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More women needed in IT, says Connect

An IT services and support company says big corporations need to do more to attract greater numbers of women into IT.

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An IT services and support company says big corporations need to do more to attract greater numbers of women into IT.

Mark MacGregor, CEO at Connect, which provides technology support for businesses, said there is no reason for women not to decide on an IT career, and also said corporations need to do more to change IT culture.

Connect has just started a scheme - "Googlegirls" - aimed at driving cultural change and attracting more women into the IT profession.

The company holds special events for women, and has introduced a raft of measures to make returning to work after having children easier.

They also work in the community, talking to local schoolchildren and getting involved with government's national Computer Clubs for Girls scheme.

"If a lot of the bigger companies adopted the same approach, the results could be pretty dramatic," MacGregor said.

"Companies in other sectors like accountancy and law have taken a different approach, and are targeting women in their recruitment. Women now make up between 50% and 60% of their workforce, whereas in IT it is only around 15%."

He said women are just as capable of doing the job as men are, and that companies need to work harder to redress the balance.

"One thing that strikes me is the IT cultural image, because the idea of it being 'male' is outdated. None of the things we do here are things that women cannot do. It is a cultural problem," MacGregor said.

"It can be difficult for us to recruit technologically competent IT people, and we have got to look at what we can do about it. If you are only attempting to tap into 50% of the population, the shortage is going to be an ongoing one."

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