Crossposted from UN Women.
In my community, most people believe that women are not as logical as men are. This affects the choices you make in life—it tells you that some jobs are just not for you.
Last year, before high school graduation, I participated in a summer camp with GirlsGoIT. The project showed us that IT was not just for men. It crushed the stereotype that girls can’t code and are not as good as boys.
I started coding after the summer camp and became a GirlsGoIT ambassador, to show other girls how to code. I was part of a 5-week academy with 40 girls from my city, Chișinău.
Studying coding has changed the perspective for hundreds of girls from my generation in Moldova. It is not only about IT, it is about believing in ourselves, beyond the traditional gender roles we were told to live with.
Today, I am a student of Knowledge Engineering at a university in The Netherlands. After the GirlsGoIT experience, I was sure that my future belongs in the IT sector. But here too, girls are a minority at just 10 per cent.
The ICT sector combines creativity and logic. And with these tools, the world has no limits—you can do anything just with some lines of code.
I am proud if people say that I code like a girl because I know I can rock the world with my code!”
When Ileana Crudu, now 19, finished high school in 2016, she had completed one year of training as a participant of GirlsGoIT, a UN Women-supported initiative that breaks down gender stereotypes in the ICT sector. Ileana is now a relentless ambassador encouraging girls to study technology and continues to advocate for girls’ and women’s participation in the ICT sector at the university in The Netherlands where she is studying. Ileana’s work contributes towards Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and its target on enhancing the use of information and communications technology to promote the empowerment of women and girls.
Read more stories in the “From where I stand...” editorial series.