The world of women in tech: What have I missed?

Hello WITsend community – apologies for my recent absence. I took a one week holiday to Brazil and managed to catch a nasty virus on the journey home….so I was out of action a little longer than expected. I am back now and have recovered from whatever tropical virus I picked up! I did come back with a tan though, and crawled back into work in time before it faded. So, I’m not complaining.


What have I missed? From all of the women in tech stories in my inbox, quite a bit by the looks of it.


Capgemini’s all-girl apprentice team

Capgemini entered the only all-girl team to take on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2013. The team of nine will battle it out with over 80 other teams to be crowned the apprenticeship team of the year. The nationwide competition supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and run by Brathay Trust.


Team leader and Higher Apprentice at Capgemini, Pallavi Boppana, said since joining Capgemini’s Higher Apprenticeship Scheme, she has become aware of how male dominated the IT sector is and wanted to find a way to change that.


She said: “The Brathay Apprenticeship Challenge seemed like the perfect to opportunity to raise awareness of apprenticeships and the career opportunities available to young women in IT. So far, we’ve visited schools and careers fairs to share our experiences with students who are due to enter the UK labour market. We’ve also attended networking events such as Capgemini’s International Women’s Day, an internal event to celebrate women working at Capgemini.


“We hope to carry on raising profiles for women in IT internally and externally, becoming ambassadors on behalf of Capgemini to encourage more women to consider a career in technology.”


International Girls in ICT Day

It is International Girls in ICT Day this month! Thursday 25th April to be exact. The day aims to encourage young women into considering a career in ICT and technology.


Tanya Morton, an application engineering manager at MathWorks, based in Cambridge, recently said: “The stereotypical image of the engineer or technologist as the geeky male is tired and in need of a refresh.  For this to happen, all young people need to be exposed to technology and the men and women who create it.


“This will help them to understand that technology is something that everybody can, and should, get involved with from school age onwards.”


Morton explained that role models can play an important part in inspiring young people, in helping to normalise STEM subjects and in bringing applications to life: “Girls should have the confidence to want to be the next Ada Lovelace and to follow in the footsteps of successful women in technology, but it is also important to make these female scientists and technologists more visible. In doing so, we can help to encourage more girls to not just consume, but to create, the technology of tomorrow. “


Male, pale, stale

Also on a mission to change the geeky male stereotype is Little Miss Geek. On International Girls in ICT Day the team will be visiting an inner city girls secondary school, in London, to “explore the fusion between fashion and technology.”


They say: “We want to end the era where tech is only created by ‘male, pale, stale’ people (currently only 17% of the tech workforce is female). Little Miss Geek‘s vision is to inspire the next generation of girls to become tech pioneers, putting them at the forefront of creating tech as well as consuming it.”


Supported by Dell and Microsoft the day already involves Clara Mercer from the British Fashion Council, Francesca Rosella from Cute Circuit (whose tech dresses have been worn by Katy Perry) and Ed Vaizey (Minister for Culture & Creative Industries).


Just when I thought I was catching up on my coverage I received this interesting infographic from Called “A Woman’s Paradox” the graphic covers the unique challenges that face the working woman of today.

And of course my roundup wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the passing of our “Iron Lady.” Whether or not you agreed/disagreed with Margaret Thatcher’s policies we can’t ignore how she was a positive role model and inspiration for women. She opened the door for women taking high-powered roles and was successful in smashing the glass ceiling that us ladies discuss so often.

As ever thank you for sharing your stories and announcements with me. Please keep them coming, as I am back and feeling much better.