Employers in the government and charity sectors can rarely compete with the private sector on salaries. But when it comes to offering flexible working, development opportunities, job security and pension schemes, they can be hard to beat.
One area where public organisations shortlisted in the Best Places to Work Awards excel is ensuring a wide social diversity in their IT departments. New Charter Housing Trust, for example, has a male/female ratio of 25% in its IT department - way above the 18% UK average. About 45% of the IT department are aged 40 or over, and 15% are members of ethnic minorities.
Barking and Dagenham Council's Women's Networking and Leadership initiative has been so successful that it has spread out from IT into the rest of the organisation. And Lancashire ICT Services has helped overseas IT staff obtain work permits.
The shortlisted organisations went out of their way to help staff fit their working life around their home commitments. British Transport Police, for example, recognises that staff have to travel long distances to its London IT department. It offers late and early starts and four-day working patterns.
The City of London Corporation allows staff to work from home during school holidays, providing them with PDAs, laptops and broadband.
Training and development is another important aspect. The City of London Corporation offers financial support for staff to attend evening classes and paid time off to prepare for exams. It also encourages staff to volunteer in schools for an hour a week to help them develop their people skills.
Charity WWF ensures that every member of the IT department attends a three-day, residential course where they can meet staff from other areas of the organisation.
But for many IT staff, the key driver for working in the public and charity sectors is knowing that they are making a difference. As one Lancashire IT professional said, "There is an intangible feel-good factor in helping people, rather than just making money for someone else."
Organisations shortlisted for the best places to work in IT 2007 awards
● Barclays Bank
● Birmingham Midshires
● Citigroup Technology
● HBOS Group Technology
Business and professional services
● Berwin Leighton Paisner
● British Army (Land - CBM AIS)
● Companies House
Construction, agriculture and mining
● Smith Group UK
● WSP Group
Hospitality, entertainment and leisure
● American Institute for Foreign Study (UK)
● BBC Worldwide
● Friends Provident
● Norwich & Peterborough Building Society
IT services suppliers (including outsourcing providers)
● Rhyme Systems
● The Internet Group
IT software and hardware suppliers
● Citrix Systems (R&D)
● cScape Strategic Internet Services
● Data Connection
● Welcom Software
Manufacturing and engineering
● Procter & Gamble
● Whitman Laboratories
● City of London Corporation
● Kent County Council
● Lancashire ICT Services
● Liverpool Direct
● London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
● London Borough of Towerhamlets
Public services and non-profit sectors
● Audit Commission
● British Transport Police
● Crown Prosecution Service Business Information Systems Directorate
● New Charter Housing Trust
● Opportunity Links
● Coal Authority
Retail, wholesale and distribution
● Asda Stores
● South West Trains
● Carphone Warehouse
Utilities and telecommunications
● BT Group
● Cable & Wireless
● Kingston Communications
Book a table at the awards ceremony
The Best Places to Work in IT Awards 2007 will be presented on 2 March at the Grosvenor Marriott Square Hotel in London.
Now in its fifth year, the lunchtime ceremony will play host to the UK's best UK IT employers.
With IT departments from leading companies of all sizes, representing every sector of UK business life, the awards offer a unique networking opportunity.
To guarantee your place, and secure your opportunity to network with the UK's best IT employers, go online or contact Siobhan Abbott - Tel: 020 8652 3887 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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