BLOG: More women are needed in tech

Scott Fletcher praises the Government for encouraging more women into the tech industry...
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Tech entrepreneur and ANS Group founder and chairman Scott Fletcher praises the Government for encouraging more women into the tech industry...

I have seen the industry boom over the past 20 years which now leaves us looking at a digital economy where most new businesses see IT is an integral part.

It is essential that, as an industry, we expand and offer more opportunities for everyone. Particularly now the economy is recovering, we are seeing demand for labour far outstrip supply and it is only going to get worse.

It may seem like a simple challenge but there are an alarmingly small number of women in the digital economy.

I have always looked to hire women but not enough are applying for tech-related roles. With the ANS Cloud Academy, which was launched in the summer of 2013, only two women have ever applied for the apprenticeship, compared to over 100 men.

At the moment, schools are teaching ICT which, in theory, is advanced secretarial work rather than modern web or mobile application development.

Thankfully, however, I have noticed that the Government is seeing this as a problem.

I met with e-skills, the technology sector’s skills council funded by the Government and they offer projects and support to young people looking into excelling in the technology sector, something I have been campaigning for a long time

E-skills funds projects running with various universities up and down the country, but they also concentrate on those younger to get them into the digital economy. More specifically, they have initiatives which encourage more women to get into the technology sector.

Programmes such as CC4G (Computer Clubs for Girls), an initiative aimed towards girls as young as ten, used in over 200 primary and secondary schools in the UK, is a promising start to getting more women in the tech industry.

It is great to see that there are government-funded schemes like e-skills, which are taking the effort to encourage more women in the tech sector.

But the government cannot work alone in encouraging more women in the tech industry. We need them as technology continues to revolutionise the way we all live and work.

See PCR's list of the top 50 women in technology here

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