We are always made aware of the male successors and entrepreneurs in IT such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. They are prime examples of how the thinking of society has been conditioned to believe that the IT world is no place for women. However, unknown to most – especially young females, IT can be incorporated in so many things that are parallel to hobbies such as beauty and fashion.
Because of the limited awareness females have about the IT world, there is now a sudden rise of institutes such as WITI (Women in Technology International) and the Anita Borg Institute that empowers females to pursue a career in IT. According to Helen Wallaston (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, 2012), there is a positive outlook for young people of both sexes taking STEM subjects. Statistics show that girls are more likely to take STEM subjects at GCSE. Unfortunately, statistics also show that the amount of female participation in STEM subjects at A-levels is very low. The less females involved with IT during college, the smaller the potential pool of female candidates to go into senior business roles. In order to increase the presence of women in the boardroom we firstly need to tackle girls in the classroom.
As females, we are unaware of the impact we have already made in the world of IT. For example, Ada Lovelace began coding in times when few men did. She is considered to be the first computer programmer. Because of her contributions to the world of computer science, the US Department of Defence named a newly developed computer language called “Ada” after her.
In our modern day era, there are women like Parisa Tabriz who is also known as “Security Princess” (aka Chrome Security Engineering Manager), Google. At age 29, she is in charge of “Google’s information security engineering team, which focuses on improving security in Google’s array of products. She leads the team of “hired hackers” in conducting security design and code reviews, and trains engineers how to secure products” (Megan Rose Dickey, 2013).
Apprenticeships, placements and internships held by various companies such as PWC are more commonly having women-only entry requirements. Placements give interested females the opportunity to shadow female leaders within well established companies in any area of their choosing. Similarly, FDM Group hosts an event called ‘Women in IT Advantage Sessions’ periodically to benefit graduates, undergraduates and anyone looking to go into the IT industry. For those still in compulsory school e-skills UK hold clubs for 10-14 year olds that brings the IT sector to life by relating it to fashion, music etc. We expect the trend that we’ve seen over recent years to continue and for women to have an increasingly larger presence both in IT and in business.