International Women’s Day: encouraging women in tech
As we celebrate International Women’s Day by hearing from a selection of our influential Atos women, I consider what we are doing as a company to support female talent. For me, actively pursuing gender diversity is a no brainer because it is widely accepted that gender diversity leads to better financial business returns, as a diverse workforce produces more innovative solutions.
|Meet Ursula Morgenstern, Head of Germany, Atos|
|Meet Zeina Zakhour, Global CTO Cybersecurity, Big Data & Cybersecurity, Atos|
|Meet Marie Iserbijt, Head of Marketing & Communication, France, Atos|
To encourage women to join Atos, we are advertising our open positions on women-centric websites and we conduct “blind interviews” to ensure there are no biases creeping into the candidate selection process. We have dedicated global mentoring programs in place, programs to increase the number of women in the top 1% of our leadership chain, clear promotional paths for our senior women and succession plans for key positions. We believe in active promotion through setting goals and thinking carefully about the career advice and support required to get there.
But, there is undoubtedly a wider issue for us; technology companies see women steering away from careers in tech and making educational choices outside of STEM. Even though women hold more Bachelors and Graduate degrees than men overall, only 30% of computer science and 20% of engineering graduates are women. Obviously, this has an impact on the number of applications we receive from women.
As an organization we must therefore promote careers in technology, which is why we undertake initiatives such as local school visits to talk about our work running the technology for the Olympic Games, we work with organizations like Prince’s Trust in the UK to encourage young people into tech and we ask our female graduates to be active in our graduate recruitment programs. In North America, Atos initiated a pen pal program with the State University of New York at Geneseo, considered one of the top public colleges in the US, to share business-related hints and tips. In Mexico, Atos women mentor local students, and in France we take part in Energie Jeunes, helping and encouraging children to pursue their studies.
It’s up to all of us – women and men – to encourage women to pursue technology careers so that we can have a diverse workforce producing diverse and innovative products and services. Atos is working to ensure greater parity, and making sure we equip our employees with the right skills at the right time.