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Published on : Monday, November 11, 2013
Network Rail’s chief information officer is so concerned about the rapid slide in the number of women entering the UK’s IT sector, she has launched a new competition for girls where the company will pay for the winner’s first year of university fees.
The competition – Could IT Be You – has been designed by six women in the 500-strong IT team led by Group CIO Susan Cooklin, including a London-based project manager, and aims to show girls what working in IT is really about and the career opportunities open to them.
The latest figures from E-Skills shows the proportion of women working in technology roles in the UK has more than halved since the 1980s* despite technology becoming an increasingly integral part of our every-day lives.
Sarah Jane Crawford, a 24 year-old Network Rail project manager based in London, who helped develop the competition said, “A career path should never be judged on first impressions, especially by those we see on TV and in the media. It can be a challenging career but there are roles for all people of all technical ability, which require skills that some women may not have even considered are relevant.
“It’s also industry that is constantly growing and looking for fresh, new ideas. A few years ago we were impressed by having the world at our fingertips in a smartphone, and to me it’s exciting to be part of an industry that brings exciting changes to everyday life. Who wouldn’t want to be part of something that is so integral to our society?”
Bsc Psychology and Philosophy graduate Sarah is currently working on a programme installing thermal footfall counters in 15 of Network Rail’s managed stations across the country, including the £550m redeveloped King’s Cross station, which will count the number of people visiting the station and its retail outlets.
Source:- Network Rail