Empowering Women in ICT
Deborah Exell, Global Head of Human Capital at Getronics, asks whether our need to mark International Women’s Day is a sign of success or an acknowledgement too many employers are still failing their female employees.
International Women's Day is to be welcomed for highlighting gender imbalance and workplace inequalities.
More than a century since Germany first held an "International Women's Day" on 8 March 1914; and over four decades after the United Nations invited member states to dedicate the same date in March to 'women's rights' in 1975, one can't but help wonder why it should still be necessary to remind governments and employers of the need to promote equal opportunities for all, and greater female workplace participation in particular.
Women have historically been undervalued and under-represented in business and, surprisingly, even more so in ICT—the youngest of all the major industry sectors.
At Getronics, we believe the importance of technology as a transformational tool for businesses and the built environment, places a duty on us, as a multinational solutions provider, to lead the way in providing equal opportunities for women by focusing on human capital and people strategies that promote the recruitment, training, promotion and equal compensation of women.
Indeed, breaking down traditional gender stereotypes is the focus of the Getronics Women in Technology programme which launched in August 2018 and sets out practical measures which can be followed in the short-, medium- and long-term development of women within our enterprise, including:
- the operation of a coaching program;
- the organisation of working groups and regional round tables to drive the initiative, get input into strategy and identify talent;
- greater participation in industry events;
- engagement with universities and other organisations; and
- the development of a Women in Technology strategy to 2020.
We also believe our industry peers are the best judges of our success in assisting women to achieve their full career potential, as in the case of Irene Veldstra's (Irene is the managing director of our business in the Benelux region) recent nomination for the DataNews "ICT Woman of the Year" Award
Above all, we believe there's strength in diversity as embracing different perspectives and points of view enriches the personal and professional experiences of everyone involved with our organisation.