Diversity is a hot topic at the moment although how many companies are making a positive contribution and how many are paying lip service?

One area that has caused particular concern is women working in the IT sector. Often less than 20% of people working in this area are women but what is more alarming is that not only are companies not attracting enough women into technology roles, but the IT sector loses more than it recruits – *36% hired versus 46% leavers.

As Patricia Hewitt, former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Minister for Women stated, “It is a high priority to get more women to take up IT careers. When technology firms are forced to recruit from half of the available talent pool, it is not surprising that there are skill shortages and jobs not being filled”

**By 2010 80% of workforce growth will be amongst women, so for companies the situation has become a commercial imperative - not just a moral choice. They now need to show evidence to their stakeholders that they are developing a diversity aware, committed recruitment supply chain, and not just in the process of. Should it become law that a certain percentage of a company’s workforce has to be women then this would add further pressure to companies to have a clearer diversity programme.

It could then be argued is it diversity or positive discrimination? But then is positive discrimination such a bad thing? From the Government to the Chair of the FTSE 100, all concur that diversity enriches companies both in the decision-making process and in bringing positive benefits.

A new form of recruitment website has launched which aims to make a positive contribution to the problem - womenintechnology.co.uk (http://www.womenintechnology.co.uk)

Soft launched in March of this year, womenintechnology is specifically targeted to Women in IT. Potential employees can apply directly to firms who have open and inclusive recruitment policies and who show their support by advertising on womenintechnology.

“In terms of looking for a new role, women seeking IT jobs spend ***65% of their time viewing jobs online. Until now there’s been no specialist on- or off-line supply channels available to improve diversity aware recruitment for experienced IT hires.” Says Maggie Berry, Communications Manager of womenintechnology.

Pioneering companies that include; Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, HBOS Treasury Services and Accenture have already signed up to advertise on womenintechnology.

“Our sponsors believe this is an excellent model to invest in. It’s easy for both employees to find them and for them to target experienced candidates. womenintechnology aims are attracting women in the IT sector, it is then up to the individual client to retain them. IT influences the way we live in the 21st Century and it is essential women are part of that.“ Continues Berry.

Registered users will be able sign up to receive alerts when new jobs come up that match their job search criteria.

womenintechnology offers much more than just employment opportunities though. Their strategic quote is “womenintechnology, more than just a job board…” and they are!

“We aim to be a topical, informative portal too. In the key area of hiring of experienced women IT professionals, referral and networking appears to be best method of significantly complementing existing supply channels, so we will continue to hold networking events that will have synergy with the aims of the website.” Added Berry

? The website will announce events, debates and seminars as well as list useful links to mentoring, networking and business websites.

? There is a dedicated news feed supplying the website with news items of interest and relevance to technology and specifically to women working in technology.

? Plus there is an informative careers section with practical information on writing a CV, networking and interview tips courtesy of McGregor Boyall Associates.

For further press information on womenintechnology, or if you wish to interview Maggie Berry please contact:

Karen Durham-Diggins
t: +44 (0)20 8989 2541
e: kdd@easynet.co.uk
m: +44 (0)7808 584 624

Editors Notes
womenintechnology stems from three years of research data that their parent company, McGregor Boyall Associates, have been collecting on diversity within the technology workplace. It backs up what is generally acknowledged which is that fewer women are entering the technology profession and that those who are doing so, do not see their careers rising as far or as fast as their male counterparts. This is despite the fact that many firms have been placing a strong emphasis on transforming themselves into diverse and inclusive employers.

womenintechnology is committed to diversification, ensuring that neither clients, candidates, employees/contractors experience prejudicial discrimination, either directly or indirectly, as a result of their contact with them.

They ensure that all staff and candidates experience equality of opportunity whenever appropriate and reasonable, and maintain a philosophy which promotes this.

*(Women in IT Champions survey 2002)
*** Office of National Statistics British Labour Market projections (1998)
***MBA 2004 Diversity Survey

Published on: 12:00AM on 7th July 2005