The theme for International Women’s Day 2015 is #MakeItHappen. All around the world, International Women’s Day (IWD) on the 8th March represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women, whilst also calling for greater equality in traditionally male dominated industries such as engineering and technology. The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911, and thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women on this date. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.
As an organisation, Trustmarque boasts record numbers of female employees. This is especially venerable in the technology sector, which is traditionally viewed as a male-dominated industry. According to CIO UK, “the technology industry has seemingly always been ready with the excuse that not enough women are entering the profession due to poor take up of science, technology, engineering and maths subjects by girls at secondary and tertiary education level, despite those that do consistently outperforming boys.”
Jenny Taylor, the IBM UK Foundation Manager, has said that ‘getting more girls excited about technology is one of our top priorities.’ Despite boasting vibrant start-up culture, the UK lags behind countries with greater diversity in university and in the workforce such as Iceland and Poland – limiting the scope for future growth.
The UK government has launched a related campaign which stresses the need to get more women into male dominated industries, #NotJustForTheBoys. Employment Minister Esther McVey has said that we should aim to increase female employment in engineering, science, and construction, so that the next generation will know ‘Bob the builder, as well as Becky the builder, his work mate.’ This was certainly the case at Trustmarque’s Kick Off Event in February, when male and female colleagues alike came together to celebrate their achievements and look ahead to the coming financial year.
According to government figures, the number of women in work in Britain has hit a record high at 62.7%. However, The Independent stressed that at the same time, the gender pay gap is growing. Women can’t afford to be complacent about this issue yet – so let’s continue to #MakeItHappen.