tTech Limited continues 15th-year thrust to support youth with Girls In ICT project

OurToday | May 15, 2022

Jamaica-based managed IT services provider, tTech Limited, has partnered with the STEAMHouse Network to carry out a girl-focused Information and Communications Technology (ICT) initiative – ‘CreatHER’.

The move by tTech is aimed at advancing its 15th anniversary mandate of giving back and supporting its surrounding communities and youth in education across Jamaica.

The CreatHER initiative, which was launched in celebration of Girls in ICT Day on May 6, saw approximately 100 girls – ranging from grades 9 to 12 from several high schools across Jamaica – participating in the programme.

Sponsorship of $150,000 was provide by tTech Limited towards the activities, which will continue throughout the year.

The company said its passion for youth development and education was foremost in its decision to join the CreatHER initiative, “especially as the wide gender gap in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) fields remains a pressing issue both locally and globally”.

Speaking about the company’s involvement, tTech Marketing Manager Gillian Murray, who mentored some of the girls from Eltham High, said: “As an advocate for women in technology and being a woman in technology myself, I am pleased to see all these girls doing well and expressing interest in the field.”

Murray added: “That’s why tTech has committed to providing not only financial support, but opportunities for youth seeking to pursue careers in Information Technology.”

In continuing, she noted that STEAMHouse’s quest for gender equity within the STEAM areas is a shared one.

She openly praised the initiative, saying “like STEAMHouse, we are keen on inclusivity because we know that the field of Technology requires people of all skills and backgrounds. So, whether you are a creative, a strategist, a coder or even in a tech marketing position like myself – you are needed”.

Some of tTech’s capable female team members were also on hand to mentor the girls.

Among the wealth of knowledge imparted, Human Resource Manager, Moneshe Hutchinson, shared with the Glenmuir High girls the importance of establishing a network among themselves as they grow in the field, to offer each other support where they are underrepresented.

Marketing Associate Samantha Morgan advocated to the Haile Selassie and Papine High girls for a more rounded approach in selecting their career path by exploring different interests and gaining experience in the different STEAM areas.

Business Analyst Lesley-Ann Wilson encouraged the Immaculate Conception High girls to eliminate the many limiting beliefs and perceived barriers that they may have or that may be thrust upon them while pursuing their goals within the STEAM fields.

The students were delighted about the day’s activities and expressed many thanks to the organisers and the company.

Samoiah Russell, a lower sixth-form student at St Jago High School, said: “I was led into tech from observing relatives like my father and uncle who are technicians and rely heavily on IT and various programmes to carry out their jobs. Today’s session has opened my mind to so many opportunities that are available in IT where I can channel my interests and I am so thankful that Moneshe, who is also from our alma mater, took the time to encourage us and explain how we can invest in ourselves and build our profiles and advance ourselves in the fields that we want to enter.”

She continued: “I’m grateful that an IT company like tTech took the time to share some of their knowledge with us girls who want to one day make an impact in the spaces they operate in.”

The STEAMHouse Network, as the brainchild of tech enthusiast and former Miss St Catherine Festival Queen, Godiva Golding, aims to, among other things, provide a hub for STEAM learning in Jamaica while facilitating project-based learning activities and strategies to local youth and teaching robotics and coding.

In keeping with these goals, CreatHER was organised to develop technology skills for girls through a series of free in-person workshops focusing on Coding, Digital Design and Artificial Intelligence, as well as to provide some much-needed mentorship to the girls in attendance.

According to tTech Limited, the company has always, and especially throughout the pandemic, supported initiatives geared towards youth and education in Jamaica.

Since 2020, and in celebration of the company’s 15th anniversary this year, it has disbursed tablets, data, supplies, scholarships, time and other resources among programmes like the City Kids Homeschooling Clusters in Kingston, GraceKennedy’s Grace and Staff Foundation Child Month essay competitions, the Youth Education Association (YEA), UTech School of Computing and, most recently, STEAMHouse.