During a recent interview with The Mirror newspaper, Hewitt expressed concern over the lack of women in the 'e-jobs' market, and said the Government was taking steps to tackle the problem and to try and prevent women from missing out on the internet revolution.
"Most high tech companies I go into, 90 per cent of the workforce are men - and there are declining numbers of women doing IT courses and moving into IT jobs," she commented.
Referring to IT's "nerdy image" and to the fact that the market is seen to be dominated by men, the e-minister added: "I think women see IT jobs as very isolated (and) not having human contact - but much of this is a myth."
Hewitt, who recently returned from a trade mission to India, argued that if women were encouraged to move into the IT sector, part of the country's skills crisis would be resolved. "One reason we have a skills shortage is because most companies are only recruiting from half the potential talent pool," she said. "We have to educate and train women as well as men, older people (and) young people to fill the highly skilled and well paid jobs that have been created in the IT industry."
This was first published in November 2000