Friday, 10 February 2012

200 women meet on career development in growing technology sector

Over 200 young women working in the technology sector in Ireland were inspired to ‘build their personal brand’ to help them to move into more senior managerial positions at the fourth Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT) event, hosted by HP today.  CWIT is a collaborative initiative of senior women from HP, Microsoft, Accenture, Google, Facebook, Dell, IBM and Ernst & Young and aims to attract more female talent in to the technology sector

Worldwide data from 2010 on women at ‘manager, legislator and senior official’ level in all industries, indicates that Ireland is 32% lower than the EU average.  While this is a problem across all industries, the technology is a significant growth sector in Ireland, and it is essential that women are focused at moving their career forward to senior roles and decision making positions.

Speaking about the event, which was held at NUI Maynooth this morning, Joanne Charles, Product Marketing Manager, HP Ireland said:  “The technology industry is male dominated and women are under-represented at all levels in the sector, but especially in decision making positions.  Technology plays a key role in the Irish economy and there are an increasing number of opportunities for women.  The CWIT group provides a forum and network for women in the sector to provide support and encourage them to go further and to attract more women into the industry.  The key theme today is to shine a light on why women should aspire to be in senior positions and how to develop their personal skills or brand to get them to that level.”

Addressing the attendees of the event this morning, keynote speaker Dr. Maureen Gaffney, said:  “In all aspects of your life but in particular when it comes to your professional life, it is not how ‘I should be’ but ‘me at my best’.  That largely depends on it being capable of arousing basic positive emotions that drives human behaviour so managing negative emotions that can get in the wayThis is something that we should work at to help us to progress our professional and personal lives.  Facts convince but it is emotions that motivate the action and reaction you desire.  However, creating a personal vision sometimes arouses uncomfortable issues for women - for example the disconnect between the internal sense of self confidence they hold and the way the way they express it openly.”

“To be at your best, you need to be attuned to the values that drive you and what strongly motivates you.  This personal vision redefines you and what you stand for in an authentic and persuasive way to others around you in your workplace. “

CWIT was established at the end of 2009 when senior women from the member organisations came together as a group because the current economic climate had thrown up a number of challenges that Ireland hadn’t faced before.  Amongst those challenges is ensuring that organisations like the founding members – multinationals based in Ireland – have the right environment to grow.   CWIT is focused on attracting the right quality of people into these industries to support Ireland’s competitiveness agenda. 

Talking about the CWIT Group, Joanne Charles said:  “Member organisations of the CWIT group work internally to implement the aims of the Group.  At HP for example, we provide mentoring, a programme which allows women to engage with senior management, workshops to assist women returning to work after maternity leave and we are involved with the HP EMEA Women’s Leadership Council.”