Skills London is the capital’s largest jobs and careers event for young people (15-24 year olds) and their families. Taking place on the 13th and 14th of November at ExCel London, this year’s visitors will get the chance to take part in hands-on activities and meet companies face to face to gain impartial and professional advice regarding important upcoming vocational choices. Last year, Workshare’s design team spoke to many enthusiastic tech-focused students about future career paths, advising them on which skills would be most useful for gaining work in the design and technology sectors.
This year, Workshare is once again sponsoring the event, and we’ll be based on the Tech Feature of the show floor. 15 members of the Workshare team will be heading down to the ExCel to volunteer their time and to share their expert professional knowledge and with this year’s cohort of visitors.
Getting to the real talk
Workshare’s focus at Skills London 2015 is on “Women in Technology”. Earlier this year, Google appointed Ruth Porat, former Morgan Stanley executive, to be its CFO, paying her a healthy $70 Million. Surely this, and the fact that technology is a rapidly growing industry, must mean that women are absolutely dominating this sector? Not quite. The percentage of women in computing occupations has actually fallen 26% since 1990, with only 12% of women making up all employees in Science, Enterprise and Technology professions. There is also a serious lack of female representation in management positions within the tech sector: with 10% more men in these roles compared to a larger portion of women in lower-level jobs.
Maybe women just don’t want to work in tech?
Interestingly, during GCSEs, the boy: girl ratio for technology-based classes is pretty much equal, with girls even out-performing boys in some subjects. However, fewer girls than boys choose to specialise in tech at A Level. Research found students to be biased when choosing A Level subjects, due to stereotypes leading some subjects to be regarded as especially “feminine” or “masculine. Unfortunately, this is no big news, but it does create a negative snowball effect resulting in a lack of awareness of the roles available to women in the technology sector.
Empowering future generations
Breaking gender stereotypes and encouraging young people to pursue the careers paths they actually want to follow is of utmost importance, as they will be the ones running the companies of the future! Workshare aims to inform the next generation’s; technology workforce of their options, and motivate them with a huge range of opportunities in this industry.
Skills London is a free event, so please feel free to come and say hello to us at the Workshare booth on the Tech Feature next Friday and Saturday at London’s ExCel. You might also catch a glimpse of the Mayor of London himself, Boris Johnson, who is a big backer of the show and stops by every year!