A commitment to lifelong learning is essential in all business fields, and equally so for women to advance in technology – Abu-Ghazaleh
DOHA --- April 15, 2009 --- Mr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, vice chair of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID), stressed that Internet literacy and education of young women are critical to their role in technology leadership saying “Unfortunately, not much is done to encourage Internet education of young women in the Arab region.”
In this respect, he highly commended the role of HE Hessa Al-Jaber, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) in this field.
Speaking at the“Advancing Arab Women in Technology Leadership Workshop II: Strategy Made Reality” held under the patronage of HE Hessa Al-Jaber, Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh stated “A commitment to lifelong learning is essential in all business fields, and equally so for women to advance in technology,” pointing out that the e-learning officer at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org) with its 70 offices is a woman.
Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh underlined the need to establish women Information Communication Technology (ICT) peer groups both formal – organized career-oriented groups- and informal groups of like-minded women supporting each other.
“It is essential to have successful women from ICT fields who guide young and adult women in their career path,” he said during the April 15-16 event.
“As an example, the vice-chair at TAG-Org is a woman and she is a living example of a successful leader,” he added
“It is very helpful and essential to guide young women to a successful ICT career through the right training to develop and improve their abilities,” Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh said.
In this regard, Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh stated, “I am proud that 58% of MA students at the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh College of Business – German Jordanian University are women.”
Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh tackled the Millennium Development Goals with a focus on gender equality and empowering women “ICT can contribute to this, but accessibility remains a key goal.”
As an example, and according to Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh, TAG-Org’s policy ensures that 30% of managers hired should be women; this is a policy to empower women professionals and provide employment opportunities.
“Even in the developed countries, women are not equally represented in ICT workforce. But educational efforts to help under-privileged women with training and resources can be a way to change the status quo,” he said, “Abu-Ghazaleh IT Cambridge program in Arabic language is one of the tools that can be utilized to achieve this change,” he added.
Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh also stated that culture is an essential issue in the Arab world where e-learning can be significant in empowering women; however there are limited resources for education through the Internet in the present time.
He pointed out that his organization has developed with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) an IT tool kit in Arabic language to help small enterprises. In addition, TAG-Org has concluded a contract with the Bahraini Government (Labor Fund) to qualify companies to lead projects.
Moreover, TAG-Org has ratified four agreements with the Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Fund for Supporting Small Business Projects for Women, for the training of Saudi young women entrepreneurs.
He added that the Organization will be honored in a special ceremony to be held April 22, 2009 by the Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Fund for its leading role.
The two-day workshop serves as a continuum to the inaugural venue that facilitated the establishment of the Center for Women in Technology of the Arab region, in November 2008. It tagets all women and men leaders throughout the Arab region.
This important working meeting is considered as Phase II Leadership Workshop for the participants of the initial meeting in November 2008. It also includes additional key business, government, education, and non-government organizational leaders.