How can women win in IT?

How can women win in IT?

Summary: If you thought women were doing better in IT these days, you'd be wrong. The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) says that since 2006 the number of women in board and leadership roles in the IT industry has actually declined.

TOPICS: CXO, IT Employment

If you thought women were doing better in IT these days, you'd be wrong. The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) says that since 2006 the number of women in board and leadership roles in the IT industry has actually declined.

What can women do to overcome what still appears to be a significant barrier? And what can employers do to help?

In this week's Patch Monday, Stilgherrian speaks with three women in senior IT roles about their experiences. From global firm BMC Software, Joely Scott-Thomas is the regional sales manager for ANZ, and Sandrina Branton is the southern region sales manager. Kate Carruthers is a marketer, technologist and educator with extensive experience in senior IT roles with organisations like GE, Westfield and State Treasury. She's currently a strategy consultant with Hyro, the internet and new media developer.

Amongst their suggestions are that women join some of the IT-related networking groups:

Plus we have Stilgherrian's usual idiosyncratic look at the week's IT news headlines.

To leave an audio comment for Patch Monday, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733. And if you have any suggestions for women in IT, please add them in the comments.

Running time: 25 minutes, 11 seconds

Topics: CXO, IT Employment


Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust.

He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.

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  • how much longer is this artificial glass ceiling and perception of "hard done by IT women" going to propagated?

    * ive worked with many female sales, project and account managers in IT whose only IT qualification was they looked good in a skirt (so they could ring in desperate male IT managers) and they earned much more than any technical IT guy (who have to maintain a mile long list of quals, certs, education etc) or sales man!

    * technical IT roles stuff up your social life, women dont want a bar of it (it crimps their shopping time), so its mainly guys that have to cop that raw deal. you cant become a java guru shaking your **** in a nightclub all the time for example....

    when women are prepared to put in the sacrifice, you might see more of them in the technical streams of IT... til then its the easy road for them of looking good in sales and account management roles..
  • I agree with Yim. I'm sick of reading these stories about discrimination against women. The tide turned years ago and it is now men facing reverse discrimination. If the number has declined, its because they're no good. My last workplace was dominated by women in senior positions, none of whom were in those positions on merit. They were there purely because the company had to be seen as a so-called "equal opportunity employer", because of this type of ridiculous media propaganda which paints them as the poor, unfortunate victims of an oppressive male-dominated industry. If they've got the skills and ability to do the work, they can get a job. Simple as that. Stop making excuses for them...
  • Interesting :)
    geekgirl aka rosiex
  • Man I am shocked at the comments in this day and age! By the comments of 2 of you I see you have issues with women.....good luck in life with these attitudes.
  • Really Yim?

    Ever thought that project managers, account managers and sales reps should be paid more than you as a technical IT guy, because they actually bring business into the company? They're the ones out there selling the company services, so you have a job that pays you a salary?

    As for the shopping and nightclubbing analogy *yawn*

    "easy" road of "looking good" in sales and account management - good one! Just because you get to be behind the scenes slouching around in your "Will Route TCPIP For Sex" t-shirt doesn't mean the client-facing sales and account management team have that luxury.

    You try getting out from behind your dual-monitors for a while and see what it's like in the real world, of selling your services to clients.
  • The stats about women in IT roles declining are irrifutable as are the unarguably lower wages women receive in general compared to the wages men receive for equivalent roles. So whatever your grudge against women, at least have the grace to stick with the facts.