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On the 11th anniversary of International Girls in ICT Day, it is important to increase awareness on the biases women are experiencing still today surrounding safety and accessibility to the internet. Science, technology and innovation are key drivers of our increasingly global and digital society.

Safety and accessibility by numbers

According to the ITU’s latest data, the proportion of women using the internet globally amounts to 48%, compared to 55% of men. This means that the global internet use of gender gap stands at 12.5%.

With such statistics, it is clear to see why less than 30% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals are women. If women are unable to access the internet and feel safe online, they are consequently unable to develop the necessary digital skills and engage in digital spaces, diminishing their opportunities to pursue STEM careers.

“Access and Safety” is the theme for 2022. And it was selected by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) due to the discouraging and dangerous obstacles girls can sometimes face in the digital environment.

On equal access to the internet

Our ICT trainers also shared their insights on the access and safety barriers that they believe we need to overcome for women. Watch this video to find out what they had to say.

DDLS has been changing futures for over 27 years enabling our corporate and government clients to successfully deploy technology, designed by leading providers in the tech space. With our mission of helping our clients prepare for the digital landscape of tomorrow, we provide accessible training to enhance the ICT skills of women in the workforce as well as women wanting to get into the workforce.


Within our team, we have inspirational female leaders that encourage discussions aimed at overcoming the access and safety barriers that girls face when they aspire to pursue STEM studies and careers.

One of them is Sue Webb who has been named one of the finalists for the ARN Women in ICT Awards in 2022. Sue believes that enterprises thrive when they have passionate staff that have the skills and drive to help move a business towards its vision.

Our female leaders and technical instructors are leaders of change and are a force to be reckoned with. Want to see what some of them have to say? Watch the video here.

On women leaders in ICT

And still, inspiration can come from women leaders beyond the ICT sector. It can come from the Doers out there who are just chipping away until the goal is reached, and the project gets done. More of our leaders talked about the advice can share with others and about the women who inspire them.

(In Photo: Sally, our Sales Operations Manager in Queensland)

Sally McDonough
Sales Operations Manager (QLD)

What female leaders or role models inspire you and why?
Too many to name here. But I am inspired by the Doers out there. Those that set their goals and just keep chipping away (big and small) until it gets done. This encourages me to put in 100% every day, to be aware of my team, and to see how I can help them to reach their goals.

Jo Locke
Sales Operations Manager (SA)

What is the best advice you would give to aspiring female leaders?
Be true to yourself, honest, stay humble and kind – that is what sets women apart.

Karen Smith
Director ‑ DDLS People

What female leaders or role models inspire you and why?
There are so many. I have been very lucky across my career to have had some excellent role models. And likewise I also like to look back at STEM women from our past such Florence Nightingale and Barbara McClintock and what they were able to achieve across their life. More recently, I was very lucky to have met a fabulous female leader during a Defence course I completed. She came up to me at the end of the course and said don’t you ever hide yourself and let men talk for you. You need to step up and be heard. I have kept in contact with her ever since. She continues to inspire me with her active support of all women across their careers and her frank and fearless advice.

(In Photo: Jacquie and her only child, Tayla, at her HSC (Year 12) graduation last year.)

Jacquie Silverthorne
National Training Manager

What is the best advice you would give to aspiring female leaders?
Be your authentic self, don’t compromise and be confident to use your voice. Expect positive interactions and you’ll be amazed by what follows. Having started in the male-dominated IT industry in the 80s, I had to ensure I remained visible, but I also feel that having brought to this male-dominated environment a female perspective on things, really helped my peers to see that a balanced approach to life was a better one.

On creating safe spaces in the digital landscape of tomorrow

Every day, we continue the work of making spaces more accessible and safer. This is integral to how we run training sessions, build relationships with our students, and enable people to thrive in the digital landscape of tomorrow.

This is because people are the heart of our business and therefore, we believe in creating experiences that actively encourage growth and foster a culture of support. If you are interested in the possibility of working with us, click here to learn what it is like to be a part of the #ONEDDLS team.



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