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May 26, 2017

Best initiatives for Women in Tech

As the ongoing gender gap continues to widen in the tech industry, CBR lists the best initiatives for women in tech in an aim to close the gap.

By Hannah Williams

Technology is an ever-growing industry, and as grows so does people’s interest in it.

Technology is typically gender neutral, but unfortunately it is a sector that is dogged by significant gender inequality when it comes to both pay and the representation of women.

Now, let’s not go with the judgement that women may not be as interested in technology as men are because they are, but for many years (even until now) there just has not been enough done to encourage women to help stand against the on-going skills gap and deliver where their passions lie.

Studies have proven that girls, within the UK, become interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects before the age of 11, but due to lack of engagement and encouragement in schools the interest begins to fall as many begin to feel it is an industry created just for men.

However, in plans to change the situation of the skills gap in tech jobs and encourage more women to get more involved, different initiatives have been set up which are noticeably helping to improve the state of tech.

For females interested in tech, here CBR lists the best initiatives for women in tech to get you started.

Read more: Women in tech demand opportunities for career progression

 

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Accenture

Global management consulting and professional services company, Accenture, has for many years been committed to helping women pursue their career in business and technology.

By striving to create a diverse workplace, Accenture has created numerous programs in order to support women.

AccentureThis ranges from mentoring programs and a women’s network, which the company started in 2012 to connect women working at Accenture to help them define their own vision of success.

The company has also observed International Women’s Day since 2001, and has provided opportunities for women around the world to have conversations about how they achieved their professional and personal goals while defining success in order to inspire others.

Forums and employee resource groups are also offered as part of Accenture’s selection of initiatives for women in tech.

Accenture has been committed to delivering training and development programs in an aim to pay close attention to gender diversity and equality in the workplace.

Salesforce

Salesforce, one of the most pioneering technology companies supporting diversity, has established many initiatives in plans to tackle the struggle women in tech may face with bias, and the pay and gender skills gap.

In 2015, the company was listed as one of the top 13 companies for women technologists, honouring the rate of hiring, representation and the advancement of female technologists.

Salesforce has a women in tech group, which in support of diversity, welcomes both men and women to host and volunteer as speakers at events.

The company is also a driver for building the next generation of women in tech, which it believes requires more young girls to go into STEM subjects.

Female employees of Salesforce such as Yasoja Seneviratne and Leah McGowan-Hare teach coding to young girls with different groups and the company’s women in tech group also host TechBridge Girls and Code.org.

Salesforce has also embraced International Women’s Day, and by doing so this year the UK Company invited a group of students to visit its London headquarters for a workshop with Salesforce staff.

 

Microsoft

Also driving global diversity and inclusion is Microsoft. The company offers one of the largest employee resource groups. Its aim is to develop and support female employees at Microsoft with opportunities such as global conferences, networking events and mentoring.

MicrosoftThe Women at Microsoft initiative reaches over 55,000 people around the world, distributed through locally led women’s employee networks and the company offers an annual Global Women’s Conference which is accessible via global hubs in 32 countries worldwide.

As a community, Microsoft women volunteer at its DigiGirlz program to introduce young girls to the available career opportunities in technology.

It also has sponsorships and partnerships with global organisations in support of providing for women in tech.

The Employee Resource Group itself is also involved in different career-related initiatives that drive diversity, employee development and information sharing and connection.

 

Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is a non-profit organisation that is driven to support the increase in the number of women in computer science and tech-related careers.

Girls who codeThe organisation has driven this aim since its launch in 2012 and since then has enabled tech companies to get involved. Companies such as General Electric, Twitter, Google and Ebay joined the Girls Who Code initiative in hope of increasing the number of young women who become programmers and engineers.

Girls Who Code has also partnered with Accenture to work on the future of tech, as well as Dell Technologies, who partnered with the organisation to support after-school programs for young girls.

The organisation is also partnered with a wide selection of other companies in support of similar perspectives.

 

What other women in tech initiatives are there?

TechUK

TechUK, an organisation that represents companies and technologies within the UK, has a Women in Tech Council which is focused wholly on developing and supporting effective solutions to the ongoing issue of attracting, retaining and advancing more women in tech.

TechUKThe council brings together different influential networks and people across the industry to embrace gender diversity in tech.

Also in celebration of International Women’s Day, the organisation recently launched returner’s hub for returners and tech companies to learn more about filling the gap in the industry.

In addition to this, the company has also worked to support changing the situation of girls in STEM, with works to promote women in STEM with a People Like Me campaign.

 

Stemettes

Stemettes is a social enterprise, founded in 2013 encourages girls between ages 5 to 22 years old to pursue careers in STEM.

It runs a variety of events in support of women in tech such as Outbox Incubator, which is a residential business incubator Stemettes set up for girls in STEM subjects.

Stemettes has also partnered with organisations such as Deutsche Bank, Salesforce, Accenture and Microsoft and is regularly working in association with the UK Government and European Commission to consult matters related to women in STEM.

The founder and CEO of Stemettes Anne-Marie Imafidon is a woman who has always been interested in business, maths and technology from a young age and recently became an MBE holder for services to young women and STEM sectors.

Imafidon’s experiences in STEM is what led her to make a change in the industry and help other women pursue their career in tech.

 

Women Techmakers

Women Techmakers is a platform that aims to drive more women in to technology. Since its launch in 2014, it has launched global scale initiatives and programs to support this aim.

For instance, over the past three years, the Women Techmakers team has delivered more than 200 global events across 52 countries in order to drive visibility, community and resource for women in tech in honour of International Women’s Day.

Also, in 2016 the platform increased the participation of women attending its annual conference (Google I/O) for developers and technologists to 23%.

The platform is led by the Head of Global Programs at Google, Natalie Villalobos and a global team of Google employees that together, are passionate about empowering women in technology.

It also offers a Scholars program, techmakers meet-ups and a udacity scholarship which is fully funded to give women a year access to one of four of its online degree programs.

 

GE Reports

GE Reports, a large organisation which recently joined aboard the plan to accelerate the future of women in STEM, came about with a goal of ‘engineering the future.’

The initiative is aimed at driving GE’s goal of having 20,000 women in STEM roles at GE by 2020. This is to deliver diversity in the organisation and also obtain a 50:50 representation for all entry-level tech programs.

It is expected that the program will significantly increase the representation of women in sectors such as engineering, manufacturing, IT and product management.

Already, the company has shown its efforts to speed the process with STEM subjects as it currently offers funded initiatives and discussions based on the issue of the gender gap, which GE expects to widen without more women in tech and manufacturing roles.

 

Intel

Lastly is Intel, the chip giant has set up initiatives to inspire girl to become technology innovators.  This is a growing platform which stems from the noticeable interest of girls and women using tech but the shortage of that interest being driven through an interest in subjects and careers.

IntelIntel, together with the Intel Foundation, has supported a range of programs, events and resources that developed with the goal to inspire and equip more women to create and build the future of tech.

One of its program, known as Intel She Will Connect is driven to empower girls and women through technology in order to close the gender gaps. This is done through connecting them to economic and social opportunities.

The Investing of Girls and Women in the strategy is what is expected to deliver advance opportunities in the tech industry to close the gender gap.

 

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