8 Mar

International Women's Day - #ChooseToChallenge

Written by:

Jessica Dallard

We want to recognise the importance of today's International Women's Day ♀️ - we are all responsible for championing an equal and inclusive world and, now more than ever, we should be ensuring this is the case. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. Today is a day to show support and solidarity. We caught up with our Operations Director, Elizabeth Hoyos de Kent, to share her thoughts on this international celebration.

This weekend at the dinner table with my teens (one boy, one girl), I reminded them about international women’s day on 8th March. Challenging as they are, they told me that from their point of view the world is becoming fairer. Is there therefore, they asked, going to be a need for such a day in the future? Shouldn’t there be an 'All Humans' international day? Unable to suppress my emotions, I replied:  “Hell yes!! We definitely need to celebrate International Women’s Day!”  I then engaged in a longer conversation with them as to why they may be the lucky ones to even begin thinking like that. I work for one of the highest quality work-based learning providers of Tech and Digital Skills: both in the region and in the country. I am very proud to see what the TDM team has achieved in terms of supporting career and social mobility of learners and the support given to employers with their skills needs.  TDM’s engagement of women into IT has improved by 15% in the past few years, but on a regular basis we still have to ask ourselves:  “What can we practically do to help more women get into Tech?” I am puzzled as to why our digital marketer programme attracts an equal ratio of woman/men candidates, whilst our software developer and network engineer standards still fall far behind in terms of attracting similar participation from both genders, males remaining the dominant gender being engaged.  Our achievement data showcase that female learners achieve their apprenticeship standard just as well as, or better than, male learners.  This all makes me think that we need to ensure we put more emphasis on this strange data.  We all need to let more and more women out there know that the Tech and Digital world needs them, too. We really don’t want all of our software, websites, apps and networks to be developed by males alone!  We all need to ensure we show it is possible and desirable for more women to get into tech!  We can and should work together as a community to make this happen.  And whilst many people (all human beings from different genders) are on the same page, there is still a lot to be done to ensure there is equality. I have been working for TDM for the past 14 years and I am very proud to work for a sector that promotes inclusivity in everything we do. On International Women’s Day, I would like to salute all those amazing human beings who understand why we still need to celebrate international women’s day. I am sure my teens will come to understand this as their experience of the world expands and they begin to see the world from other people’s point of view, too.

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