CNet’s Director of Marketing, Sarah Parks, contributes to a panel discussion about the women in the industry.
Is the lack of gender diversity within the data centre and enterprise network infrastructure sectors a cause for concern? Is the problem getting worse, why do so few females choose to pursue a career in this field and what should be done to make it a more attractive proposition?
I feel there is a need to take a step back and actually address the reasons why so few people generally choose to pursue a career in this field. My thinking is that if these issues are addressed it will attract more people into the sector and the law of averages will mean that some females will form part of this.
There is a known skills shortage within this sector, most of this problem stems from the fact that it is a hidden area. People are unaware of the ‘engine’ room that is powering all of the connectivity they are benefiting from, and this is before we even start to explain what The Cloud is…
The sector is so important and that’s why it’s often referred to as the 4th utility, everyone relies on it without realising what ‘it’ is or understanding how it all works. In order for the sector to be taken seriously as a potential rewarding career choice it’s the duty of everyone currently in the sector to start talking about it. In order to attract new talent into the sector we need to introduce it to schools at an early age. Children are influenced by so many people and things around them, and some make simple career decisions at a very early age. By introducing the sector, and the importance of it early on, children and teenagers will realise how they are already connected to it and this could inspire them to get involved. This approach will also help to spread the word to parents and could help cascade the message even wider.
Plus, it is not all about technicians and engineers, the sector still needs the same support as any other business such as a finance department, HR, sales and marketing, so when communicating the message there is a need to make it as diverse as possible to allow the net to be cast wider and attract as many people as possible. Then, with the right career paths and continued personal development programs in place, joining the sector could prove to be a highly attractive proposition for both sexes.
Read full article in Inside Networks here.