Accenture has begun a series of initiatives to attract more women IT professionals, at a time when the proportion of women in the industry is declining.
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The IT outsourcing and consultancy provider has set itself the target of increasing the proportion of women IT professionals in the organisation to half of the total staff, by attracting senior-level female IT professionals into the organisation.
"Having women at the very top of an organisation is a very obvious indication that it is possible to be successful. Women prefer to work in an organisation where they have a track record," said Sam Clark, inclusion and diversity manager at Accenture.
Accenture, which currently employs women in a third of its workforce, with a third of these working in technical roles, has launched a Global Women's Initiative aimed at supporting female IT professionals at work.
The programme provides networking events for senior female executives in the company and provides advice on issues such as female role models and work/life balance.
"We very much want to have a balanced workforce. We are looking to try to fish in all of the available talent pools. If you do not attract women into your organisation, you are not attracting all of the talent," said Clark.
The company is also focusing on making it easier for women to return to work after leaving to have children.
It has set up a pre-maternity workshop, which allows staff to find out about flexible working opportunities and to talk to other women who have returned to work after child birth.
"Women often feel that it is difficult to come back to work. We are trying hard to address that," said Clark.
The company offers a scheme that allows parents to trade in some of their salary for discounted nursery rates, in order to help employees return to work.
Parents can also use part of the company intranet to exchange information on child care.