Sarah Shields, executive director and general manager of Dell UK and finalist in the PCR Woman of the Year event (which takes place in London on October 17th) shares her view. You can find out more about the event and book your tickets here.
During my 20 years working in technology, I’ve seen the industry evolve out of all recognition. We now have wearable technology, 3D TVs and displays and the beginnings of artificial intelligence. But when it comes to women working in tech, time seems to have stood still.
Only 17 per cent of women work in technology, an astonishing figure given technology affects everything we do and women are just as likely as men to be making IT purchasing decisions in the household. I truly believe that by having more women involved at all levels of technology, development would create products and services that have much broader appeal.
We need to give girls a launch pad to realise their capabilities by encouraging the industry to engage and demonstrate the options available. It’s important that, as an industry, we start talking to young girls about their future early on and actively show them the benefits of working in IT. This will help them see the opportunities they have to make a real impact on the world through technology, before they start making decisions about A-Levels, university and ultimately their careers.
If we can reach girls at a young age, then I believe we’ll be able to increase the number of women in the technology industry. Working with the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, I see the incredible quality women add to business and I’d love to see more and more enter the IT workforce.
Luckily for me, Dell believes strongly in gender equality and actively runs programmes to encourage diversity and inclusion. To work for one of the leading global IT brands and to be part of a three-woman leadership team makes me exceptionally proud.