Women In IT
Today Google announced the launch of their Female Diversity Scheme (‘Code F’) to encourage women to join the IT industry. The scheme targets female undergraduates studying computer sciences or related degrees and offers mentoring from the company’s software engineers. The success of the pilots in the UK and Germany, have led Google to open the scheme annually to more countries.
The launch of Google’s ‘Code F’ has once again emphasised the importance of females working within the IT industry. A recent report by e-skills highlighted the lack of women in IT as a critical issue for the industry, and concludes only 18% of IT and Telecoms professionals are women despite the fact that 47% of the UK workforce is female.
These shocking statistics were also the driving force for FDM Group’s Women In IT initiative, which urges women who may not consider themselves as ‘techie’ to contemplate the range of other roles available. The fact that the IT industry is an extremely male dominated one cannot be ignored, and FDM have encouraged all potential female applicants to take a chance on IT through this initiative.
Last October, FDM’s Chief Operating Officer Sheila Flavell implemented the Female Champions Initiative, which promotes a mentor scheme within the company. The selected Female Champions act as mentors to colleagues offering a ‘drop-in session’ once a month to all female employees, and are on hand to offer their advice and support throughout the year. Sheila, who is a Finalist in this year’s Everywoman in Technology Awards, has been at the forefront of this initiative and five months on, it is a huge success with 12 female champions across the company. With over 50% of the management team at FDM being female, they are proud to be championing women in IT.
Recent figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment levels are at their highest since records began. With this in mind, graduates should not shy away from what used to be the ‘geeky’ back room stereotype, and take a fresh look at the diverse roles the IT industry has to offer. It is fantastic to have another major player onboard encouraging young females to consider something new.
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