Pictured l-r, at the launch of Business for Digital Technology Women are Maire Hunt, Director, Technology Ireland Software Skillnet; Karen Egan, Chairperson for the National Council of Business for Digital Tech Women, Vice President Advanced Customer Engagement, VMware; Eoghan O’Faolain, Acting Director Technology Ireland and Tracey Donnery, Executive Director, Skillnet Ireland.
A new business strategy group for companies committed to gender parity in digital technology was launched today (11th July 2019). Skillnet Ireland is a partner of the ‘Business for Digital Tech Women’ group which was launched by Technology Ireland. The group has the ambitious aim of accelerating national action on gender balance, across businesses which employ ICT workers.
The National Council of Business for Digital Tech Women will provide a new ‘think-tank’ and enterprise leadership forum for Ireland. Companies on the council include AWS, Google, Cisco, Cognisant, CWSI, Distilled SCH, Oracle, Quantcast, VMware, Workhuman, Xilinx, Liberty IT, Fidelity Investments, and Openet representing small, medium and large companies which employ digital technology staff. Skillnet Ireland is one of key development agencies who have joined the group alongside IDA and Enterprise Ireland.
Tracey Donnery, Skillnet Ireland’s representative on the new National Council says “It is well known that the full participation of women at all levels of the workforce has a direct and positive impact on business performance. We are proud to join the National Council of Business for Digital Tech Women and welcome the step forward to ensure gender balance in the digital technology space.”
‘Business for Digital Tech Women’ is advocating the creation of new solutions by businesses. It will generate a series of collaborative and organisational initiatives to enable companies to attract, retain, develop and advance women in digital technology.
Speaking at the launch, Chairperson of the group Karen Egan, Vice President, Advanced Customer Engagement at VMware says ‘We have a challenging and ambitious remit to enable the Irish business sector to become the most innovative and active tech community globally for gender parity. Business for Women in Digital Technology will provide a nexus for local and organisational action, it will enable and inform the business community and will champion solutions which have the greatest impact on the development of women in our sector’.
The Technology Ireland Software Skillnet has already made strides in this agenda, through their Women ReBOOT and Women TechStart programmes, which already enable over 50 companies across the sector to re-introduce ICT professionals to open roles or retrain women from different backgrounds for jobs in digital technology. Technology Ireland Software Skillnet are also undertaking and in-depth research study sponsored by Skillnet Ireland will be published later this year and is an important step towards understanding the challenges faced by women in the digital technology industry.
Commenting on the research which examines the experience of digital women and business leaders across Ireland, Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland says that ‘We are pleased to be partnering with the Technology Ireland Software Skillnet and Business for Digital Tech Women, on this important piece of research, which will assess the current state of the organisational practices on gender parity and their effectiveness. Only by fully understanding our current corporate competency in gender practices for Digital Tech Women, can employers map an effective path towards their vision for women in digital tech’ says Healy.