This article is part of our Essential Guide: Top 50 Most Influential Women in UK IT 2015

Hitachi works with girls school to promote Stem subjects

HDS partners with girls grammar school to promote Stem subjects for careers in technology

Hitachi Data SyStems (HDS) has joined forces with Beaconsfield High School, Buckinghamshire, to make its students more aware of the range of careers available in the IT sector.

The grammar school for girls has invited HDS to reveal to its students what to expect from a career in the sector and how to make the move into the industry through science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem)-based subjects.

After contacting Annette France, head teacher at Beaconsfield High School, HDS and the school put together a plan of action.

This will include HDS guest speakers, alongside partners and customers to inspire the students to adopt Stem subjects. The workshop based sessions will cover how the speaker developed their career around Stem along with examples of using Stem in real life, such as stopping cyber attacks and how maths saves lives.

HDS will provide a mentoring programme to support the girls in their subject choices. Work experience placements with also be offered in areas such as technical, sales, marketing, research and development, consultancy, finance and operations.

Students will have the chance to take part in competitions and HDS plans to support the students with interview techniques and CV writing skills.

Furthermore, HDS plans to hold a careers day at the school with the support of its partners to showcase what the companies do and how it links to Stem subjects.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, Richard Gadd, managing director for the UK and Ireland at Hitachi Data SyStems, said having a 17-year-old daughter himself has made him “acutely aware of the pressures”.

“At a previous company I worked at there was a lady in Milan who I tried to push through for a few jobs, but they went to men. She knew she was good at what she did but was understated.

“She later sent my daughter a copy of Lean In. She said ‘you have a smart daughter and here’s what she has to look out for along the way'.”

According to Gadd, more women in technology would mean having a different skills set, as women bring more empathy, strategic thinking and collaboration to a role.

However, he stressed a need for more talent across the board not just through more females: “Talent, not diversity, is my passion.”

On working with the school he said: “I have a personal passion for local collaborations and hope to inspire some of them to join our talent pool.”

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