Helping Opportunity’s Knock Be Heard by All

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There are a tonne of quotes relating to “opportunity” knocking. Many of them focus on responding to its call, seizing the day, and responding. But, if you’re not even in the room, it’s impossible to know that opportunity is there.

That’s why we’re proud to support an event like today’s Girls ROCK I.T., which is being presented by our friends at Fanshawe College and now in its 11th year! This free event offers girls in Grades 7 & 8, a chance to explore opportunities in the IT world, attend sessions and presentations, and even network with people in the industry. Traditionally, women have been underrepresented in technology fields and events like this that reach girls before they enter post-secondary school, are part of the solution.

Digital Echidna is a strong supporter of accessibility. We strongly believe in ensuring that all people have equitable access -- whether that’s to employment opportunities or content. However, that doesn’t mean doing something extra (for proof of this, just get Jay started on his feelings about the word ‘accommodation’.

Accessibility is about removing barriers that preclude people from accessing the full range of opportunities that are available to them. These barriers could be technological, they could be linguistic, or they could be related to the need for adaptive technologies.

More often than not, they’re systemic. They’re barriers that have existed for years -- or generations -- that weren’t put up maliciously, but through neglect, lack of consideration, or traditions.

That’s what events like Girls ROCK I.T. help to do -- dismantle those systemic barriers. Historically, women have been diverted from STEM education fields for a number of reasons. Today, we see the impact of that diversion with fewer women with a rewarding career in STEM.  

The solution isn’t about hiring people just because they’re women. The solution is to ensure that women have equitable access to the opportunities that are available and can be judged on merit. But that solution has to start young.

To live up to the idea of everyone being judged on merit, we have to ensure that everyone has equitable access to education, training, and opportunities. That means undoing historical challenges and removing the systemic barriers that have served to prevent certain groups from being able to fully participate in the opportunities available.

Girls ROCK I.T. helps to show girls that there are opportunities out there if they’re interested -- and it helps them visualize themselves in these roles in the future by providing tangible evidence of female success in the industry.

And that’s why we’re so happy to be a part of this event. That way, when opportunities knocks in the future, everyone’s going to have the opportunity to answer that door.

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