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General Chat Thread, Jobs for the Girls: Encouraging girls to consider qualifications and careers in IT in General; Originally Posted by AMLightfoot I'm not sure that this is specific to IT or epidemic across the whole job market! ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMLightfoot View Post
    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.
    The issue is that it is the mother who is expected to work around the children and not the father. Paternity leave has helped, but we need to move to a system whereby, once the child is beyond issues needing the mother only, such as breastfeeding, both parents are equally likely to need flexible working hours to cover childcare issues.
    I was lucky, we could afford for me to stay at home until our youngest was in school, and then work part-time so I was always there after school etc. With three, we could never have afforded the childcare anyway. But mrwITch would have happily worked part-time or flexi - 4 long days perhaps - so that we could work it out between us and I could go back to a "proper" job. It was never on the cards though, and sadly, 15+ years later, it still isn't the norm
    I wasn't able to keep my career and whilst I love my job now, the salary I am on isn't a huge amount of help to us and I certainly can't run the household on my own. Even if I went full-time and got out of education, the salaries around here are pretty poor.

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    How long have you been working in IT? –25+ years
    Is this your first, second, third, etc career? Only
    What other jobs / roles have you done previously? None, always worked in IT, I’ve done many IT roles.
    How many interviews did it take to get your first job in IT? One
    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT? I know I got my industrial placement based on gender. I then had to prove myself in engineering department. I got taken on full-time at the end of my Poly course, based on merit. Maintaining a Career in IT has been more tricky. I have either been office based working standby and call-out. Or traveling around the country working on projects based on Customer sites, neither of which are child friendly. My partner and I had to make a conscious decision about which one would work and which one would be the “house-person” So here I am 2 children later working in a school, term-time only stopping the brain cells dying (sometimes!).
    If you were considering IT (or other engineering / programming careers) whilst at school what support did you receive? None we didn’t do computing at school. I opted to do this at college as it was the “new in thing”.

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  4. #48
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    How long have you been working in IT?
    Since 86

    Is this your first, second, third, etc career?
    This is my second IT post. First one was SPIN Co Ordinator in the Scottish Prison Service managing the network in my jail.

    What other jobs / roles have you done previously?
    Been in Reprographics, Freelance Photographer

    How many interviews did it take to get your first job in IT?
    Only one interview and got the job.

    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT?
    I don't think it has had any bearing really just depends on the skills etc of the other people who attended interviews for the same post.

    If you were considering IT (or other engineering / programming careers) whilst at school what support did you receive?
    Hahaha there were NO computers when I was at school. You are talking to someone who used nib pens and inkwells at school. So I suppose the answer to that question is none.

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  6. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMLightfoot View Post
    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.
    Whilst my son was at nursery it wasn't too bad at least it was a full working day and operated throughout the school holidays. - But since he's been at school it has been harder and I've had to find a job with less hours and term-time only. My husband's job (full time, with overtime expected at a drop of a hat) is an hours' commute away by rail so all the parent 'evenings' (last appointment 6pm??), sports days, assemblies etc have to be attended only by me, if I can make it. I haven't been able to go to some assemblies as they fall within my working hours (8:15 to 1:15). Apparently (according to my disappointed son) he was the only one with a parent not there, so I'd love to know what flexible jobs everybody else has!! With INSET days, 13 weeks holidays, snow days, sick days and no grandparents nearby to call on it is a juggling act.

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    -It is striking from reading this thread that most of those replying are "my age"... more mature females

    Are the younger generation mostly working in industry or have they decided not to respond/reply to @GrumbleDook by PM?
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 25th February 2013 at 11:36 AM.

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    How long have you been working in IT?
    10 years

    Is this your first, second, third, etc career?
    Fourth

    What other jobs / roles have you done previously?
    Administrator in RAF, Retail, stores, Catering manager, Hotel manager, (Small) IT Tech. all over 30ish years

    How many interviews did it take to get your first job in IT?
    One

    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT?
    Both, when something hardware related needs fixing, they don't expect a 'pink' thing to do it, you obviously need a special screw driver to do that....
    They come to me when presentations/training needs to be done.

    If you were considering IT (or other engineering / programming careers) whilst at school what support did you receive?
    Women, technical? Scientific?
    Don't get above yerself dear, secretarial work for you.....

  9. Thanks to Alleycat from:

    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  10. #52
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    How long have you been working in IT?

    First post 5 years, some of that part time, current post since Sept 2002.

    Is this your first, second, third, etc career?

    First, but I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Library and Information Science!

    What other jobs / roles have you done previously?

    My first post was IT, then career break to bring up children, then Domestic Worker for Age Concern, Midday Supervisor at primary school and then my current post.

    How many interviews did it take to get your first job in IT?

    3 for first post, as I failed second interview for programmer with Boots. I was then asked to come for an interview by my old uni dept and they employed me. One for current post.

    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT?

    I don't think I've ever experienced prejudice within the schools IT sector. Certainly in the minority in this LA, but it can work for me in that it is easier for people to remember me at meetings. I don't have experience outside school IT so can't comment on issues in industry.

    If you were considering IT (or other engineering / programming careers) whilst at school what support did you receive?

    Computers were very new when I was at school. At secondary school, our computer lessons largely consisted of learning to fill out punched cards! But I do remember a trip to the Computer Science dept at Warwick Uni to this day. In my uni applications for Library Science, I rejected one uni where I had to do a joint course because the person interviewing me was incredulous that there could be computers in libraries (mid 1980's). The uni dept I joined was very encouraging and we got a wide exposure to the variety of devices around at the time (BBCs, Apple Macs, with dial up to news services using a squeaky modem!).

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    GrumbleDook (25th February 2013)

  12. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    The issue is that it is the mother who is expected to work around the children and not the father. Paternity leave has helped, but we need to move to a system whereby, once the child is beyond issues needing the mother only, such as breastfeeding, both parents are equally likely to need flexible working hours to cover childcare issues.
    I was lucky, we could afford for me to stay at home until our youngest was in school, and then work part-time so I was always there after school etc. With three, we could never have afforded the childcare anyway. But mrwITch would have happily worked part-time or flexi - 4 long days perhaps - so that we could work it out between us and I could go back to a "proper" job. It was never on the cards though, and sadly, 15+ years later, it still isn't the norm
    I wasn't able to keep my career and whilst I love my job now, the salary I am on isn't a huge amount of help to us and I certainly can't run the household on my own. Even if I went full-time and got out of education, the salaries around here are pretty poor.
    This is something that interests me a lot ... originally I left the forces and only took a tech job in a school as a stop gap as it was always intended that I would be a house-husband ... my experience of working with young children was behind this, but we both felt happy with it.

    Things happened and I took on more work ... starting a family happened later and later ... and next thing we know I have become manglement and earn more than my wife. It then made sense to swap things around ... and that is how things still stand.

    Given half a chance I would give it all up or simply go part-time so that I could spend more time with the little one ... but I have a feeling that if we were in that financial position I would be fighting my wife over that honour ... and we do feel it would be a privilege and honour to be able to do this as a job. Parenthood is precious to us ... but we know that we *have* to be more pragmatic about it and get frustrated when it is always the mother who is expected to take leave. We definitely felt that was the presumption as we went through the adoption process ... even from the approval and placement panels.

    My wife is swapping schools when she returns from leave (part of our relocation too) so this is made a little less painful, but she found that some schools were a little cagey about her joining them due to us being new to parenthood ... so I don't think this is limited to IT in schools.

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    witch (25th February 2013)

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    -It is striking from reading this thread that most of those replying are "my age"... more mature females

    Are the younger generation mostly working in industry or have they decided not to respond/reply to @GrumbleDook by PM?
    I didn't really want to push on age as I didn't want the conversation to be around issue to do with agism. It is a factor thought, especially considering some respondents have talked about joining the IT profession after returning to work after breaks to concentrate on raising families.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    I didn't really want to push on age as I didn't want the conversation to be around issue to do with agism. It is a factor thought, especially considering some respondents have talked about joining the IT profession after returning to work after breaks to concentrate on raising families.
    It still begs the question 'are we a scientific sample?'

    Are the women in education IT predominantly of an older generation? I don't think that's the case with the men. Where are the younger females? Are they not choosing to work in IT when younger, or are they pursuing IT careers elsewhere? Or do younger female IT staff just not join edugeek?
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 25th February 2013 at 09:30 PM.

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    Quite a few of the women posting in this thread have mentioned the common view from when they were younger that women "shouldn't" go into IT, be it through statements from teachers / lecturers / career advisors or just from society in general. This wouldn't have been the case for the men, so is it possible that these women have only come into IT later on because that view is far less common now?

    In a sense, they were less constricted by the Zeitgeist around "left-brain/right-brain jobs" in later life, so the career option seemed to "open up" for them. Traditionally Western society always promoted certain types of jobs for men and certain types for women, which in earlier times we would have interpreted psychologically as the left-brain and right-brain respectively. Because the left-brain logical analysis stereotype is commonly associated with large parts of an IT role, and the myth around men and women is that they will always suit jobs typically associated with brain hemisphere "specialisms", we took the kind of views we used to take (albeit for the wrong reasons). Christian Jarrett talks a little about this here:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...ably-never-die

    From a psychological standpoint though, the "myth" does ring true a little. We introduce a lot of these predominantly left-brain young men, who enjoy the technology for what it is rather than what it does (not a sin at that stage as I've said before), to the IT industry by means of a support role. Unfortunately this often involves a lot more empathy for other people in different situations (typically right-brain stuff) than they're prepared for. The educational technologist should be someone who may well be predominantly left-brain in terms of the level of logical deduction you need to understand the technology and troubleshoot it, but also has a well-developed right-brain otherwise we can see the situations we sometimes encounter with IT staff who just can't empathise with users who can't grasp computing fundamentals as finger-snappily as they can (again, just different kinds of people).
    Last edited by Ephelyon; 25th February 2013 at 09:52 PM.

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    witch's Avatar
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    I think it may well be that many men are more suited to IT than women- all I care about is that they get an equal chance at it and are told that they can make a career of it if they choose to.
    My grammar school- an all girl's establishment- now pushes any and all tech careers for girls- alongside any other career they can think of, which is very good. The only thing they don't like, and twas ever thus, is when a girl has the temerity to want to leave at 16, even if they are going to the local college, which most of them are!

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    I'm not denying that, like me, the other older women were not encouraged to do anything remotely scientific... IT only just existed as we emerged from school, so I'll use a broader brush.

    What I'm querying is the apparent disproportionate response of those of us in the age 40+ bracket. There are not many from women at the start of their working lives, so where are these women?

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    Perhaps, reading GD's questions, they thought it was aimed more at women who already have somewhat of an established career in IT? They don't give that implication to me but maybe others thought they'd have little to add at this stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    I'm not denying that, like me, the other older women were not encouraged to do anything remotely scientific... IT only just existed as we emerged from school, so I'll use a broader brush.

    What I'm querying is the apparent disproportionate response of those of us in the age 40+ bracket. There are not many from women at the start of their working lives, so where are these women?
    Well (and it gives me great pleasure to say this!) I'm under 40. Only been working in Educational IT for 3.5 years though ... and again it's due to the factor that it gives me work/life balance now I have two children. The private sector IT I used to work in was from the age of 22 so it's kind of been my whole life once I got out of "casual" jobs from the ages of 18+.

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