CompTIA, the non-profit trade association for the information technology (IT) industry, today announced the creation of a new member community aimed at expanding IT career opportunities for women.
The Advancing Women in IT Community is committed to empowering women with knowledge and skills necessary to help their pursuit of successful IT careers, as well as to inspire women to make the IT field their career choice. The group will serve as a vital information resource, providing mentorship and networking opportunities; developing member-driven initiatives and programs; and taking an active role in legislation involving women and careers.
“Women have realized many breakthroughs in the work place, but the truth is our progress has stalled in IT,” said Nancy Hammervik, senior vice president, industry relations, CompTIA.
She cited research by the National Center for Women & Information Technology, which showed female employment in the IT industry reached its high point in 1991, when women made up 36 percent of the industry’s workforce. Since then, the number of technology jobs held by women has been on the decline. Unconscious bias, gender pay gaps, feelings of isolation, lack of role models and mentors, poor supervisory relationships and competing life responsibilities are all major contributing factors to the decline.
“As someone who has spent nearly my entire career in high tech industry, I’m acutely aware of the gender gap,” Hammervik said. “CompTIA is committed to doing its part to raise awareness of the valuable role women can and do play in our industry and to affect change to bring more women into our ranks.”
The CompTIA Advancing Women in IT Community launches with members in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom andSouth Africa. Members include women currently working in the IT industry, women seeking IT careers and men who support the mission of diversifying the IT workforce.
The community is led by chair Sandy Ashworth, global director of channel relations and warranty for Unisys Corporation, and vice chair Jean Mork Bredenson, president, SERVICE 800, Inc.
“Our goal is not only to provide ‘how to’ knowledge, but also be the conduit and people resource to give women the mentoring, networking and career path guidance needed to advance in or join in the IT industry,” said Ashworth. “The community will identify and accomplish initiatives that will draw young women, women returning to workforce, women changing careers and women veterans to our industry. We also want to include women in IT from other industries, such as healthcare, finance and education. As the song says, ‘There is nothing like being a woman.’ My version of that is, ‘There is nothing like being a woman in IT.’ “
The CompTIA Advancing Women in IT Community is organizing a webinar titled “Insights from a Leader and Her Path to Success“, featuring Marci Meaux, vice president, sales enablement project and ACT, Cisco Systems, Inc. Meaux will share her insights on the path to leadership, the benefits of an IT career, and recommendations for women in or entering the IT careers. The free webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) March 14.
The next community meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. (ET) Feb. 29. The group is also scheduled to meet during CompTIA’s Annual Member Meeting April 10-12 in Chicago.
CompTIA communities are the foundation of the association’s initiatives, programs, education and research. These member-driven groups collaborate to advance specific technologies, vertical markets or business segments that are vital to the IT industry. Community members include IT professionals, vendors, distributors and thought leaders.
In addition to the new Advancing Women in IT group, CompTIA offers member communities in cloud computing, health IT, IT business growth professionals, IT security, IT services and support, managed services, managed print services, small business owners, UK channel and unified communications. Visit CompTIA Communities to learn more.
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit www.comptia.org or follow CompTIA on Twitter at Http://www.Twitter.com/comptia.