On April 26th, the Department of ICT Policy and Innovation celebrated the winners of three competitions aimed to recognise women in ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) on the Island.
The department ran the competitions to mark the occasion of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Girls in ICT Day. The global effort is meant to encourage girls and young women to consider studies and careers in information and communication technologies (ICT).
Welcoming everyone to the event, National Security Minister Wayne Caines said: “In Bermuda, the goal is to also encourage, foster and mentor young women as they enter the ICT industry and develop into tech leaders.  This means, encouraging girls and women to pursue ICT studies; recruiting women into ICT related posts; retaining and promoting women in the ICT sector; and creating opportunities for girls to learn beneficial IT skills, like coding.”
The Minister encouraged all the women in the room to become tomorrow’s innovators, and shared that success will be driven by what they can do with what they know.
In order to select the ‘Inspiring Woman in ICT’, the public was invited to nominate a woman who is based in Bermuda and who stands out in the Island’s ICT sector.
The Department of ICT Policy and Innovation received many worthy nominations, confirming that women in the Island’s ICT profession are involved in diverse areas and providing services to their organisations and to the community. Ultimately, the judges selected Lisa Stevens, the Communications and Information Technology teacher for Mount Saint Agnes Academy.
Mrs Stevens teaches Elementary through Grade 12 Computers and is committed to working with every student and helping teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms. 
She is committed to ensuring that her students of all ages can function in a world of technology. Whether it be cyber safety, using IT tools or learning how to programme, she gets her students involved and prepared for the real world. 
Mrs Stevens also involves parents, sending information home, helping them understand what they need to know and encouraging conversations with their kids.
On receiving her award, Mrs Stevens said: “I am honored to have received this award. My students inspire me every day and I love what I do.  I believe that the more students are exposed to different technologies the more open they will be to the benefits technology can provide to their learning.
“Students need to know how to be safe, responsible and aware as they navigate this fast-paced digital world. There are many rewarding career choices in a variety of technical fields awaiting students who are proficient in the use of technology,” she added.
The afternoon also showcased the results of the poster-colouring competition for Primary students. The image on the poster, created by artist Cristina Capelo, featured for the second time Bermuda women in ICT roles.
This year’s profiles were:
  • Angela Berry, Commissioner, Bermuda Regulatory Authority
  • Kennette Naylor, Service Desk Manager, Bermuda Government
  • Giselle Muhammad, Security Analyst, Butterfield Bank
  • Carol, ‘Trailblazer’, Programmer and IT Auditor
  • Caroline Caton, “Rising Star”, UOIT Cybersecurity Student
  • And last year’s Inspiring Woman in ICT, Sloane Wilson, Cybertips Programme, Bermuda Government.
The 2018 prize winners were:
Lower Primary Competition (Primary 1-3):
  • 1st – Austin Smith
  • 2nd – Tori Phipps
  • 3rd – Kailyn Butterfield-Pereira
Upper Primary Competition (Primary 4-6):
  • 1st – Ezekiel Cordeiro
  • 2nd – Ishe Hunidzarira
  • 3rd – Ryan Cundliffe
Middle and secondary-school students were encouraged to produce 3 minute video on girls and ICT. Once again, the judges were given the difficult task of selecting the winners:
  • 1st – Rickai Lightbourne Jr
  • 2nd – Katarina Rance, Lara Backeberg and Malsha Amarasighe
  • 3rd – Ashlyn Lee, Skye Oliveria and Jasmin Williams
Dr. Marisa Stones, Director of the Department of ICT Policy and Innovation closed the afternoon’s activities by thanking the judges for their time and support for this initiative.  She also expressed her gratitude to the teachers, parents and students who took the time to participate.
  • About International Girls in ICT Day: International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated globally on the 4th Thursday of April each year. The initiative is backed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and aims to empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of ICT.
Photos Courtesy of DCI:
  • Feature Photo: Minister Caines with Malsha Amarasighe ,Lara Backeberg, Lisa Stevens, Katarina Rance, Ryan Cundliffe, Ezekiel Cordeiro, Austin Smith, Tori Phipps, Kailyn Butterfield-Pereira, Rickai Lightbourne Jr
  • Inset: Minister Caines with Angela Berry, Commissioner, Bermuda Regulatory Authority, Kennette Naylor, IDT Service Desk Manager, Bermuda Government, Giselle Muhammad, Security Analyst, Butterfield Bank, Coral Wells, Caroline Caton, and last year’s Inspiring Woman in ICT, Sloane Wilson, Cybertips Programme, Bermuda Government.