Q & A: Women in ICT at TITL

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Q & A: Women in ICT at TITL

Category:Company News

International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday in April to bring attention to the need for more girls and women to pursue careers in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

This year, the theme for International Girls in ICT Day is “Access and safety.” The theme focuses on creating access to safe spaces where girls and women can thrive online.

If we want to prepare a pathway for young girls and women to have access to and become involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and tech learning, we need to listen to the women who have already chosen the ICT path. They are the best resource for providing insight on how we can encourage more girls to pursue careers in these male-dominated fields.

In honour of Girls in ICT Day 2022, we interviewed two (2) of our leading women in ICT roles at the Tobago Information Technology Limited (TITL).

Meet the Women in ICT roles

Candine Frank-Dann

Candine is a Solutions Analyst at TITL and has worked with the company for the past nine (9) years. Candine is also instrumental in our STEM programme where she teaches Drone Science to students. Candine is the holder of a Bachelor of Science in Business Computing (Hons) from the London Metropolitan University and a Master of Science in Information Communication Technology from the Anglia Ruskin University.

Janyne Richard

Janyne is an Information Technology (IT) tutor at TITL. She has worked with the company for the past eleven (11) years and teaches varying levels of IT Literacy and Software Training. These include Basic to Advanced Microsoft Office Courses and Virtual Platform Training. She also teaches Software and App Development as part of the company’s STEM programme. Janyne attended the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) where she earned a Bachelor of Computer Science with an emphasis on Software Development.

Questions & Answers

1. What sparked your interest in ICT/IT?

Candine: My interest in the ICT field was birthed in 2008 after attending a career fair. I decided I didn’t want to be in the usual ‘female-oriented’ sectors. I wanted to do more critical thinking and hands-on work.

Janyne: My late mother was my role model and mentor and her love for IT inspired me to pursue the subject and become an educator.

2. What is the best career advice you have received to date?

Candine: Career advice doesn’t always come to you served all decorated. One thing that always resounds in my mind was this statement made by one of my mentors – “Work is going to be hard but never limit yourself to your current environment.”

Janyne: My brother who is also one of my mentors gave me this advice and it stuck with me. He said that the journey of life is a journey of learning and that I should always remain teachable and establish independence through education.

3. What challenges did you face in your journey toward pursuing and working in the ICT sector (If any)? 

Candine: Two challenges that were faced in my journey include travelling to Trinidad for classes and still having to work full time and also having to delve into IT areas outside of my comfort zone.

4. What is your favourite aspect of your job?

Candine: Favourites! I have many favourites including researching new technologies and software to assist in automating processes, interacting with stakeholders and collaborating on projects.

Janyne: The best part of being an educator in IT is witnessing the excitement that learning brings to students. I get excited when my students get excited about mastering something new.

5. Why did you choose to work at the Tobago Information Technology Limited?

Candine: I believe that Tobago Information Technology Limited is the only company on the island of Tobago that nurtures innovative minds, therefore TITL was the best bet while seeking employment.

Janyne: The vision and mission of the company aligned with my personal desire to educate and increase IT opportunities on the island.

6. What advice will you give to your younger self or girls who wish to pursue a career in ICT?

Candine: I will tell them to never be afraid to venture into new fields.

Janyne: I will tell my younger self to keep trying and to never give up on yourself.

7. What are some of the ways you think we can encourage more girls to enter the ICT field?

Candine: To foster girls’ interest in the ICT/Tech field, curiosity must be nurtured and girls must be encouraged to be innovative and creative from a young age.

Janyne: I believe that encouraging girls and young women to pursue studies and careers in ICT should take the form of a year-round initiative where internships and other programmes are made accessible to young girls. I think mentorship programmes where young girls can shadow leading women in ICT will help to spark and nurture their curiosity for the subject at a young age.

8. What do you think can be done to provide access and improve safety online for girls and young women today?

Candine: Providing access to girls and women today starts with education about threats that exist where online predators are concerned. However, through all the education, you can never be too careful as everything may not be as it seems.

Janyne: We have to adopt a dual approach to safety that focuses on educating girls and women on how to be safe online and implementing legislative measures to promote safety in the digital space. 

The Tobago Information Technology Limited is a leading provider of Innovative Business Support Services and Solutions and offers Professional ICT Training and Certification at our Innovation Centre in Signal Hill. To learn more about the courses offered at TITL, click here.