Sharon is responsible for looking at how IBM can develop their technologies within the industry. In her capacity as deputy chair of BCSWomen Scotland, she drives initiatives for the organisation throughout Scotland to encourage more women into the sector.
“I feel very passionate about women in tech, but the numbers aren’t changing as quickly we’d like” Sharon commented. This is a huge point of concern for many employers, especially considering the digital skills crisis facing the Scottish economy. Attracting more women into the tech sector is vital.
Sharon’s work through BCSWomen Scotland is mainly focused on retaining people already in the industry but she is also concerned about the challenges that both men and women face when looking to return.
Sharon advises that for those looking to return to work, building a network is key. Join groups like BCSWomen Scotland and Scottish Women in Technology but also wider groups too. Attend events, take a friend along but get yourself out there and start networking.
The Scottish government recently launched a new scheme aimed at helping women return to work, and has partnered with several organisations such as Women Returners and Equate Scotland to provide mentoring and coaching support to assist with this.
It is estimated that Scotland has up to 12,800 job opportunities in tech each year; a 16 percent increase on previous demand forecasts of 11,000 and digital technology is the fastest-growing sector of the economy.
Through FDM’s Getting Back to Business Programme, we have restarted the careers of over 50 men and women since it’s inception and will expanding the programme further in Scotland in 2018. To find out more or to attend one of our insight evenings, email [email protected]
You can watch Sharon’s full interview here: