Breaking misconceptions & attracting women to tech careers,
Special event held May 15, 2003
Statistics are showing that the gap between the number of men and women in technology careers is increasing. Currently, only 15% to 20% of IT graduates at Canadian universities are women. CIPS believes that this is an issue to be addressed. A special event directed at teenage girls has now become an annual tradition at CIPS sections across the country. The event aims to rid of girls' misconceptions about information technology (IT) careers.
This year's event in Toronto entitled, "CIPS Women in IT: Looking Towards the Future" took place at Humber College on May 15. The event provided to the more than three hundred grade nine girls in attendance the opportunity to hear first-hand about the benefits of IT careers.
As Pat Gaudet, I.S.P., Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) Toronto President and Spokesperson remarked, "Through our Women in IT event, we want to get girls to start thinking about IT careers at an early age and to help girls to gain a better understanding of the vast opportunities in IT. In reality, IT careers are about solving all types of real-life problems, for example, meeting business challenges and improving profitability, supporting health initiatives, addressing physical and cyber security, and enabling better communications."
Alice Thomas, Vice President of E-commerce and Customer Care Solutions at CGI was the keynote speaker. She talked about "The Courage to Succeed." Thomas was joined by other high profile women from the IT industry participating in educational sessions and a panel debate on "What is more important: career or family?" Among them were: Joanne Moretti, General Manager and Vice President of Sales at Computer Associates, Jeanne Douglas, I.S.P., Vice President of Application and Professional Services at Telus Enterprise Solutions and Murna Dalton, Vice President of Consulting Services at CGI.
In addition, a national, Women in IT Ambassador program was launched at the event. Women professionals across the country have volunteered their time to visit high schools and talk about the benefits of IT careers.
"The best part of being in the IT industry is the opportunity to work with people from diverse business backgrounds and learn how to solve their issues using IT solutions," said Thomas. "Being in IT allows you to develop many skills such as technical and analytical skills, team work, project management and client relationship management. It is an all encompassing job that is very fulfilling!"
CGI and Computer Associates are, for the second year, top-level sponsors of the CIPS Women in IT event. Cisco Systems and Imperial Oil are three-year sponsors. IBM and Telus Enterprise Solutions are new sponsors.
For a list of CIPS Section 2003 Women in IT events and initiatives, go to: Women in IT Across the Country.
For more information on the Women in IT program, please contact the CIPS national office: by phone: (905) 602-1370 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.