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Plusnet calls for more women to work in the technology industry

Plusnet calls for more women to work in the technology industry

Plusnet calls for more women to work in the technology industry

Stereotypically speaking, jobs in the technology industry attract hairy, geeky blokes (sorry guys!) but we’re bucking the trend here at Plusnet and are pleased to report that an impressive 24.5% of our workforce is female, compared to an industry average of just 17%. However, there’s still some work to be done: Figures recently released by UCAS show that, out of a total of 11,998 applicants of technology courses, just 2196 (18.3%) were female. In a drive to make our industry more gender equal we ask, what can be done to encourage more women to work in the technology industry? ... Cath Delsignore, our Training and Recruitment Manager had this to say: “As an industry we need to work more closely with local schools, colleges and universities to raise awareness of what roles are available. “At Plusnet we regularly invite students into the business to give them a hands-on taste of what the industry can offer for both males and females.” Almost a third of Plusnet’s new recruits over the last 12 months have been women who, along with their male counterparts, will be supported throughout their role by specifically tailored development programmes which will enable them to flourish and excel within their roles.  

Leading by example

A recent graduate from Sheffield Hallam in Business Information Systems, Plusnet employee, Zoe Lomax currently works as a Quality Assurance Engineer within our Engineering and Operations division. She moved to this role after working for us part time in Technical Support during her spare time away from study. Reflecting on her experiences, she said: "I enjoy being part of the tech industry. Both through college and university I studied mainly with men and I don’t find it daunting. "There aren’t many challenges I face in working in a male dominated area. Plusnet supports us well and I get along with everyone equally. I feel proud to be a female working within the IT industry, evidently there are a lot less women than men. However, the subject is interesting, varied and an area I’d encourage more females to explore." : Zoe Lomax, one of Plusnet’s female graduates, with Jamie Ford, Plusnet CEO and other Plusnet graduates.  

Encouraging change

In order to understand more about why women should be encouraged to join the industry, we forged a link with the Women in Science Engineering and Technology (WiSET) Team based down the road from Plusnet towers at Sheffield Hallam University. The WiSET team’s work includes encouraging more women to take up places on technology related courses. Denise Eaton of the WISET team, says: "Women and men are equally able to work in technical and IT roles but some gender stereotypes persist so that women do not consider roles within the IT sector.  “Those that do can have rewarding and challenging careers in an exciting and innovative environment. Organisations with a diverse workforce often reap the rewards of drawing on the 50% of the population (females) which is often under-represented in the sector and who also form half of their customer base." The subject of women in tech related roles is also gaining national and international acclaim with American women’s campaigner Belinda Parmar publishing ‘Little Miss Geek’ a book outlining a ten-point practical manifesto to help tech companies attract and retain the next generation of women.  

A glimmer of hope?

With a wide range of tech-related university courses available nationwide it’d be great to see more women apply and successfully complete these courses, come on girls, don’t be scared! On the other hand, if you’re interested in working at Plusnet then you could do worse than check out the current vacancies we have listed over on our website.  

A helping hand

Here’s Cath again with her top five tips for women thinking of taking up a career in tech:

  • Don’t be scared – take the leap
  • Spend time, where you can, getting hands on experience so that you can again a realistic impression of what different departments within an industry can offer
  • Take advantage of support offered by your employer, use every opportunity to learn
  • Develop a questioning mentality, challenge the norm and think creatively
  • Look to those who have gained success in your chosen areas as role models

Why do you think so few females work in the tech industry and what to you think can be done to redress the balance? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below ...

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