BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is working in partnership with educators, industry and government to boost female participation in technology and engineering.
The Institute has signed a pledge as part of the 'Your Life' campaign to take action to help encourage more women in to the IT profession. The campaign aims to double the number of women studying engineering and technology degrees at undergraduate level by 2030; boost the number of women pursuing careers in engineering and technology; and increase the number of young people studying maths and physics at 18.
Adam Thilthorpe, Director of Professionalism explains: "Our pledge announced today, aims to support a change in how women and girls are encouraged to consider technology and engineering careers and the subject choices or vocational pathways that lead to them. BCS is already engaged in a number of activities aimed at promoting careers in IT to women and is delighted to have been invited to support this incredibly worthwhile campaign."
BCS has an active women's specialist group, BCSWomen, that mentors and encourages girls/women to enter IT as a career and provides networking opportunities and support for all BCS professional women working in IT around the world.
The Institute also sponsors the annual Karen Spärck Jones lecture with IBM - an annual event that honours women in computing research. This lecture series builds on BCS activities to celebrate, inform and support women engaged in computing. These activities include the annual London Hopper, providing networking opportunities for early career researchers, and the Lovelace Colloquium, for women undergraduates in computing and related subjects.
The Institute is currently running a month long Women in IT campaign profiling influential women in IT with the aim of encouraging others to follow in their footsteps. The campaign features some of the most influential women in IT on the Institute's website each day in order to demonstrate the variety of roles that are open to young women. Those who have signed up to support the campaign include entrepreneur Cary Marsh, CEO of Mydeo, Dame Stephanie Shirley who started her own software business in 1962 because of the dearth of opportunities for women in the profession, Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech and technology journalist and author Kate Russell.