On the 30th of October 2020, the Irish Computer Society hosted the first Women4IT dissemination conference in Ireland. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held online with a great deal of success. It was dedicated to the role of women in the tech industry and focused on their representation in the field.
The conference was opened by the ICS Secretary-General, Mary Cleary, and had an international dimension with a broad programme of guest speakers. The panel discussion of the conference gave an opportunity to Katie Burke (Technical Consultant – Hubspot), Gillian Arnold (Managing Director – Tectre), Christina Todorova (Researcher – European Software Institute Center Eastern Europe), Grace Lawlor (Research Assistant – Trinity College), and Ciara McMahon (Cloud Support Engineer – AWS) to discuss why women struggle to get jobs in the digital sector, what can be done to improve this situation, and how young women themselves have a key role to play in redressing the gender balance.
The Dublin Conference confirmed that if European tech firms want to put an end to losing out on a wide range of talent and diversity and remain competitive on the global stage, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic, they need to hire women across all levels of management. The Women4IT project desires to be a key reference for upscaling the digital skills of young women all around Europe.
During the final year of the Women4IT project, the training of young women according to the needs of the businesses and tech sector will (after Ireland and Latvia) continue in Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, and Spain. As stressed by Mary Cleary, ICS Secretary-General, “the final step will be helping the newly trained women to find employment in the digital sector. However, as the Women4IT job profiles for Ireland have been designed to address the needs of the IT industry, we are confident that many organisations will seize the opportunity to appoint a highly motivated and well qualified young woman”.
The Covid-19 situation has highlighted how durable the IT and digital sector is, with many people continuing to work their jobs in this industry throughout the pandemic. This will encourage young women to consider embarking on the path towards a digital or IT career. Achieving a more equal representation in the tech sector requires businesses and governments working together and women inspiring other women.
About the Irish Computer Society
The Irish Computer Society has represented the world-renowned IT professionals of Ireland since 1967, and is the Irish IT professional body for the youngest, most productive and best educated IT workers in Europe. The ICS supports individual IT professionals at every stage of their career journeys, from earliest career steps, mastering best practice, to mature professionals implementing new transformative technologies. The society actively promotes diversity in its ranks, championing women in IT leadership roles, and the increase in the number and quality of IT graduates in Ireland and in Europe. With extensive membership talent, the ICS leverages its world class expertise to advance national and European policy in digital literacy, and professional level skills development, working on eHealth, cyber security, data protection, and other stakeholder initiatives to ensure continuous improvement through policy, legislation and standards.