Oulun yliopisto huomioi kansainvälisen tyttöjen päivän vaihtamalla rehtoria päiväksi

The University of Oulu celebrates International Girls' Day – rector Niinimäki gave up his post to 14-year-old Mimmi Jakola for one day

Mimmi Jakola took over the rector´s post as part of the Plan International’s Girls Takeover campaign, where girls will step into the shoes of political, social and financial leaders to celebrate the UN’s International Day of the Girl.  This year the Girls´ Takeover campaign highlights the impact of technology on equality. Girls and women must not only be able to use technology but also be involved in developing it.

During the day, the rector met university researchers to discuss the topics of technology and equality. On the laboratory visit to UBICOMP Research Unit she and laboratory researchers talked about usability, virtual malaise, and how human approach can be applied to virtual technology. Together with researcher Marja Matinmikko-Blue, the young rector discussed how research can be used to promote girls' access to technology globally. Also, solutions were sought for marketing ICT to young people together with university student marketing team.

“It is important for me to promote equality. Technology is a big part of the future, and it is not equal yet; therefore, every young woman applying for the field of technology is part of the shift towards a more equal future. The takeover day met my expectations and even exceeded them. I really enjoyed it”, Mimmi Jakola sums up.

The digital divide between genders is particularly wide if we take a look at the share of girls and women as developers of technology.

“When it comes to technology development, without the input and perspective of girls and women we risk creating tools and solutions that reproduce and perpetuate existing gender inequalities,” says Ossi Heinänen, Secretary General at Plan International Finland.

By participating the Girls´ takeover -campaign the University of Oulu also wants to highlight how important it is to get more women in the field of technology.

“The University of Oulu wants to encourage girls to choose their fields of study widely and boldly. For example, in the fields of technology and science, there are too few women, although girls succeed in these subjects at school. We want to show the potential of these fields both in building a more sustainable world but also a rewarding career. We also want to ensure that girls can relate to the fields of technology and science. This is an important issue of equality for us”, says Jouko Niinimäki, who will continue as Rector of the University after Mimmi Jakola's takeover day.

We are committed to raising awareness of the importance of ICT skills and job opportunities in schools, together with companies. Currently we are looking for alumni ambassadors who can act as links between companies and schools. The skills and needs of girls and women must be integrated in the development of technology, and it is therefore important to highlight careers and opportunities in the sector.

Read more in Twitter about the topic using tag #GirlsTakeover + #GirlsGetEqual and on our own account @UniOulu. International Day of the Girl is celebrated on Sunday 11th October.

At the same time as the takeover, a Shaking Up Tech -virtual event was live. You can listen to the speeches and career stories of women working in technology here. (In Finnish)


Last updated: 9.10.2020