Web site to encourage women into IT careers

A Web site aimed at boosting the number of women in IT from its current 20 per cent level has been launched as part ofthe Industry Skills Training Program.www.itforwomen.com.au aims to attract more women to IT and will help school counsellors and female students identifyappropriate training courses and skill requirements for careers in the industry.

The NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) provided $32,600 to the NSW Communications Industry and TrainingAdvisory Board to develop the project through the Industry Skills program.

The Minister for Education and Training John Aqulina, and the Minister for Information Technology, Kim Yeadon,launched the site and according to Aquilina, the project is a coordinated government and industry response to criticalstaff shortages and expansive under- representation of women at operational and managerial levels in IT in Australia.

Yeadon said itforwomen seeks to balance the scales by identifying entry points, career paths, and the skills andknowledge needed for women to join the IT industry. "The Web site also aims to obtain industry recognition and supportfor female participation in IT and to facilitate a change in management perceptions, and, ultimately, recruitmentpolicies," Yeadon said. Itforwomen provides a useful resource for prospective female IT employees including: womenseeking a career transition or change, women as new workers in the industry, women returning to the workforce, womenintending a higher level career transition.

Aquilina said participation and commitment to this project from all levels of the IT industry, including input frommore than 80 companies, has paved the way forward for women in IT.

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