Influential Women Closing the IT Gender Gap

Posted on Friday 8th March 2019 10:15

Influential Women Closing the IT Gender Gap | News

Firstly, Influential Software wishes the world a very positive International Women’s Day! At the same time, it would be wrong for us to ignore “the elephant in the RAM” – our code name for the notable gender gap in IT. In fact, it’s estimated that women fill only 17 percent of UK tech roles today.

At Influential Software, we have always encouraged more women to join us and the IT industry at large. And though we’re currently above average at 20 percent, it’s our target to have 25 percent women by 2020.

That’s why we’ve decided to highlight some of our brilliant women and share their view from inside the tech industry.

The Many Roads to Tech

Debbie Cooley, portfolio manager at Influential Software, is an example of how promoting science to young women has a real impact.

“When I was 16 I took part in a Women in Physics weekend at the University of Sussex. I was still studying my Physics GCSE, so it was exciting to be taken to the labs and allowed to use the university’s equipment,” says Debbie. “The point of the course was to bring more females into physics, and I did go on to take physics at A level.” Later in life, she held tech roles within the publishing industry before bringing her skills to Influential Software.

Meanwhile, QA analyst Imesha Chelvakumar and support consultant Sandeep Aujlah took more traditional paths, taking tech-related master’s degrees and then joining Influential Software.

Software developer Julia Malysheva made her decision even earlier. “When I was a young girl, I had a choice after school about what to do next. It could have been teaching, accounting, or trying something new and amazing – IT, which was a completely new industry with a lot of exciting opportunities. I chose an adventure.” Excellent choice!

Championing Diversity at Influential Software

Sadly, some women see a brighter career in industries where women are already in the lead. But Influential Software shows this doesn’t have to be the case.

Sandeep says, “The working environment at Influential is incredibly supportive to all, and as one of the few women in the office I’ve never felt excluded. Additionally I feel that I get the same training and work opportunities as my male colleagues.”

Imesha agrees, “Influential Software is a friendly, encouraging, and supportive environment, which has made my first experience in the tech industry very exciting. There’s always positive communication with the teams, and that encourages me to confidently make suggestions.”

Developing Women’s Role in IT

Yet the question remains, what can be done to address the gender gap?

Noting the few women on her degree, Sandeep says, “I think more emphasis could be placed on efforts to attract younger women, such as those still at school, to tech careers. We could give them access to female mentors who already work in IT, or offer experience of the work they could do in a future career.”

Imesha also suggests that inviting successful women in the IT industry to talk at schools and universities could be effective.

All four women expressed a lack of high-profile role models in tech and IT. However, this isn’t necessarily because women aren’t achieving in these areas. As Sandeep explains, “Having worked and studied in various fields of STEM, I’ve seen women who have risen to prominent positions in their respective disciplines. This has been inspiring as a real-life example of how women can progress and build successful and rewarding careers in their chosen scientific fields.”

So it seems the media are lagging behind the reality of women in tech. On the other hand, we should celebrate positive examples such as the Google Doodle for March 7.

Another cause for optimism could be the growing importance of IT in female-dominated industries such as publishing. As Debbie’s path shows, such industries can be a stepping stone for women to gain valuable IT experience. And as all industries grasp the transformational value of tech, that trend is only set to increase.

Interested in a career in IT? We’re always looking for talented people.