On April 28, 2022 International University of Sarajevo (IUS) marked the International Day of Girls in ICT by organizing an event titled „Girls in ICT Day Sarajevo 2022“. Initiators of this event were Assistant Professor Dr. Özge Büyükdağlı and Assistant Professor Dr. Amal Mersni from the study programs of Software Engineering/Computer Sciences and Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences (FENS). The event aimed at encouraging and inspiring girls to pursue their aspirations of becoming Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professionals and promoting jobs in the industry.
This is the first time IUS marks this important day that is celebrated globally in more than 150 countries. The event was opened by Dr. Zlatan Mujak, Head of the Investment Department of Canton Sarajevo Ministry of Economy who emphasized that IT industry is currently one of the strongest industries that receives a lot of support from the government. According to Dr. Mujak, Ministry of Economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina developed key initiative measures to support start ups and small businesses, with special assistance to women entrepreneurs.
Important partners in organizing this event were UN Women Bosnia and Herzegovina. The audience had an opportunity to meet Mr. David Saunders, UN Women BiH representative who explained the importance of having role models and examples of success for young women aspiring to be part of the IT industry. He pointed out the fact that only 30% of women are employed in the European ICT sector and that this sector has experienced rapid growth recently but there is a shortage of workforce. Together with Ms. Zerina Mandžo, IT girls project associate, he emphasized the importance of empowering women to find their place in the IT industry and make their dreams come true.
Girls in ICT Day Sarajevo 2022 gathered professionals from different IT fields who addressed the audience and shared their knowledge and experience: Ms. Raquel Martinez Hernandez, Cisco Networking Academy Technical Manager; Ms. Ruth Lennon, Chair of Association of computing machinery women and a Director of Craobh Technology Consulting; Ms. Oleksandra Yeremenko, Professor at the Department of Info-communication Engineering from Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics and Ms. Emina Brkanić, System Engineer at MIBO Komunikacije.
This event was also an opportunity to officially announce that International University of Sarajevo is opening an ICT ACM-W chapter whose main mission will be supporting, celebrating, and advocating for full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field.
In the end, organizers thanked the IUS Rector Professor Dr. Ahmet Yıldırım for his constant support alongside FENS Dean and professors for their assistance.
IUS is looking forward to report more about the ICT ACM-W activities in the future and similar events that will encourage everyone to pursue the career of their dreams.