Women in tech: Obstacles and enablers | ALC Training News

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A key question currently facing the technology industry is, what is it like being a woman while working in IT? 

Although it might be a simple question, the answers given by women tend to be very different to those given by men. 

Women and harassment

Recent research conducted by Catherine Adams, Senior Lecturer in communications at Nottingham Trent University, found that “one in five female journalists covering technology has disguised her gender to avoid sexist abuse, and nearly 40 per cent have changed working practices for fear of being targeted”.

Rather then excluding women, the tech industry should be encouraging women into IT roles through educational courses such as ITIL certification

The studies summary, published in a Guardian article, revealed that almost a third reported that the abuse had increased in the last year. 

The 100 respondents also told the researcher about a range of face-to-face incidents, which included sexist views, being hit on and stalked. 

What can be done?

This is a serious issue for the technology industry and as such there has been plenty of media and public attention. 

Breaking the status quo requires effort, time and empathy. 

Further, increased efforts by organisations, enterprises and companies are essential. There are some examples of companies encouraging or backing women within the industry. 

For instance, Google is attempting to change this social norm by backing organisations that make a difference. The multimillion dollar company recently donated money to the Anita Borg Institute, a non-profit organisation focused on the advancement of women in computing.

Together with its annual Grace Hopper Celebration – currently the worlds’s largest technology event for women – it released ABI.Local, a networking initiative, aiming at connecting women from all over the world.  

CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, Telle Whitney said, “establishing and growing a strong community of women who share our interests and career goals is imperative to keeping women in the field and broadening the appeal of a technical career to young women”.

“We are very appreciative of the generous funding and support provided by Google and an anonymous donor throughout the development and deployment of this important program.”

ABI.Local currently reaches around 1300 women globally and with increasing interest from the Middle East, Africa, Singapore and Minnesota, the future looks bright.

Initiatives like this are key to breaking the norms that maintain these kinds of behaviour. 

Education is also a great way of connecting with people, ITIL training and IT project management training are just a few examples of how you can network with mentors, lecturers and other professionals. 

Get in contact with a quality service provider to start your path in IT today. 

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