Digicel awards first ‘Girls in ICT’ scholarship
Digicel Awards an ICT Scholarship to Eighteen-year-old Davia Smith from Bamboo, St Ann, can now pursue a career in information technology with some financial relief, thanks to the Digicel Business ‘Girls in ICT’ scholarship.
“This scholarship removes a huge burden for me,” Smith shared. “I was determined to go to university and study so I had applied for a student loan. But now I don’t have to rely on them for all the funding and that’s a huge relief because it’s not so stressing now when I think of the repayment.”
She added, “More importantly, I’ll be studying something I’m really passionate about and I look forward to making a mark in ICT when I’m done. I know a lot of women are scared to take on ICT seriously because it’s a male-dominated field, but I hope to inspire young women like myself and show them. What the field needs is new, young, innovative minds and we have that; we just need training and an opportunity to show the world.”
Smith is in her first year at The University of the West Indies where she is reading for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.
The Digicel Award is valued at US$3,000 for a total of three years, the Digicel Business ‘Girls in ICT’ Scholarship was designed to assist young Jamaican women looking to pursue careers in the field of information communication technology. The programme was launched at the celebration of International Girls in ICT Day hosted by the Office of Utilities Regulation in April.
Speaking at the Digicel Awards event, Lesley Miller, head of business strategy and assurance at Digicel Business, said, “At Digicel, we understand the opportunities that are available in ICT for women and we want to encourage and support young women who want to pursue studies and build a career in the field. Sometimes, though, they just need a little help and motivation and that’s why we’ve introduced this programme.”
Pointing to the European Union, Miller noted that the ICT sector continues to be one of the fastest-growing areas, creating over 120,000 jobs globally each year. This, according to Miller, is a tremendous opportunity for Jamaican women.
Currently women account for 49 per cent of Digicel’s workforce across all its Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific locations. Additionally, women hold some of the top ICT-related roles at Digicel.