to publicly pin their events and programs to the campaign website. The crowd-sourced map provides a global picture of initiatives and enables girls and women to quickly locate initiatives available to them locally. ]]>

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