TSTT CEO tells parents: Do not push your children into traditional fields

TSTT CEO Lisa Agard. Photo courtesy TSTT -
TSTT CEO Lisa Agard. Photo courtesy TSTT -

PARENTS are being advised to encourage their children to pursue careers in technology as opposed to traditional fields.

The advice came from TSTT CEO Lisa Agard on Friday as she delivered the feature address at a women’s forum hosted by the THA Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation at the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Lowlands, Tobago.

TSTT and the Magdalena Resort also collaborated to host the event - Promoting Women’s Empowerment Through Digital Education, Technology and Innovation. It was held to commemorate International Women’s Day, which was observed on March 8.

Agard told the mostly female audience, “I have to urge parents: don’t push your children into traditional fields. Let them open their wings. Let them explore the possibilities in technology.

Saying she attends many technology conferences around the world, Agard said she has seen an R&D development centre in China in which an entire port was operated by one man and robots.

She added robots are also using 5G technology and artificial intelligence to do surgery, manage smart hospitals and develop smart cities.

Agard said, “If we do not prepare our children for the jobs of the future, and that includes men as well, far less our women, we will have no jobs to go into. That is how fast the world is evolving around us.”

She said the statistics of women involved in technology around the world paint a grim picture.

In the US, 47 per cent of the adults employed across all industries are women, but only 28 per cent are represented in the tech field – computing and maths.

What is even more alarming, Agard said, is that in the last 35 years, the ratio of men to women in tech has declined, with more than half of women dropping out of tech by the age of 35.

She said one of the reasons for the decline is the promotion gap.

“Across all industries, for every 100 men promoted into a position of management, only 86 women get promoted.

“When you look at the tech sector, that proportion decreases even further. In the tech sector, for every 100 men promoted, only 52 women get promoted to management.”


"TSTT CEO tells parents: Do not push your children into traditional fields"

More in this section