Boosting female representation in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is the aim of a new initiative launched today by the Federal Government.
The Connecting Women in Digital Initiative is a joint venture with industry that provides coaching, mentoring and networking opportunities for women who are already working in the sector, while also actively encouraging younger women to consider technology careers.
Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation Michael Keenan said ICT was one of the fastest growing industries in Australia, yet women represented just 28 per cent of the total workforce.
“This is a very concerning statistic, especially given that just 20 per cent of students currently enrolled in technology courses at Australian universities are female,” Minister Keenan said.
“The Coalition Government is determined to see this situation improve, which is why the Digital Transformation Agency has partnered with industry leaders to get the Connecting Women in Digital Initiative off the ground.
“This initiative will give women working in digital roles within the Australian Public Service (APS) and the private sector a forum where they can come together to share their experiences and knowledge and make new connections that will assist them in their career development.
“The initiative also fits with this year’s International Women’s Day theme, which is ‘Balance for Better’. By creating a more supportive and female friendly work environment, it will help us to improve the balance of women in ICT positions.”
Under the initiative, regular engagement opportunities and events will be organised, featuring key leaders from across government and industry.
A number of prominent ICT organisations have committed to supporting this important initiative, including Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Gartner, Oracle, Amazon Web Services, the Australian Information Industry Association and the Women in Information and Communication organisation.
This initiative will provide both support and networking opportunities, as well as increasing visibility of other existing programs like the Women in IT Mentoring and Coaching program, which has seen over 780 participants since 2007.
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