CompTIA’s senior vice president for industry relations Nancy Hammervik took to the stage at PCR’s Women of the Year event, where she highlighted the importance of closing the IT skills gap.
Hammervik said: “It’s wonderful to celebrate women who are successful and encourage them to have careers, but it’s a really important strategic business reason for our industry.“
CompTIA Information Technology Association was one of the event partners for this year’s event, along with Dell and The Hut Group, as well as headline partner Zaboura Communications.
The IT trade association also sponsored PCR’s Woman of the Year event last year, where Hammervik revealed that 95 per cent of girls like technology, yet only nine per cent want a career in IT.
During Hammervik’s talk, she revealed how important it is to encourage women in IT. For example, CompTIA has a programme called Dream IT, which has since been launched in the UK.
The initiative is a part of CompTIA’s Advancing Women in IT push, where the firm tries to empower people to go out to universities and schools, and talk about how they can access tools to promote women in technology.
Hammervik added: “The IT skills gap it starting to be a real concern globally, and actually in the UK, next year there will be more than a quarter of a million IT positions that businesses will not be able to fill. And in the US it will be more than a million.
“The UK is feeling the pinch of the skills gap more than the international average. For example, when we asked business executives in the UK if they are feeling the impact and the effects of the skills gap, 92 per cent said they were feeling it and it’s affecting their business. The international average is 86 per cent.”
So why is it crucial for businesses to encourage women into IT careers?
Hammervik explained that women are able to boost productivity in the workforce, plus they also have a strong influence in buying power.
In addition, the fact that women make up more than half of the population proves that more women should be taking on a career within the tech industry.
“Women make up more than half of the population and represent 60 per cent of university graduates – so more reason to support women in IT.
“The skills gap also has an impact on your business. There’s a loss of productivity, job satisfaction and customer satisfaction. So bringing women into this market is going to help solve a lot of these business issues," commented Hammervik.
“So if we’re not attracting this very powerful demographic into our industry, it’s going to be really hard to close that skills gap."