Thursday, 24 July 2014

CompTIA tackling the image problem of the IT industry

By Edward Jones 

Image courtesy of
CompTIA labels the IT industry with "an image problem" as it continues to address the lack of women in the channel through its Advancing Women in IT (AWIT) initiative.

With less than 16% of the UK IT industries 1.2 million workforce being women, it's a statement you simply can't challenge. The industry has an image problem and it's time we addressed it as a community.

IT doesn't appeal to the young

CompTIA claims a lack of appeal to the younger generation is at the core of this issue. Again, difficult to contest when applications to Computing Science at GCSE and A level continue to fall. Left unchecked,  this will significantly reduce the volume of talent entering the industry and exacerbate a skills gap estimated to reach 700,000 IT professionals across Europe by 2015.  

CompTIA Senior vice president,  Nancy Hammervik, reflects on the issue. She said: 

The primary barrier to interest in IT as a career is that young people – girls, especially – don’t understand the full range of options available to them,” 

But when they’re exposed to specific job and career opportunities their interest level jumps,” Hammervik continued. “We’ve taken the next step to reach out directly to women and girls on the wonderful opportunities available to them in our industry.

Advancing Women in IT

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This next step is via the 'Advancing Women in IT' initiative. Driven by an elite group of “trailblazing female entrepreneurs”, the program aims to engage at the grass root level and transform the representation of women in IT. Delivering the message direct to schools and colleges via a series of workshops, free educational tools and events, the program aims to engage more than 10,000 people by the end of 2014.

Firebrand Training’s UK Managing Director, Emma Seaman said:  

If we are to reverse the downward trend of young women taking an interest in IT then we must break the stereotype that ‘IT is for geeks’

Attracting more women into IT received a big boost this week 

This week CompTIA launched two new websites, Dream IT and the Career Resource Centre. Both seen as a huge boost in the battle to attract more women into the IT workforce.

The new Career Resource Centre contains a wealth of information and career resources all with the express aim of showing women and girls that IT is a great place to work.

The Dream IT initiative is the brainchild of CompTIA’s 'Advancing Women in IT' community. It offers ready-made presentation materials which can be used by anyone looking to spread the fantastic opportunities available to women and girls in the IT industry.

Get Involved!

If your interested in adavncing women in IT, why not head over to the Dream IT site and explore to find out all the ways you can get involved.

What are you waiting for?

About the Author

As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor.