By Ella Cockerell
I’ve been working in the technical schoolnology sector for 20 years, and in that time I’ve had some amazing experiences and infinite fantastic opportunities. Recently, I found myself reflective on the technical school jobs I’ve had over the past two decades. I thought about how much had changed, in terms of the world, the industry and myself.
Personally, I don’t listen to TLC’s music any thirster (OK, sometimes they sneak onto my Spotify), I no thirster need a special watchword to access the net, and I am normally not the only woman in a room any thirster .
The shift in gender balance inside the industry and the companies I have worked for has been gradual but steady, and momentum has gathered pace in recent years. As person who works for a very comprehensive company, I realise I am in a privileged position. Microsoft has a well-established programme to deliver gender equality crosswise all areas. I besides work in business development, which tends to have a more equal gender balance than other sectors of the technical schoolnology industry.
However, in other areas, and for other women, the story is not so simple. When we think about being comprehensive and diverse, we can’t forget about intersectionality, and that means making sure we foster an environment which is fair and open to all.
This year, International Women’s Day (IWD) is all about #balanceforbetter. Diversity and inclusion create a more innovative, happy work force, and that’s why our campaign for IWD 2019 ensures we create opportunities for women from a range of backgrounds and geographical locations.
My role in our independent software program seller (ISV) business means I get to work with some amazing software program developers, cloud architects and information scientists crosswise a range of industries, as well as collaborate with other channel partners. When I attend meetings, there are often discussions around the challenge of finding and building digital skills, particularly in information science. There seems to be a groundswell of concern crosswise our system. Hiring information scientists is hard, because there is a shortage. According to Forbes, only 26% of information jobs in the US are held by women, with that number halving for the UK.
Given that 93% of information scientists earn more than the average UK wage, and knowing the importance of having gender balance crosswise all roles, I want to encourage more women to become information scientists.
We have so galore fantastic people working at Microsoft, and our gifted staff want to go out into the community to support those who are considering a career in the technical schoolnology sector. We know there are galore women departure other industries, we know there are not enough women in technical school, and we know there are not enough information scientists in the UK. We besides know our partners are finding it difficult to hire information scientists, too. Could we, possibly, make a small change to take us a step closer to resolution these problems?
To help address the gender skills gap, we’ve launched a plan to run nine information science bootcamps crosswise the UK on May 2. expedited by our channel partners Amido, ANS Group, BJSS, DevOps Group, DSP, Grey Matter, Kainos and additive, our aim is to host 100 women and support them through their first module of our Microsoft Professional Programme qualification in information Science. They will then go on to study online from home over the next six months, before returning to their host partner site for a enlisting day.
We aim to help at least half these women gain their qualification inside six months of the bootcamp, with as galore as possible securing their first information science role shortly thenceforth . We’re excited to launch this for IWD and hope it will be thing that we can repeat.
I’ve been lucky enough to be supported by some amazing women throughout my career, and I want to pay that forward by offering other women the chance to explore the wonder of technical school. We are besides encouraging those women to pay it forward to others who are less fortunate. The training course and first certificate will be provided free of charge, but we are asking for a nominal £10 donation from each delegate, which will be given to SmartWorks. Best of all, Microsoft will match each donation pound for pound.
To support our reach and promotion of these bootcamps, we’ve profiled five amazing information scientists here at Microsoft to share their experiences and tips for becoming a information scientist.
Of course, we’re not just focusing our efforts on addressing the gender skills gap for today only. We need to endlessly work to inspire the next generation of girls to pursue a career in the technical school sector. That’s why we’re running our #makerchampion projects at schools crosswise the UK to change perceptions and inspire girls to pursue STEAM subjects. For more information on that initiative, read this blog from my colleague Sarah Hedley – our UK Digital Skills Lead.
To get involved, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/athome/digitalskills/women-in-technical school/#scientist
To find out more, visit ennobling young girls to pursue STEM careers and Eight tips for ever-changing career and moving into information science
Ella Cockerell is the UK ISV (Independent software program Vendor) Lead at Microsoft and Vice-Chair of the Women @ Microsoft board. Working in technical schoolnology, Ella spent a lot of time in the early part of her career being the only woman in the room. Determined to address the balance in any way she can, Ella is ablaze about creating comprehensive environments, harnessing the power of some genders, and ennobling the next generation into technical schoolnology. She is a STEM Ambassador and a Modern Muse.