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Retaining women in IT Rebecca George Chair - Women in IT Champions Forum.

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Presentation on theme: "Retaining women in IT Rebecca George Chair - Women in IT Champions Forum."— Presentation transcript:

1 Retaining women in IT Rebecca George Chair - Women in IT Champions Forum

2 Background  Women in IT Champions Group formed January 2002  IBM, Accenture, Dell, EDS, e-Skills UK, Ford, KPMG, Oracle, Freelance Consultant ƒAbout 10% of the IT workforce in the UK ƒ3 men, 6 women  Open and collaborative group  Retention was our main agenda item ƒGet some data ƒLook at other industries for comparisons ƒIdentify work life balance best practices ƒWrite a paper ƒGet some more data

3 Some Data - Women in IT Champions Group 2001 Data - What % of your total company is female? Industry Average 2001 Data - What % of people leaving your company is female?

4 Employees by type - March 2002 Leavers by Gender - March 2002 More Data

5 Women appear to be leaving - why?  Hypothysis: ƒOther sectors have better work life balance than the IT industry ƒThey also have more women ƒPerhaps they are doing something we are not  So we interviewed: ƒASDA ƒTesco ƒMarks and Spencer ƒHer Majesty's Land Registry ƒSenior Civil Service ƒShell ƒFord ƒUnilever ƒ3M ƒAstra Zeneca ƒPfizer ƒHalifax Bank of Scotland ƒSome academics and networking groups

6 What we found  On the whole, we all have similar work life balance programmes ƒTraining, flexible time, wellness, vacation support, on site service providers, professional services, extended leave  There are plenty of (young) women in the lower levels  In all the organisations we interviewed, the numbers of women drop off towards the top, usually sharply ƒIn the UK as a whole, there are 600+ board positions. 10 are filled by women (1) ƒOf all the people earning £100k+, only 12% are women (2)  There might be a tenure problem  Women leave at two points in their careers ƒAs a result of motherhood ƒAt a more mature phase in their careers  So, apparently, the issue of retaining women isn't just about programmes and processes, or even about equal opportunity ƒ'I didn't know I was a minority until I had been in my company for 10 years' 1. 2001 Cranfield Female FTSE Index 2. Denise Kingsmill government research

7 Walking the talk  There are things companies can do to change the culture ƒAvoid early morning or late night meetings ƒMake sure that senior executives take their vacations ƒEncourage people to take their leave (not the cash) ƒDelegating when on vacation rather than dialing in ƒTalking about work life balance for men and women and making it acceptable  Treat senior executives with respect and consideration  Make sure there really is equal opportunity  But some companies do all this, and women are still leaving faster than we can hire or promote them into the top jobs

8 2003 Activities  Women in IT Champions Forum  Supported by Intellect  More members  Internal activities include flexible working, video and sharing best practice  External activities include creating the business case for diversity, and researching the retention issues


10 Back up - UK data  ICT supplier industries account for 7.0% of UK GDP  Larger than Financial Services at 5.4% or Public Admin at 5.0%  From 1995 to 2000 total number of IT jobs, narrowly defined, increased from about 600,000 to just over 900,000, compounding 8.4% pa. A wider definition would add approximately another 400,000 or so this figure.  Of the 900,000 in 2000, 100,000 were in the Public Sector  A IBM forecast sees an additional 250.000 IT jobs created between 2001 and 2005, many of these will be in the Public Sector  The proportion of women in the IT Services industry has been comparatively low  Average earnings in this industry have risen at nearly twice the national average earnings over past 10 years. Financial incentives and career opportunities have attracted talent to IT jobs but the rate of wage inflation is indicative of high demand  Fastest growing occupations in the period 1995 to 2000 were  software engineers up from 95,000 to 192,000  programmers/analysts up from 178,000 to 275,000  computer operators have seen slow growth, from 104,000 to 121,000  the fast growing occupations are mainly in the IT Services industry  Approximately half of the people working 'in IT' work in IT companies, the rest do IT jobs in other companies or the Public Sector. SOURCE - IBM economist, from publically available sources

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