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General Chat Thread, Jobs for the Girls: Encouraging girls to consider qualifications and careers in IT in General; How long have you been working in IT? I have been working in IT since 1979 Is this your first, ...
  1. #31

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    How long have you been working in IT? I have been working in IT since 1979
    Is this your first, second, third, etc career? I started out as a lab technician but then managed to get a trainee role in the NHS operating a ICL george3 system
    What other jobs / roles have you done previously? Other than part time jobs whilst at school just 1
    How many interviews did it take to get your first job in IT? 1
    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT? Not a hindernace but you needed to be very good to succeeded - more so than the males although this has iomproved over the years
    If you were considering IT (or other engineering / programming careers) whilst at school what support did you receive - I was encouraged to take academic subjects rather than "girlie" topics although typing wouold have been useful - i was encourage to go for any career I wanted to but IT wasn't really taught and it wasn't of interest to me when I was at school but a change of career changed all that and I have made a successful career in IT

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  3. #32
    clareq's Avatar
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    How long have you been working in IT?
    About 14 years
    Is this your first, second, third, etc career?
    I was an LSA when the children were small - fitted in well with school holidays etc, and moved into IT when they got older
    What other jobs / roles have you done previously?
    As I say, I was an LSA prior to this
    How many interviews did it take to get your first job in IT?
    Just the one - ICT Classroom asistant. I was promoted internally from there
    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT?
    Occasionally dealing with external helpdesks and being told "get your IT chap to look at it" is a bit annoying, but they soon back down when I tell them I'm the senior IT chap!
    If you were considering IT (or other engineering / programming careers) whilst at school what support did you receive?

    Computers were a glint in Mr Babbage's eye when I was at school!

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  5. #33

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    all the IT Ladies, all the IT ladies.....

  6. #34
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    Ok, here's my answers - this is a very interesting thread, really enjoying reading it!

    How long have you been working in IT?
    Since about 1996 - I say "about" because I never chose IT as a job, it kind of chose me. The company I worked for was getting a new accounting package installed and everything kind of ground to a halt while they tried to get to grips with it. I was the one that figured it out, started getting it working and everything else went from there!

    Is this your first, second, third, etc career?
    Before IT, I was working in Customer Services processing customers orders and answering phone calls. I like to think the two are a good combination as it's made me a lot more people-focussed in my IT solutions.

    What other jobs / roles have you done previously?
    Well .... checkout operator, nanny and warehouse packer! It was an interesting career path as I chose not to go to university straight after A levels. Though I went back and did a degree part-time with the Open University and got a first-class honours degree in IT & Computing while I worked full-time.

    How many interviews did it take to get your first job in IT?
    None. It was more a case of the company seeing that I seemed to click with IT stuff, push more of it my way and then support me by paying for my degree fees. Since I left them, I have pretty much always landed jobs I applied for, apart from one where I was too technically qualified!

    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT?
    I don't think it's a hindrance to getting a job. I beat five (or more?) male applicants to get a job in a Uni as part of the IT support team. I think people take you at face value and employ you for your skills, not your gender. What I do find hard is when you talk to people on the phone - they tend to think that if you're female and don't know something, you are obviously not the IT Technician!

    If you were considering IT (or other engineering / programming careers) whilst at school what support did you receive?
    This was never something I considered at school. I did A-levels in English, French, German and Music so this was quite a career change! Now I work in schools, I look for opportunities to point out to girls that we can fix stuff and work with computers too. My pink tool case tends to go down well!

    Feel free to quote me if it's of any use.
    Last edited by kaphc; 22nd February 2013 at 02:55 PM.

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  8. #35

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    I have a pink screwdriver and a zebra-striped one with feathers!

    I don't believe in positive discrimination either but alongside somehow convincing girls that technical careers are a great idea, and boys that they can be nursery nurses,or whatever,we have also got to re-educate some employers as they can be blind to the "best person for the job" thing and look only at the gender that they expect to see in that job.
    It is very interesting that quite a few of the women who have answered so far actually started in some sort of school support role rather than IT. Only a few have been technically trained.

  9. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    I have to admit to having heated arguments with folk in RL about believing in meritocracy, and some of the fiercest ones have been with those striving for equal status for females ... who have actually been pushing for positive discrimination against males to allow more females into key roles ... I can understand why something needs to be done to force the change of status quo, but is this really the right way?
    I've always been against positive discrimination of any kind. I think that a longer term view of why inequalities (of any kind) might occur and how they could be addressed should be used rather than trying to stack the deck once its too late.

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  11. #37
    kaphc's Avatar
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    I'm against positive discrimination too. I would be mortified if I got a job just to fill a "quota" rather than being the best person for the job.
    @witch - where do you get zebra-striped screwdrivers with feathers on from? They sound brill!

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  13. #38


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    Quote Originally Posted by kaphc View Post
    I'm against positive discrimination too. I would be mortified if I got a job just to fill a "quota" rather than being the best person for the job.
    @witch - where do you get zebra-striped screwdrivers with feathers on from? They sound brill!
    PINTEREST ALL THE THINGS!

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    Little-Miss (22nd February 2013)

  15. #39

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    See, i like this. This pleases me...

    Recently a group called Little Miss Geek appeared (still think i should receive royalties) discussing Women in the tech/science world and released a book, which i've yet to read but flicking through there has been a few interesting bits, like a childs drawing of someone that works in IT!

    I follow them on Twitter but have started to get very annoyed and slightly offended. They seem to have a thing about "Pink gadgets". Constantly berating any manufacturer or company that dares to use it in a add or a product. Saying that companies just "pink up" their older products and sell them to us poor females. Erm, i'm pretty sure anyone that can read would be able to compare the hardware themselves and make a decision. Even if it means nothing to someone you can see that one has this but the other has this.

    You know what? I quite like having something a bit different from the classic grey or black thanks ladies...

    I'm all for a bit of feminism but yeesh, no wonder a lot of young girls think its all about bra burning and not shaving....
    Last edited by Little-Miss; 22nd February 2013 at 04:29 PM.

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  17. #40

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    Someone gave me a set of screwdrivers in girly colours - but they are proper bits of kit and very easy to spot when you put one down somewhere.
    I think it is probably a good thing that you can get colourful tech kit now as they wouldnt bother to make it unless there were enough girls around who want to buy it, would they?
    If anyone sees a rainbow screwdriver please let me know
    As for the zebra screwdriver: Safari Animal Print Screwdriver by Pretty Tools is perfect for all the jobs around the house.

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  19. #41

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    I agree that 'pretty' tools are easier to spot. They also don't land up in the site manager's pocket

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  21. #42


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    Pastel Pink Nintendo 3DS. Nuff said.

    Hell, you can always get a can of spray paint and take that Chassis out into the garden and pink-bomb the ever-living-maleness out of it. Personally I am so hard on my hardware it doesn't last long enough to be painted. XD

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013), Little-Miss (22nd February 2013)

  23. #43
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    How long have you been working in IT?14 years
    Is this your first, second, third, etc career? second career
    What other jobs / roles have you done previously? I was previously working in materials science. My first job out of university (studied Material Science and Engineering at Uni) was testing building materials, then I worked in a factory/foundry and was involved in research, testing and quality control of magnetic alloys. Alongside my work in the materials testing, I became more and more involved in developing/troubleshooting the company's IT systems. When I relocated to Scotland I retrained in IT on a course designed to help people change career. I then managed to get a job in IT at a Scottish university first working on the helpdesk, then as a senior IT officer, having completed my MCSE, A+ etc
    How many interviews did it take to get your first job in IT? 1 (for the helpdesk role)
    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT? Coming back to my previous full-time job (in a University, not a school) from maternity leave was hard- felt that I had to prove myself all over again and had to endure a certain amount of bullying from colleagues who had expected me not to come back and were ready to jump into my place. Have felt it a hindrance in that it is difficult to juggle a family and an IT job - have been for interviews before where it was obvious I wasn't going to even be considered for the job because they knew I could only work within the opening hours of my son's nursery and therefore wouldn't be able to work overtime. I am currently working part-time in a school because it is the best solution for keeping IT skills current (sort of!!) and having working hours that fit around childcare/school holidays. I wouldn't even consider anything full time at the moment as I know in IT there is an expectation for out of hours overtime that I just wouldn't be able to do whilst my son is still young.
    If you were considering IT (or other engineering / programming careers) whilst at school what support did you receive? I'm a bit long in the tooth to have been considering IT when I was at school, but I wanted to do an engineering degree and was encouraged in this by my teachers at sixth form college.

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  25. #44


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    Quote Originally Posted by korova_blue View Post
    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT? Coming back to my previous full-time job (in a University, not a school) from maternity leave was hard- felt that I had to prove myself all over again and had to endure a certain amount of bullying from colleagues who had expected me not to come back and were ready to jump into my place. Have felt it a hindrance in that it is difficult to juggle a family and an IT job - have been for interviews before where it was obvious I wasn't going to even be considered for the job because they knew I could only work within the opening hours of my son's nursery and therefore wouldn't be able to work overtime. I am currently working part-time in a school because it is the best solution for keeping IT skills current (sort of!!) and having working hours that fit around childcare/school holidays. I wouldn't even consider anything full time at the moment as I know in IT there is an expectation for out of hours overtime that I just wouldn't be able to do whilst my son is still young.
    I'm not sure that this is specific to IT or epidemic across the whole job market! It seems to me that ANY job where the 'standard' hours are between 8 and 6 will prejudice against working mothers, yet familes cannot live on 1 salary any more and will struggle with 1 full and 1 part time salary. There are so few highly paid, skilled jobs that have the flexibility to accommodate working mothers - most jobs that are suitable for working mothers are retail jobs in shops which we all know pay poorly or jobs in schools as TSAs - any role that needs longer hours is precluded. It's so frustrating for people my age that want to have a family but cannot afford to lose 1 full time salary. I think when it is my turn my child care will be a combination of nursery and grandparents - it's the only way we could afford it. I don't think it's fair that people should be 'priced out' of being able to have children.

  26. #45

    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMLightfoot View Post
    Pastel Pink Nintendo 3DS. Nuff said.
    Legend of Zelda "limited edition" 3DS > everything.

    Though the Charizard/Pikachu 3DSXL is acceptable.


    And pink tools are awesome. I'd totally use pink tools.

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