Benefits and challenges for Caribbean Women in ICT

For Girls in ICT Day, which is commemorated on 27 April, ICT Pulse Publisher, Michele Marius, shares some thoughts on being a woman in tech.

 Although it may not seem to be the case, the ICT/tech space in the Caribbean region is awash with opportunities. There is considerable potential for innovation and wealth creation, and to position of the region as a force to be reckoned with on the global stage. However, it requires all our citizens – men and especially women – to be engaged and participate in the process.

Over the past five years or so, there have been a growing number of initiatives to highlight and nurture innovation and entrepreneurship in the tech space. Some that readily come to mind are Kingston BETA and Startup Weekend Jamaica, organised by Ingrid Riley of the Connectimass/SiliconCaribe Media in Jamaica, the OECS Business Solutions Think Tank and Hackathon, led by Telojo Valerie Onu, Startup Weekend Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean Open Data Conference and code sprint, and the CANTO (Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organisations) Hackathon.

In addition to Riley and Onu, there are only a few women such as, Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, and Dr. Kim Mallalieu, of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, who have some regional visibility as women in ICT. However, I am not yet sure whether a larger crop of younger women who will be joining our ranks to leverage the opportunities that should emerge in the ICT/tech space.