The Women in IT Awards is the world’s largest event dedicated to tackling the technology industry’s striking gender imbalance. 1000 of the UK’s top IT leaders will gather on 25th January 2017 at Grosvenor House to celebrate the achievements of women in technology.
There are some incredible finalists at these awards who are actively changing the way the world works with their skills and passion. Finalists include top names from the likes of Twitter, Net-a-Porter, Rolls Royce, Fujitsu and Salesforce. Being amongst such colossal brands and names is enthralling. Against this backdrop, I am overwhelmed to have been shortlisted for ‘Innovator of the Year’.
The innovation award recognises a woman who has been integral in a tech company’s innovation in the last 18 months. At RAW Digital Training, we have always provided digital and social media training to business regionally and further afield around the UK. As skills develop, so does the level of training delivered by us. Over the past 12 months, opportunities have arisen to reach other sectors of society, seeing us create many first of their kind digital skills programmes for young people who are Not in Employment Education or Training. Beyond the training materials and delivery, we have also gone on to support each individual with their progression into employment, particularly into apprenticeships! We’ve created e-learning programmes for the education sector, delivered to multi-site businesses around the UK, and been the go to course creator for many other organisations.
I have also overseen a complete transformation of our delivery methods. Through my networks, we have partnered with top industry experts, each possessing niche skills in a specific area of digital. The area of digital is vast and growing daily, therefore we work with these specialists to deliver high level, relevant training directly to a business/individual that needs them. This allows all clients of RAW, no matter their existing ability with digital to go far, fast.
Innovation can be daunting and is never easy and demands absolute passion and conviction. At RAW, we tackle the prevalence of missing digital skills head on and have a great determination to transform it.
Less than 16% of the tech sector is female, and the stat is declining even further, this is an incredibly sad situation. This is when I realise how rare I am as a female business owner in the tech sector, from the North East. This must change.
Why does it need to be like this? We have a job to do as businesses, educational establishments, authorities and parents. We need to encourage our young females to consider a career in tech. There are endless exciting, brilliant, and dynamic roles in tech. There are also an increasing number of routes to get there.
Do you know we have a huge need for females in the tech sector? The increase year on year in this sector is staggering, it’s actually critical that we change the stats, our country needs us.
The needs are current. Employers, do you see a need for more digital or tech roles within your business now or in the future? Great! Invest in your current workforce and offer digital skills training to your female employees.
Recent research has shown that the digital skills gap is costing the UK economy 63 billion per year. This isn’t all about high level digital roles within digital and web agencies not being filled, it’s about each and every industry that is adapting to the digital revolution. As businesses, we all need to adapt with it, and in non digital sector businesses that may entail making our standard processes digital or changing to cloud technology, having a better understanding of cyber security, or using the web to trade further afield. It would be great to see businesses invest in their current employees to have some of the skills for these changes now and in the future within their workforce, and more importantly have a 50/50 gender balance. Businesses needing to hire for such roles can do more to encourage females to apply. You know, we are pretty awesome when we work in tech, all the stats show it.
I’m part of a new ‘Digital Strategy Board’ this year, it has a 50/50 split, brilliant! Not many boards of any kind have these gender balances, never mind digital boards. If you need to set up a board for digital or digital transformation in your area, organisation or sector, could you make a conscious effort to do the same?
The truth is, almost every single one of us can do a small act that will work towards improving this situation.
Have a look at the list of talented and game changing females that have made final http://womeninitawards.com/finalists/