03 August 2015

The Women of IT

A blog by Extra Technology's Lisa Mannion.

It is 200 years since the birth of English mathematician and writer Ada Lovelace (Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace), often referred to as the world's first computer programmer - she wrote the first algorithm intended to be carried out by Charles Babbage's general-purpose computer, the 'Analytical Engine'.

A study by 'Women in Science and Engineering' (WISE) informs us that only 13 per cent of UK workers in scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) careers are women.

I am a relatively new arrival in the technological sector, managing customer accounts (ensuring customer satisfaction and gathering new orders) for Extra Technology, a growing IT sales and services company that concentrates on selling and servicing products produced by Global Software Vendor CA Technologies.

In my first 6 months of working in partnership with CA Technologies I have regularly visited CA's UK HQ in Ditton Park and can happily report no shortage of women. My day-to-day dealings with CA is almost exclusively with women… Our CA Partner Manager is Fiona, who reports to CA Head of Partners and Alliances, Tamar, who in turn reports to Head of Country, Melinda. Oh and then there is Director of Field Marketing, Nikki. Based on nothing more scientific than hanging-out in CA’s canteen, I would say it is clear that they have a pretty diverse staffing policy.

My customer contacts, mostly department heads and budget holders, include strong female representation too. So I think it is fair to say that women in the IT sector rise to positions of influence.

Before moving into Account Management I worked as a recruiter in Extra Technology’s resourcing team where it was clear to me that, at the sharp end, the keyboard bashing end, of our business there is a lack of women candidates for hands-on IT Consultant and Software Development roles.

  • Lisa Judith Ada Lovelace Portrait TNMoC 1200x600
  • Visiting the Harwell Dekatron at TNMoC
  • Visiting the The Colossus Gallery at TNMoC

So how can we encourage women to become hands-on IT Techies?

Extra Technology has an office at Bletchley Park, the historic home of 'The Code Breakers' and The National Museum of Computing (TNMoC). Throughout the summer of 2015, The National Museum of Computing is extending its activities to promote computer science as a highly suitable career path for girls. The Women in Computing gallery, sponsored by Google and opened in 2013, will be regularly showing To Dream Tomorrow, the video of Ada Lovelace’s life, sponsored by Extra Technology. Women in Computing workshops and events are also planned.

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