BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Technology  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 16 January, 2002, 10:33 GMT
Tempting women into tech jobs
Women at work, BBC
Women have traditionally avoided tech jobs
By BBC News Online's Jane Wakefield

A new UK Government drive to recruit more women to the technology industry is paying dividends according to those involved.

Reports show that the percentage of female IT professionals in the UK fell from 26% to 18% during 2001, with only 5% of young women considering entering the technology industry.


My computer skills were very basic and at first it was a daunting and challenging task

Angela McLernon
The Web Wise Women programme was launched last year and is intended to redress the imbalance of females in the world of technology.

The first 20 candidates have now completed their training - a 26-week course including 10 weeks of computer and marketing training and a 16-week placement in a small-to-medium-sized company.

Angela McLernon is one such candidate. Having taken an eight-year career break to have a family, she realised that she would not be able to just walk back into the workplace.

"I had worked at BT as a marketing manager but being at home for so long I didn't feel I could walk back into a similar position," she told BBC News Online.

Flexibility

She describes the Web Wise Women initiative as an answer to her prayers, saying it equipped her with both the skills and the confidence to get back into the job market.


The company took on the ethos of the course and has been very flexible about me working around my family

Angela McLernon
"The whole course was geared towards marketing and computer skills. My computer skills were very basic and at first it was a daunting and challenging task."

Learning how to set up databases and design basic websites were just two of the skills Angela learned on the course. Without it she says she would never have got a job.

Angela did her placement with software firm Ecom, who offered a full-time post when she completed the course.

"The company took on the ethos of the course and has been very flexible about me working around my family," she explains.

Male-dominated

The scheme is a joint venture between training firm Parity and BT, which provides free PCs and internet access.


IT has traditionally been a male-dominated industry but this is slowly starting to change

Barbara Greenway, Parity Training
Government funding covers the cost of travel and childcare for the duration of the course.

Parity Training Managing Director Barbara Greenway believes it is crucial to bring more women into the computer industry.

"IT has traditionally been a male-dominated industry but this is slowly starting to change," she says.

"Our job is to accelerate this transition by getting women who have taken a career break back into work."

See also:

11 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
18 Dec 01 | UK
11 Dec 01 | Science/Nature
14 Jun 01 | Business
15 Oct 01 | Science/Nature
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Technology stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Technology stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes