BTC Bahamas | Bahamas | BTC Bahamas Celebrates Global Girls in ICT Day

BTC Celebrates Global Girls in ICT Day

Company Highlights 3 Trailblazers

Nassau, The Bahamas, April 25, 2022: Today, April 28th, is being celebrated globally as International Girls in ICT Day, and BTC has thrown its full support behind girls and young women who seek to thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

This year’s Girls in ICT Day theme is “Access & Safety,” which calls for the development of solutions and ideas for lowering barriers to access and improving safety online for girls and young women.

In recognition of Girls in ICT, BTC is highlighting three of its own: Kailei Symonette, Tina Cooper and Anishka Maycock – women who have spent more than 20 years in the male-dominated field of technology, and now hold some of the most senior technology positions in the business.

The Company is also celebrating the over forty students from schools all across the country that are participating in its “Future Tech Stars” program. The 20-week all-expense paid program is providing teen girls with the opportunity to delve deeper and learn more about digital + crypto, web development and programming in python.

“This year's theme of ‘Access to Safety’ is such a fitting topic as being a female in this male dominated field was not easy and I had to work twice as hard to break any stereotype,” says Tina Cooper, BTC’s Senior Manager of Service Delivery in the Northern Bahamas Cluster.

Tina has been employed at BTC for the past 3 decades. She began her career on March 9th, 1992 as a Technical Assistant and has held various leadership roles.

“There was not much room for complaints but hard work, much sacrifice, and constant training; particularly working on the Family Island where you had to know everything from climbing 11ft ladders and strapping it from a van to a utility pole as there were no bucket trucks,” Tina recalls.

She believes that this year’s theme of having safe access to the internet is so important as it’s the only way for girls and young women to thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers.

“As the world evolves it is imperative that we train our girls to be future Leaders,” Tina says. “We must invest in them and in their development so that they can improve the living conditions of the society in the community in which they live. By doing this we ensure the sustainable knowledge empowerment and capacities for women in the field of Information, Communication, and Technology lives on through them.”

Tina says Girl's in ICT Day reminds us that this field helps to improve the lives of people everywhere through better health care, better environmental management, better communication, and a better educational system that transforms the way children and adults learn. “This day serves to inspire both government and the private sector to find ways to equip girls and young women with skills they need to become ICT professionals.”

Kailei Symonette, BTC’s Senior Manager of NNOC & B2B Operations has been working in the field of technology since 1991, gaining experience in many areas such as BTC’s Central Frame, Maintenance and Installation Control, Western Exchange, Delaporte Exchange, South Central Exchange, Central IV and NNOC.

Kailei says she enjoys working in the field of technology because it is exciting, specialized and lucrative.

“I truly enjoy my job and that is what encourages me to stay motivated daily. I love a challenge and hate to lose. Challenges motivate me to stay on the top,” Kailei says, adding that she experienced the most challenging part of her job when she initially began her career at BTC, simply because she was entering a field that was male dominated. “Now women are excelling in every field and BTC has also introduced training programs in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion,” Kailei says.

She encourages young girls who are interested in the STEM field to start young. “Parents and educators need to encourage young girls to challenge stereotypes and let these young women know that they can be anything they want to be. Expose yourself to new activities and ideas and consider new non-traditional occupations. Demonstrate that your knowledge and skillsets are equal to or surpasses that of your male peers. Educate yourself! Gain exposure! Be relentless in learning the standard and updating yourself within the environment you want to work in. Get yourself a good mentor or two in the industry.”

As it relates to this year’s Girls in ICT theme of Access & Safety, Kailei believes that women should be able to access the internet without fear of being stalked or harassed. “If they are unable to access the internet, they are unable to have freedom to learn. These women are unable to access technology which means that they are not able to benefit from vast field of knowledge that we call the internet.  Girls want to learn, they are diversifying themselves and are learning skills in technology, and empowering others to join. The internet needs to be a safe place for everyone to get their knowledge freely,” Kailei says.

Anishka Maycock, BTC’s Manager of OSP Technical Services in Grand Bahama & Bimini has been employed with the company for the past 21 years. She has served in the area of Cable Development/Maintenance, Repairs & Installation as well as DSL and Fiber installation.

Anishka says the most challenging aspect of her job is being a woman. “Some men tend to not include women in the decision making when they feel that they are more experienced in the field,” Anishka says. Despite this, she encourages women to still pursue careers in STEM if this is where their interest lies.”

The annual Girls in ICT Day event will be held locally at Fusion Superplex on Thursday, April 18th. The hybrid event is expected to host several high school girls from throughout The Bahamas as they learn more about careers in the STEM field.

In a featured video at today’s event, BTC’s Senior Manager of NNOC & B2B Operations, Kailei Symonette, and BTC’s Director of Customer Experience, Edris Elliott, will share their experience of working for more than 25 years in the male-dominated field of technology.

Nicole Watkins, BTC’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Services, will also serve as a special guest panelist addressing the topic of gender stereotypes as a barrier in STEM/ICT.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Indira Collie
Senior Manager, Public Relations
O: 302-7573 M: 424-2406
E: indira.collie@btcbahamas.com

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