Welcome to the first in a series of guides produced by the Equalitec: Advancing Women in ITEC (Information Technology, Electronics and Communications) project. This ITEC Career Opportunities for Women Returners guide has been produced to provide an overview of employment opportunities in ITEC and in other areas where ITEC skills are in demand.
DTI is pleased to support the Equalitec project in the production of this guide as it works towards providing a practical resource to improve diversity in the IT, telecoms and electronics industries. Within DTI, the ITEC Skills Team works closely with our Office of Science and Technology and Women and Equality Unit to help address the under-representation of women in ITEC employment (currently about 21% of the workforce). DTI also works with industry and other stakeholders to help improve the diversity of the ITEC workforce.
In addition to our work with Equalitec, DTI is also working with other key partners including the Intellect Women in IT Forum, e-Skills UK, SEMTA and the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology on ITEC diversity initiatives. ITEC Sector Skills Agreements (SSAs) have been developed by the relevant Sector Skills Councils e-Skills UK (for IT) and SEMTA (for electronics). These SSAs, published at the end of June 2005, included long term action plans to address the business demand for ITEC skills. A key aim of the SSAs and these other initiatives is to match supply more effectively to demand, both in terms of quantity and quality of skills by ensuring that industry does not lose out on important resources and talent.
Projects such as Equalitec support and complement the other work in this area by providing solutions for creating a diverse ITEC workforce through promoting the re-integration and progression of women into ITEC; helping to bring about cultural change and influencing policy; and developing innovative recruitment and progression schemes. The case studies featured in this guide illustrate the wide range of career options that ITEC skills open up and the many different paths to enter and return that such skills offer to women who wish to re-establish their careers after a period away from the workplace.
I hope you will find this guide informative and useful. DTI looks forward to continuing to work together with Equalitec and other partners in a joined-up approach to help encourage greater diversity and equality of opportunity in ITEC and deliver the skills essential for future business success.