Fast-growing digital sector needs more women

A month-long campaign has been launched to encourage more women into IT.

With fewer than one in five IT workers in the UK being female, the University of Brighton is trying to address the imbalance as headline sponsor of a programme of events throughout March, highlighting opportunities and inspiring women to get involved.

Spring Forward celebrates the role of women in digital culture and runs parallel with Women’s History Month. Most events are free and include opportunities to listen, learn, share and co-produce.

The Spring Forward organisation aims to create a platform that promotes digital community events organised by women for women.

According to the latest Diversity Report from the Chartered Institute for IT, fewer than one in five IT workers in the UK are female – a significantly lower ratio than most other UK work sectors.

‘No Longer the ManMADE Object’ is an event in which women leaders, makers and creatives in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics (STEAM) talk about their career paths, interests, passions, responsibilities and experiences.

People attending will hear from and can question Janet Anderson, Professor of Digital Humanities; Karen Cham, Professor of Digital Transformation Design; Jane Challenger Gillitt, Senior Lecturer Business Computing; Charlotte Gould, Deputy Head of School of Art; Helen Kennedy, Head of School of Media; Karina Rodriguez-Echavarria, Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics; and Kelly Snook, Professor of Media Arts Technology.

No Longer the ManMADE Object is at the University’s Grand Parade building, Brighton, from 4,30pm to 6.30pm on 28 March.

Helen Kennedy said: “This event will showcase the way in which our innovative and impactful research shapes the teaching and learning opportunities here at the University of Brighton.

“Importantly, as part of the wider Spring Forward Festival, this evening foregrounds and celebrates women’s leadership, creativity and contribution to a set of disciplines that frequently struggle to attract and retain female applicants and employees. The event will also provide space for the consideration of avenues of support available to those who do chose to enter these fields.”

Other events planned include workshops, panel discussions and talks. Most are free but visitors are asked to book. Visit the Spring Forward website to find out more.

The month-long programme is supported by one of the Brighton Futures which lies at the heart of the University’s research and enterprise strategy. Connected Futures harnesses innovation to build trust in the digital infrastructures that underpin modern lives and explore new discoveries with transformative potential.

The project also aligns with the aims of the REFIG – Refiguring Innovation in Games Design – which is an international collaboration that seeks to transform the games and allayed industries through greater diversity. See www.refig.ca

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