The IT sector is placing new emphasis on recruiting women for IT roles.
A recent survey by Computer Weekly and Mortimer Spinks shows that many women are being put off the idea of working in the IT sector. The survey showed of the IT professionals interviewed, three-quarters of women found careers in technology to be less appealing due to their concerns that the sector is completely male dominated.
The government and prominent tech companies are working together to change that perception. Through conferences and major events, they plan to highlight the opportunities IT jobs can provide for professional women. They hope to help diversify the sector through creating awareness as well as opportunity.
In America, the Dare 2B Digital Conference was recently recognised by California Slate Legislature as a program encouraging women amongst others to consider technology jobs. This annual conference was described by House Resolution 34 as “The annual Dare 2B Digital conference for girls 13 to 16 years of age, inclusive, in partnership with technology companies such as Oracle, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, and Microsoft, [which] attracted more than 400 girls, where they attended workshops led by industry leaders and experts on STEM topics such as robotics, programming, and interactive networking.”
Reports in the UK show that less than one in five of the Scotland’s IT professionals are women. Recognising this has led to Technology Opportunities Focus as a joint effort by companies including Cisco, Oracle and IBM. The Technology firms created a series of events to encourage women through education in schools and workshops, including at Oracle’s offices. The aim to prepare people for what is expected and to show what can be achieved in Oracle jobs and in many similar IT roles. IT sector growth is increasing at four times the Scottish average, an industry report estimating that 40,000 technology recruits will be needed within the next five years.
Director for Oracle in Scotland, Caroline Stuart, highlighted how the sector needs to update its image, particularly to women, commenting “Technology underpins the majority of business operations so it is not only important for our sector to boost the talent pipeline, it is vital for our whole economy.”
The Computer Weekly and Mortimer Spinks report highlights that men and women alike want increased diversity in the IT sector with nine out of ten female IT professionals confirming they would recommend the sector to other women. Showing women what the sector is really like may be the key for a successful change.Credit: onrec.com