Article – IT: Will women smash the glass ceiling?

Rikki Kite

ROSE Blog: Rikki's Open Source Exchange

Sep 11, 2008 GMT
Rikki Kite

The Independent ran an article today called IT: Will women smash the glass ceiling? Sarah Blow, founder of Geek Girl Dinners, was interviewed for the story. According to the article, Sarah says that "women are less likely to have the maths or science A-level that most computer science degrees require, and are far less likely to have any qualification at all in computing." Because there continues to be a skill shortage, companies are employing graduates from outside the field of IT.

The article says that conversion programs are springing up: "Nearly half the 45 students on a new MSc in financial computing at University College London this year are women, an unheard-of proportion in the department, where the average is 20 per cent. The 12-month course, promoted as a qualification for graduates of other disciplines, attracted nearly four times the number of students expected."

The article also offers a list of suggestions for women interested in moving into IT, such as join a networking group and volunteer to help out a charity with its IT system.

Yesterday, I met with the Technology Director at my daughter's school to discuss what IT opportunities are available to students. Of course, the school is far from being a charity, but what school couldn't use help in the area of technology? I have visions of geek-girl-type summer camps dancing in my head, and the school seems more than open to my input and enthusiasm.

My daughter, on the other hand, is not so thrilled with my participation at her school. She would prefer that I am seen (seldom) and not heard (ever). I can't help but be excited about her education, though, and I'm particularly thrilled that she recently admitted that she is enjoying Algebra.

I clapped when I heard this news, and she rolled her pre-teen-eyes and responded, "I'm not going to be a mathematician or anything, so you can kiss that dream good-bye. I'd rather dress up as a slice of pizza and wave at cars for a living." Surely there are other career options she should consider.

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