Socitm chief seeks diversity of recruits

Kate Mountain, chief executive of the Society of IT Management, has urged people from a diverse range of backgrounds to get...

Kate Mountain, chief executive of the Society of IT Management, has urged people from a diverse range of backgrounds to get involved in the IT industry in 2003.

Mountain, who is one of the UK's most high-profile women in IT, urged the government to be more proactive in helping the industry shed its image of being dominated by white males. "The government needs to provide more help for people to acquire skills - both technical and interview skills."

She said, "I want there to be an emphasis on diversity so that we are attracting people from minorities, the disabled and women.

"This cannot but help improve both local government and the private sector's abilities to deliver services that are responsive to people's needs," she added.

Other key topics for Mountain are the promotion of national technology standards for local government and the clarification of the position of IT managers on data protection and freedom of information issues.

The former head of IT at Liverpool City Council also identified the government's multibillion-pound overhaul of health service IT as being a hot topic for the coming year. She said, "I am looking forward to seeing how the additional billions that are being spent on NHS IT will improve the inter-working between health, local government, social services and housing departments."

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