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Women ReBOOT

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Technology Ireland Software Skillnet Press Release


MEDIA RELEASE

5 September 2017

 

 

In a male-dominated tech sector, a new programme helps female ‘returners’ reconnect with their careers.

 

 

  • Successful pilot of Women ReBOOT leads to rollout of national programme to reconnect experienced ‘returners’ with IT companies
  • Technology Ireland and Software Skillnet scheme is supported over 20 leading players including Accenture, Liberty IT, Google, Microsoft, SAP, MongoDB and MasterCard

 

A highly-successful pilot programme aimed at reintroducing experienced women to tech jobs after career breaks, is expanding nationally and looking for new recruits. The programmes will commence in Dublin and Cork this Autumn.

Women ReBOOT aims to get so-called ‘Returners’ back into full-time roles, through a mix of coaching, online learning, networking skills and work placements in leading tech companies.

Software Skillnet believes that women who are qualified and experienced in the sector -  who may have stepped out on career break to raise families or for other reasons, - can create a new pool of talent for companies. With a little support and upskilling, they could be just what tech companies are looking for.

The booming Digital Technology sector employs 120,000 people in Ireland but studies show the proportion of women employed in technology roles in Ireland is between 16 and 18%.

This summer has seen a slew of headlines and heated debate about the reasons for the global shortfall in female ICT workers. Much attention has focused on making tech careers attractive to girls and young women. However, Software Skillnet says retaining women in the sector is as much of a challenge as attracting them to join.

Stats show that after 10 years of experience 41pc of women have left the technology sector. But according to the Software Skillnet tech companies are encouraging women to rejoin the sector after a career break.

According to Maire Hunt, Network Director of the Technology Ireland Software Skillnet, tech companies are seeking world class technology skills but to ensure commercial success they also need people with strong analytic skills, creative skills, human skills, being able to connect to others, being able to persuade and lead. Typically, women commencing second stage careers have honed these abilities.

The pilot programme for Women ReBOOT attracted huge interest from highly qualified and experienced tech women who are looking to step back into work following a career break. What they lack, possibly more than anything, is the confidence to recognize their abilities,” says Maire.

Software Skillnet says there is a lot that women themselves can do to build their confidence, their personal presence and their unique individual strengths after a career break. This is the key to success in re-entry to second stage careers.

“Women who have left the sector often feel that things have moved on too far for them to return, they feel that they may need to hide the fact that they have been on career break or companies just won’t want to talk to them,” says Siobhan MaughanProgramme Director for Technology Ireland Software Skillnet Women ReBOOT“They can lack confidence in their ability and they need to familiarise themselves with today’s technologies and business models.”

Up to 50 free places are now open for applications from women interested in returning to work in the technology sector. Information evenings will be held in in Cork on October 3 and Dublin on October 5. Registrations can be made at  www.softwareskillnet.ie/women-reboot

Previous participants came from backgrounds in project management, software development, QA roles, testing, UX/UI design, data analytics and technical writing.

Deirdre Noonan took part in Women ReBOOT after 14-years away from the tech sector. She now works for Novitas, an e-learning and training provider. She said: “I realised the gap in my CV wasn’t necessarily an issue. My previous experience was still relevant.” Finishing off her college assignments while continuing her job search, as well as dealing with family life, was a lot to juggle but the support Deirdre received from her coach helped her to manage everything. “It’s helped me to structure my job search and focus on what I want to achieve in my professional life role. It has also clarified the trade-offs between working full-time and part-time. Women ReBOOT has given me lots of insights into the opportunities in technology companies particularly for my specific skillset. It’s been a fantastic experience.”

Women ReBOOT specifically focuses on supporting ICT businesses to connect with experienced and competent female talent to fill specific roles and to support them in meeting their diversity objectives.

Past participants are now working in a range of tech companies like Mongo DB, Datalex, Abbott, Version 1 and Microsoft.

Commenting on the programme, Orla Kelly, Organisational Development Director, Datalex, said: "Datalex were delighted to be involved in the pilot Women ReBOOT and to have the opportunity to engage with this previously untapped pool of experienced ICT women. The participants in the programme were of a high calibre and have specific experience and skills that are directly relevant to our needs."

“The sector acknowledges that it needs to take innovative approaches to upskill and re-introduce this pool of talent to the technology sector. They are actively helping us to take the necessary steps to re-engage with women returners,” adds Maire Hunt of Software Skillnet.

 


Other News Stories 

Women ReBOOT Autumn 2017
Irish Independent (Company Perspective)
Irish Independent (Women Participant Perspective)

The Avondhu
Silicon Republic
Irish Tech News  (Sept)
Cork Independent (Sept)
Tech Central (Sept)

Women ReBOOT Spring 2017
MongoDB
RTE
Silicon Republic
Independent.ie
Irish Tech News