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BT proves girls don't have to be geeks to consider a careers in IT
Source: E skills, 28 May 2008
BT is backing a programme in Wales to encourage more girls to consider a career in IT. The e-skills UK Computer Clubs 4 Girls initiative aims to address the imbalance in the number of women pursuing a career in IT in Wales.
To achieve this, e-skills UK engaged with the Welsh Assembly Government to pilot the Computer Clubs for Girls (CC4G) programme throughout Wales. Now BT's Data Centre in Cardiff Bay is playing host to 10 to 14-year-old girls from schools in Pembrokeshire and Merthyr Tydfil, in a series of visits which it is hoped will help redress the balance.
Girls from Bishop Hedley High School, Merthyr Tydfil, were among the first to visit the Data Centre's IT Showcase where they tried their hand at checking each others identity, managing BT Vision's video streaming over broadband, discovering how Radio Frequency Identification works and the types of opportunities offered by BT's next generation networks.
BT's Showcase manager Sian-nia Davies said: "BT is a technology leader, delivering exciting new products and solutions that have significant value in the real world and we want girls to recognise that IT is more than just computers on desks.
"It is about the technology behind the products they take for granted such as mobile phones and MP3 players. I hope to convince them that as an IT manager myself, it isn’t scary or boring and isn't limited to boys or geeks!" she added.
Peter Sishton, e-skills UK manager for Wales, said women are under-represented in IT and communications professions in Wales, with only 15 per cent pursuing a career in that area.
"IT is at the heart of the Welsh economy and with research showing that the industry is expected to grow by an average of 2.5 per cent a year for the next decade, a key objective is to make IT careers more attractive for girls.
"Involvement from companies such as BT to provide real-life interactive activities is invaluable, improving their skills and showing that IT can be both challenging and fun," he added.