Ever since I attended Tech Jordan’s first ICT Voice meeting, an old interest of mine was rekindled. They spoke about Women in the IT world, and since I’m interested in Women empowerment in general, I decided to start researching the state of Jordanian Women in the IT world, and I stumbled across a couple of things I wanted to share.
At Linuxfest last Saturday, Noha Salem of Google told us all about the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship. Anita Borg is a technology rebel that had the vision to found the Anita Borg Foundation for Women and Technology, and she is probably one of the most influential empowerer of women in the IT world. She worked hard to break the barriers for women entering the technology world, and this scholarship is in her spirit, and it aims to help women become more active and become role models. If you know someone who qualifies to the scholarship, please spread the word.
I also spoke to Batoul Ajlouni, VP for Business Development at Integrated Technology Group. ITG is one of the oldest IT companies in Jordan, and Batoul herself has been working in the field since 1989. I asked her if she thought if there were any significant barriers stopping women from working in the IT world here, and according to her, there are none, if the person herself is confident and strong-willed. She emphasised the fact that in the technology sector, what matters more than most is skill. When I asked her if she could estimate the percentage of women in the field, she suggested it’s 20%, and she believes that working women in Jordan in general only form 14% of the general workforce.
Now, if that’s true, then there are more women employed in IT, than most of the other fields. This for me spells the opportunity that women in technology can be a positive role model for women empowerment, and that should eventually reflect on the rest of society, and inspire women in Jordan to become more independent working individuals, and we can’t keep affording to ignore that as a society, because as Ms. Ajlouni told me, we actually need women’s input these days more than ever.
Now, I end this post with a positive example of a young woman that founded her own company, and is reaching out and helping her society. Maria Mahdaly is an online activist, and the co-founder of Rumman Company. Here is a video of the interview I made with her.
This post is only part one, documenting what sparked my interest. I plan to post two more posts, one about the actual research I did, and one concluding it, and I really hope you guys can help me. Share any thoughts you have done here in the blog, give me tips where to look, and let’s see what we can do to help empower women, both in the Jordanian technology world, and on a larger scale.