ReBOOT Boost For Women In Tech Sector

13 Jul 2018 | 10.41 am

ReBOOT Boost For Women In Tech Sector

Skillnet programme assists return to employment

13 Jul 2018 | 10.41 am

Skillnet Ireland has called for more resources to be put into supporting women returning to work in the tech sector after a career break, as part of its efforts to deal with an expected 50% shortfall in the numbers of new tech workers over the next five years.

The ICT sector will need over 70,000 new workers over the next five years and SI says that new graduates are likely to make up only half of this total, so that developing new sources of talent will be critical to the tech sector.

The agency wants greater participation in its Women ReBOOT programme, to try to improve female representation in the tech workforce. At present, just  17% of ICT professionals are female and a further loss of around 40% of those in mid-career means that the sector is losing out on valuable female talent.

Skillnet Ireland funds the new programme, developed and managed by the Technology Ireland Software Skillnet.

Chief executive Paul Healy said: “Skillnet Ireland recognises the importance of attracting more women and girls into STEM related careers. We are working with employers to identify and develop female tech talent, and we are pleased to support a number of related initiatives with the Technology Ireland Software Skillnet.

“This pool of qualified and experienced women can help alleviate the current skills shortage, but also help address the gender imbalance in the sector. The key to enabling talented women rejoin the workforce is through an integrated approach, with employers and placing skills development, business competency and sectoral knowledge at the forefront.”

The Women ReBOOT programme is now in its fourth phase, with 26 women graduating this week, making a total of 82 so far emerging from the programmes in Dublin and Cork. 

Bridge To Employment

Software Skillnet director Maire Hunt added: “Women ReBOOT is a bridge between women and technology employers, which provides the opportunity for women to recommence their careers and opens a new stream of talent for tech employers. The programme recognises the wide range of competencies women develop both within and outside the workforce and integrates that with updated knowledge of technology.

“Now on its fourth cohort, we’ve seen 80% of participants securing immediate employment in the tech sector as software engineers, project managers, scrum masters, technical support engineers and roles in QA and testing.”

The 82 graduates had unsuccessfully tried to return to work in the sector before participating in the ReBOOT programme, but after graduating 80% of them found jobs. Most participants had been out of the sector for between five and eight years.

Fresh funding from SI is expected to assist a further 100 female tech professionals rejoin the sector and receive professional development within the sector this year. Those interested will find full details on the ReBOOT website.

 

Photo: Minister David Stanton with Tracey Donnery of Skillnet Ireland, Gary Lawson of Mastercard and Alison Tighe (right) of Datalex. (Pic: Picture It Photography / Conor Healy)

 

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