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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 project manager from Milton Keynes, Network Rail’s IT headquarters, 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.
Katherine Thomas, a 23 year-old Network Rail IT project manager from Milton Keynes, Network Rail’s headquarters, who helped develop the competition said, “The IT industry is one of the most far reaching and fast moving industries out there. Every major company relies on technology to keep running; whether it be a high street retailer who manage their supply chain, website and finances through IT, or Network Rail who manages trains, assets and their corporate services. Working in IT means that the types of companies you can work for is not limited and the experience you can gain is massive. It’s exciting, creative and fast paced and it’s also one of the only industry that has thrived despite the economic challenges.
“My advice would be for girls not to close any doors. When I was 17, I didn’t imagine I would be working in the IT industry, but I kept my options open. I completed my studies in subjects I enjoyed and looked at every option once these were complete.”
Source:- Network Rail