Do the back room boys need the feminine touch?

Do the back room boys need the feminine touch?

Everyone talks about the skills shortage within the internet marketplace, yet a good business canalways find good people.

As an internet consultancy which specialises in business processdefinition linked to internet-based solutions, Proteus is constantlyrecruiting staff to meet the needs of expanding projects and client bases. We use a variety of recruitment methods – spanning online and offline advertising campaigns, recruitment consultancies, referrals and various partnerships. Whatever method we choose, the results are always the same: only about 2% of our responses are from females.

With fewer females going intodeveloper and programmer roles, there is a great divide across theinternal structures of new media/technology sectors. For example, we have a 6% female representation in our development team, whereas our senior management team is 66% female. Whilst men appear to be happier to enter at an IT level, women prefer to take the more structured managerial route.

The overall perception of developers and the like is still that they are “geeks”and male, with limited career ambition outside of puredeveloping. This, by today’s standards, is far from the truth.

Female IT graduates appear to feel that there are limitations in choosing a career on the technical side of media. They often tend to leave company graduate schemes after only a year and frequently decide to change direction completely.

Improved work placements forfemales within more career-orientated companies would help toeducate and demonstrate their potential progression from the role ofdeveloper to that of a project manager. Smaller companies are often able to attract a greater variety of projects with shorter duration than found in the traditional larger firms. This provides wider scope from which to gain an assortment of experience.

Structured career ladders with personal development plans and regular tracking are key motivators for females in the IT market and as such, companies need to provide both internal and external training to facilitate such direction.This progression should help to persuade more women that there truly is a future out there for female developers.

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