International Girls in ICT Day 2024

The Power of Mentorship

The theme for this year’s International Girls in ICT Day is Leadership.

I love to mentor because I am interested in the growth and advancement of the younger generation. I know this is an old saying, but they are the leaders of tomorrow.

One day, I asked some mentees to write an essay about an instance where a mentor helped someone they know or themselves achieve targeted goals. The essays were brilliant. I would have shared all, but the one I am about to share resonates with the theme of this year’s International Day of Girls in ICT, which is Leadership.

It’s no news that women are still absent from key positions in policy making, software designing, and research. The few women present in these fields have junior or support roles, which makes them less likely to be entrepreneurs, CEOs, or policymakers.

Data from Anita Borg Institute reveals that women with mentors in the tech industry were 77% more likely to still be in tech after 3 years compared to women without mentors.

This story highlights the need for female role models in STEM fields. Bayo wrote about his sister Mosun; here is the story:

My sister has always been the techy one; she loves numbers, codes, and gadgets. I am interested in writing; people say our brains were switched at birth, but I know for a fact that is a lie.

On this day, Mosun got back from school and told Mummy and Daddy that her school was facing a data breach.

“How bad is it?” Daddy asked.

“Student and employee data.”

“Then it’s not that bad.” Pero countered. “I thought someone was murdered.”

“Try waking up to realize your home address, parents’ phone number, occupation are on display on social media.” Mosun replied.

A group known as the Fee Fighters had taken responsibility and warned that if the salary of teachers were not reviewed, they would keep at it.

“So what is your school doing about this?” Mummy asked.

Mosun shrugged, “I am not sure, but I know they are working.”

If I did not know my sister so well, she would have convinced me, but I knew she was withholding information.

I let it slide and did not talk about the data breach incident. However, some days later, I found out that the head of IT was the prime suspect. However, from the tone of Mosun’s voice, she seemed unconvinced.

“Ms. Ofunneka would never do that; girls, I think she is being set up.”

And no, stop blaming me for eavesdropping on my sister; I was just curious. From the phone conversation, I also discovered that the said staff had been suspended from her duties pending an investigation and contacted my sister and her friends to help clear her name!

I thought of scurrying to tell our parents but decided against it. I was honest about it and confessed to Mosun that I was eavesdropping.

“You should have just asked; I would have told you.” She said, obviously offended.

“I just want you to be safe; these cybercriminals could be very dangerous.” I replied.

“Don’t worry, Ms. Ofunneka is helping out; it’s not like Betty, Adaora, and I are unsupervised.”

My tense shoulders relaxed, “You must really like her.”

“Like? I love her! She is the first head of the department for IT. Mr. Johnson has always held a grudge since then, so I would not put it past him.”

Just to summarize, Ms. Roseline, Ms. Ofunneka provided my sister and her friends with guidance and support, sharing her expertise and knowledge of the school’s systems.

This helped my sister and her friends discover digital footprints by analyzing network logs and all that techy stuff. All leading to Mr. Johnson, who was the interim HOD of the IT department; the worse news was that Mr. Johnson was not alone and had the backing of a board member!

I am sure you already know how it ends. Which begs me to ask you: Do you think it’s weird that a boy loves the arts while his sister is a lover of the sciences? Do you think the trio would have unmasked the culprits without Ms. Ofunneka’s guidance? Keep pondering and let me know your answer in the comment section..

International Girls in ICT Day 2024

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