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The IT industry is facing the dual problems of dealing with a skills shortage and challenges encouraging female participation in the channel.
One of those taking positive action to remedy both situations is Jigsaw24, which has launched a series of events to inspire more women to get involved with technology.
The channel player has a strong position in the Apple market and the design and media verticals, and has been busy over March with two events to encourage and inspire more female participation in IT. It shared a stage with female leaders from Boots, Capital One, Experian and BJSS for its recent We Embrace Equality event.
The background to the latest push to encourage diversity is a long-standing commitment by Jigsaw24 to play its part, with the channel player launching a scholarship to a female student from a lower-income household for studying a computer science-focused degree at Nottingham Trent University back in 2021.
Terri Coombs, education business manager at Jigsaw24, said the firm was on a path to improve its diversity.
“At Jigsaw24, we’re on an unremitting journey to make big changes to how we approach diversity and equality, and we aim to lead by example in the technology sector by promoting and supporting everyone across our teams to realise their true potential,” she said.
“Women make up just 10% of technology leadership roles, and we believe a key part of rewriting this narrative is educating the next generation, and raising the profile of future job opportunities for female leaders in IT. As a business that has a place in both enterprise and education, Jigsaw24 is well placed to address this challenge, and improve the recognition and representation of women in IT in big businesses, education and organisations alike.”
Reaching out earlier
Melanie Marriott, CRM manager at Boots, was one of the speakers at the event who also commented on the benefits of reaching out to women earlier in their careers to tempt them into a world of technology.
“I think my career might have been different if I’d had access to such events as this when I was younger – it took me a long time to discover I liked tech,” she said. “I firmly believe if we’re to change the shocking pay gaps and poor leadership numbers, we need to start at the beginning: in primary education. Increasing awareness of women in tech and their incredible contributions to the field will continue to be essential.”
Last month also saw Jigsaw24 open its doors on International Women’s Day to female students from 18 different schools across Nottingham to meet and be inspired by women who work across the business and at the firm’s enterprise partners.
The plan is to keep the momentum going and build on the We Embrace Equality event with more activities throughout the year.