One of the participants utilising her softwareIn celebration of the international Girls in Information Communication Technologies (ICT) Day, the Public Telecommunications Ministry, in collaboration with private sector agencies, on Thursday hosted a mini expo to showcase the work of young women in the related field.Held at the Giftland Mall at Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, the exhibition focused on promoting job opportunities and striking a gender balance by increasing the number of girls in the ICT field.Assistant Engineer at the National Frequency Management Unit, Melissa Layne, said, “The idea behind this initiative is to spread awareness about the gender gap which exists in computing and the field of technology, and also to encourage more women and girls to take up careers in tech.”She told Guyana Times that there are challenges in reaching hinterland communities; but whenever those are reached, persons are encouraged to use offline applications to exceed their usual expectations.According to Layne, many youths are unaware of the career opportunities in technology because of the lack of accessibility.Layne revealed, “What we are showing is what some women in technology have been doing in Guyana. We have done tech camps in St. Cuthbert’s Mission and Charity as well, where we bring technology to the girls of those outlying communities.”She added, “What we found in the hinterland regions is connectivity and actually being exposed to what tech has to offer. Girls don’t understand that there are jobs like programming and graphic designing. They don’t have the awareness and the knowledge; and sometimes access is a bit hard.”On site, teenage girls were present to showcase their programming skills, which were used to develop databases for the health and agriculture sector.Serena Razack said her group focused on creating an inventory for hospitals, given that there have been a number of cases of misdiagnosis and expired medications.This programme allows medical practitioners to be au fait with the medication along with its expiry date, how much is being used, and by which doctor. Razack said the programme can be modified for a larger quantity of medications.“This is the first major project we are doing. We have been hearing about the different drugs in Guyana, so we figured it would be helpful if we created a programme that would allow us to keep track of these drugs: like the expiry date, how much is being used, and so on. This database can be expanded so you can add more drugs; so we think that, with further editing, it will be helpful.”Meanwhile, Sakia Jones told this publication that her database was created to aid the agriculture sector with record-keeping.“When you’re dealing with agriculture, especially on a farm, you have to keep track of everything you do. Because it’s a broad topic, we’re only doing plant based-stuff, like the water requirements, soil type and the plant name, just to put that in the inventory,” she explained.Girls in ICT Day is observed every year on April 26 in all member countries and organisations of the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union (ITU).The National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) has, for many years, led Guyana’s outreaches into schools with special focus on rural areas.