Bob Miano's Blog

An Executive journal

Working to Bridge the IT Talent Gap - Supporting Women in Tech

2014 is an exciting time to be in technology, isn't it? With an incredible list of advancements in 2013 and some really tremendous projects in the works for 2014, we are truly living in a great period in technological advancement.

Eyeing the technology talent gap.
As we continue to evolve as an industry and redefine standards, there is one glaring challenge facing us all -- the IT talent gap. Over the next 10 years, for every computer science college graduate, there will be two technology positions available. The number of technology professionals simply isn't matching up to the need and demand for this critical talent.

Of particular concern within this talent gap is the disparity between men and women in the field. During our 2013 CIO survey, 61% of respondents acknowledged they believe women are under-represented in their IT departments.   

HN WIT Bob's Blog Graph.JPGThese numbers line up with statistical data that shows an 11% decrease in the number of women IT professionals between 1996 and 2012. The numbers are alarming.

Taking steps in the right direction.
Harvey Nash has recognized the need for more diversity in IT, and we are extremely committed to supporting and encouraging women in pursuit of their IT career goals. Starting in 2005 with our Executive Women in IT Networking Group in Chicago, we began developing and launching programs designed to both address (and solve) the IT talent gap, while simultaneously nurturing careers for women in technology.

We have a lot going on when it comes to supporting today's tech talent (and encouraging tomorrow's!). We've just launched a new web page dedicated to our women in technology programs, but here is a rundown of some of the programs here in the US:

* Executive Women in IT Networking Group - Back in 2005, a small group of women IT leaders in Chicago started getting together regularly to talk about career challenges in IT -- including a key member of our team here at Harvey Nash. Fast forward nine years and you have a dynamic group of more than 150 women IT executives meeting regularly to offer support, encouragement and career advice to promote and retain women in senior technology roles. Due to this group's incredible success, we are looking to replicate the model in other technology hotbeds across the US.
* ARA - Designed to Attract, Retain and Advance women in technology, ARA was conceived after members of the original Executive Women in IT Networking Group realized that there was still a striking need for this type of organization supporting up and coming women in IT. Through mentoring programs and a range of events, ARA brings senior and junior women in IT together in support of successful technology careers.
* Harvey Nash Tech Women of Tomorrow - Addressing the IT talent gap -- and encouraging women in IT -- requires encouragement and support at all levels of a career. That includes before IT careers even truly begin. With Tech Women of Tomorrow, Harvey Nash is partnering with high schools to encourage and support young women in their senior years of high school in pursuit of math, science and technology courses. Through the Tech Women of Tomorrow program, we hope to demystify what a career in IT really looks like, and provide realistic expectations of key roles young women may land upon successfully completing their college education in computer science.

Through these programs, we hope to continually support and encourage diversity in the field of information technology we are so lucky to work in. Additionally, by doing our part, we expect to keep moving toward a full closing of that IT talent gap that faces many organizations.