Driving equality in I.T.

Driving equality in I.T.

By Faye Exton, Head of Operations

Celebrating the achievement of women

Last week saw the annual occurrence of International Women’s Day, a day given to celebrate the achievement of women both from the past and present day. I’m going to be honest, it’s often a day that completely passes me by, but this year I took notice as it dominated the headlines.

It got me thinking how the world has changed just in my time working in the IT industry. I joined OCF back in the late 90’s with little understanding of the working world and even less of the IT industry, having come straight out of college.

The OCF that I joined was a reseller of large, graphic intensive systems that were popular with the media industry at the time. OCF’s move to HPC happened in the early 2000’s, however OCF has always delivered specialist IT services in its various forms.

It comes as no surprise that the industry was traditionally very male dominated and when I originally started working with our customers, I could count on one hand the women with who we dealt with. Within OCF, the few females that did work here were administrative based type roles.

Wonderful to see so many knowledgeable women in technical and high-powered roles

However, over the years, I have seen more of a push to make the IT industry attractive to women. This has seen schools incorporating coding into the curriculum; the video games industry encouraging diversity alongside a broader approach in the UK to level out the playing field.

This is starting to show in the IT industry, and it is now wonderful to see so many knowledgeable women in technical and high-powered roles. It is now commonplace to talk to customers, and partners with women taking the lead.

I too have moved into a role within the senior management team which previously had only been male led. I hope to bring with me the diversity and benefits of women in the industry and help continue to drive the change. OCF’s workforce now contains nearly 20% of women throughout various types of roles and we are continuing to grow.

This is encouraging to see and also is quite close to my heart. As a parent to two young girls, it is important to me that I raise strong, independent children in a world where their gender holds no boundaries.