International Women’s Day 2023

8th March marks the day for International Women’s Day (IWD). This day commemorates the progress made in closing the gender gap in many areas of social, economic, cultural, and political life. It also serves to highlight the work that remains to be done in order to achieve gender equality.

International Women’s Day 2023

8th March marks the day for International Women’s Day (IWD). This day commemorates the progress made in closing the gender gap in many areas of social, economic, cultural, and political life. It also serves to highlight the work that remains to be done in order to achieve gender equality. This day encourages powerful conversations and challenges and breaks down pre-existing barriers to women's empowerment.

The theme for this year’s IWD set by the UN, is ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’. This is to recognise all women have achieved in the digital world of tech and their contributions to innovation. It also addresses the gender gap within tech and sparks the conversation of what needs to be done to bridge this gap.

In this blog post, we will be exploring the importance of women in STEM as well as the direct thoughts of our Technical Director, Amber Hargill, who has been working in the IT industry for over 6 years.

The importance of women in STEM:

Women in STEM is a topic that has been widely discussed and has gained increased attention over the last few years. With growing stigma of women in STEM and only 28% of the workforce in the STEM industry, it is important to understand the importance of women in STEM and why there needs to be more women within the world of Tech:

1. Different perspective: When women are involved in STEM fields, they bring different perspectives that can lead to better solutions. People from different walks of life can give different perspectives and approaches to a problem. Having a diverse amount of perspectives is crucial to finding new solutions to our world’s problems. It also brings about newer angles of innovation.

2. Increased number of role model: With the lack of representation of women within this field, one of the main reasons for the gender gap is due to lack of role models who women can look up to. When women are in the digital space and pursuing careers within this field it inspires young girls to want to be like them and achieve what they have.

3. Tackles the challenges that women already face within the industry: Despite many advances for women in STEM, there are still challenges faced within the industry. Such challenges include women being overlooked for leadership positions and promotions and biases and stereotypes. Having more women enter the field helps to spark conversations about these topics and work towards addressing them.

Interview with our Technical Director, Amber Hargill:

Why did you choose to work in the IT field?

I struggled a lot in college to keep my head down and being in a classroom environment didn’t suit me at all, I thought IT was pretty easy in school and I got my head around it very quickly. I opted for an Apprenticeship in IT which allowed me to gain experience in IT very quickly – working for a fast paced SME who has grown rapidly has definitely allowed me to gain experience to pretty much everything. I can always remember my first day our Managing Director got me to build 10 machines – I never had seen inside a workstation before (one bent pin on a motherboard) but other than that I was quite chuffed with myself so I continue to enjoy the experience and expand my knowledge.

What do you think is the reason for their being a gender gap in the STEM field?

I think there is a massive misconception about the IT world being not social or exciting which I believe women like to be creative and express within their work environment which the thought process behind IT you can’t really do this. Which can’t be much from the truth.

What can society and schools do to change this?

I believe schools needs to be teaching about the exciting things which computer/infrastructures can do. Cyber Security is a massive topic in 2023 and even though most teenagers can fix their phone, I don’t think they to know about the backend and what actually goes on to prevent them from being attacked and how sometime easy it can be. Ultimately IT is the future for everyone and if they don’t know easy ways to work then sometimes working on a computer can be the first battle to the younger generation getting corporate jobs.

With the rise of international days such as International womens day, do you feel like this has changed the number of women joining the IT and STEM field?

I personally don’t think it has changed must in the last 6 years of me working in the IT Field. I’d love to see it change and it would be nice to work alongside more females so I can talk about my next nail design. I just don’t think if they get much exposure to it at a young age and if it’s not taught in schools or made exciting it will never change.

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