IT sector needs women

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Internet service provider Plusnet is urging other technology companies to follow its lead and do more to boost the number of women in the IT sector.

A quarter of the Sheffield firm’s workforce is female, compared with an industry average of 17 per cent.

Meanwhile, recently released figures show just 180 of the 1,800 applicants to study technology courses at university this year are female.

Plusnet made its call to coincide with International Women’s Day which, this year, was celebrating the part women play in technology businesses.

Plusnet training and recruitment manager Cath Delsignore said: “As an industry we need to work more closely with local schools, colleges and universities to raise awareness of what roles are available. At Plusnet we regularly invite students into the business to give them a hands-on taste of what the industry can offer for both males and females.”

Almost a third of Plusnet’s new recruits over the last 12 months have been women and the company has forged a link with the Women in Science Engineering and Technology (WiSET) Team based at Sheffield Hallam University, whose work includes encouraging more women to take up places on technology related courses.

Denise Eaton, from the WISET team, says: “Women and men are equally able to work in technical and IT roles but some gender stereotypes persist so that women do not consider roles within the IT sector. Those that do can have rewarding and challenging careers.’’