Women in IT – Making a Difference BCS North London Chapter 16 April 2008
Agenda • Women in IT – Facts and Figures • Why do we care? • How do we attract, retain and promote more women in IT? • Additional Perspectives • Industry • Career Development and Mobility • Networking • Panel Discussion / Q&A
Our Panel • Jamie MacLean, Partner, Ernst & Young • Judith Lewis, Search Manager, Centaur • Maggie Berry, Director, womenintechnology.co.uk • Nicole Mathison, Co-organiser of Girl Geeks
1943 Guide to Hiring Women The following is an excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine. This was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II. "Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees: There's no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage. Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from Western Properties: 1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they're less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn't be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently. 2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It's always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy. 3. General experience indicates that "husky" girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters. 4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job. 5. Stress at the outset the importance of time the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up. 6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they'll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves. 7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change. 8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day. 9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can't shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman - it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency. 10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl's husband or father may swear vociferously, she'll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this. 11. Get enough size variety in operator's uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can't be stressed too much in keeping women happy."
Women in Employment (UK)Source:Uncovering Women’s Inequality in the UK: Statistics (Women’s Resource Centre - April 07) • In 2006, female graduates earned, on average, 15% less than their male counterparts at the age of 24, with this gender pay gap widening with age (increasing to 40.5% for women graduates aged 41-45). • The gender pay gap in the UK is one of the highest in Europe: women who work full-time earn 17% less per hour than men and women working part-time earn 39% less per hour than men working full-time. • About 30,000 women in the UK leave their jobs each year because of pregnancy discrimination. • Women in full-time employment spend nearly 30% more time on childcare every day than men in full-time employment.
Women in the IT industry(from the Women and Equality Unit) • The IT industry is currently facing a skills shortage in a number of areas - it is keen to recruit qualified engineers, technicians and software developers. • Despite this factor, the number of women working in the industry is falling. Recent statistics show that women make up a fifth of employees in the whole IT sector. When you look at specific jobs involving the development and production of technology, the figure drops still further. • In 1997, women made up 27% of those working in the IT sector. By 2003 that figure had dropped to 20%. • Within the sector, women make up 27% of database assistants and clerks, but only 7% of IT strategy and planning professionals • Women make up less than a quarter of computer science graduates in the UK • Over the ten years to 2002,the number of girls taking technology at A-level increased by just over a third • Girls consistently outperform boys (albeit marginally) at A-level technology • In the UK, girls tend to disengage from IT subjects between the ages of 11 and 15.
So what? Why do we care?What women can add to your business • Workforce shortage / Talent wars • Knowledge Economy - “Talent has become the world’s most sought-after commodity.” (Economist 2006) • Emerging and competitive economies – “gender equality strengthens long-term economic development” • Maximizing return on investment • “Smart” Leadership Teams • Multicultural, diverse and changing world • Generation Y • Women’s influence and buying power • Represent half the market • 80% of consumer purchasing decisions
How do we attract, retain and promote more women in IT? • Awareness • Making gender a business issue vs. a women’s issue • Celebrating and optimizing the differences • Education for management in addition to support for women • Role Models • Profiling women for their success • Recruitment • Specific targets (not quotas) • Focused recruitment
How do we attract, retain and promote more women in IT? • Flexibility • Not just a women and children issue • Different styles • Career Path • Mentoring • Formal and informal • Proactive engagement • Networking • Reaching out – encouraging participation • Internal • External
How do we attract, retain and promote more women in IT? • Career development, progression and mobility • Asking the question… • Give women the opportunity to say “yes” • Boosting confidence • Managing transitions • Monitoring progress • Individual • Corporate • Senior level sponsorship • Message • Budget • Cultural change
Additional Perspectives • Judith Lewis - Industry • Maggie Berry - Career Development and Mobility • Nicole Mathison - Networking • Panel Discussion / Questions & Answers
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