Supporting Colleges to Tackle the Technology Gender Gap Together
Women are under-represented in technology roles across the workforce in Scotland, and this represents a potential loss of talent to a sector which is in growth and which has significant numbers of unfilled vacancies. However, with appropriate targeted intervention there exists a prime opportunity to respond to the needs of the digital technology sector by encouraging and supporting more women to join the talent pipeline by taking up a technology-related course at their local college.
The ’Technology is too important …’ event was organised by CDN and SDS and hosted by Dundee & Angus College. The aims of the day were to:
- set out the support that is available to colleges tackling the gender gap
- demonstrate how role models can make a difference (and how you can get involved)
- provide information on what jobs are available and what employers are looking for
- share the practical steps institutions are taking to recruit more girls and women
We were delighted to welcome the presenters below who took the time to share their experiences and advice with us, and have shared the presentations they delivered (where available) on the day.
Why you should never say no to a woman!
Gillian McGovern, Head of Learning Computing and Creative Media, Dundee and Angus College
Gillian McGovern, finalist for Inspirational Woman in Leadership at the Women in Technology Awards talked about her challenges and successes within her career in the technology profession. She provided information on current projects her team are working on within the College to address the gender gap including school early intervention programs.
Careers in Digital Technology
Ketty Lawrence, Project Manager: Digital Skills, SDS
Technology is exploding in Scotland and bringing with it a wealth of opportunities for our young people but this is not widely known by females and their influencers. Ketty described the breadth of technology careers available, employer demand for skills and routes and pathways females can take into the sector.
Outreach Activities and Role Models
Karen Murray, SmartSTEMs
Role models and outreach activities are vital to tackle the gender gap in digital tech related study and apprenticeships. SmartSTEMs work with schools, colleges, universities and employers to bring them together to inspire girls at school to get into tech careers and study.
Digital Skills 4 Girls
Barry McDonald, CodeBase Stirling
Digital Skills 4 Girls is a new club for girls under 18 who want to learn new digital skills or develop existing skills. From coding and gaming to digital design and video, DS4G is a friendly and supportive environment to learn new skills and meet new friends. Guided by a team of female volunteer mentors, attendees get the opportunity to work on different digital aspects of a single project.
Tech Revolution vs. Tech Revelation: How to address young women into broaching the gender gap
Fiona Henderson, Placement Coordinator, QA
Technology can seem like an incredibly daunting sector for anyone to break into and so Fiona described ways to change the way we think and talk about careers in IT and Digital sectors. She shared some tips and tricks on how to broach the subject with young adults in a way to hopefully encourage more women to think about pursuing a career in Tech.
Technology for Everyone
Talat Yaqoob, Director, Equate
With a focus on increasing the number of women studying technology courses through the gender action plan, we need innovative measures to attract and retain women to these subjects. Talat Yaqoob chatted through ways in which we can make this happen focusing on student partnerships, networks, language use and inclusive curriculums.