Women in IT Week, which runs from 1-5 June 2015, aims to inspire more women to pursue careers in the technology and IT service sectors. By recognising and promoting the important contributions that successful women working in IT have made to businesses across the UK, it seeks to encourage greater support for addressing gender imbalance in IT.
According to the ‘The Women in IT Scorecard’ published in 2014 by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and the Tech Partnership, less than one in six of the 1.1 million people working as IT specialists in the UK were women (16%). Given that the same research also revealed that females accounted for just 6.5% of those taking Computing A-Level, and just 18% of qualifiers from all Computer Sciences/IT related HE courses, the next generation of women in IT could be similarly under-represented.
Diversified UK will be publishing ‘my story’ blogs every day throughout Women in IT Week 2015, written by inspiring female leaders within the IT community. SITS15 – the UK’s leading event for IT service management professionals (taking place at the new venue of Olympia National, in London, on 3-4 June) will also host a Keynote panel discussion focusing on the importance of championing equality in IT. This opening day Keynote will be chaired by internationally-renowned IT trainer, Karen Ferris – who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from itSMF Australia last year.
“I think it’s important to give back to an industry that has served me so well,” says Karen Ferris, the first contributor to the Women in IT Week blog. From starting out as a computer operator at a UK building society in the 80s to heading up a team of 50 at a major financial organisation in Australia, she reflects on her career as a woman in ITSM and some lessons learnt along the way.