Women in tech: ‘An apprenticeship is helping me encourage more women into the sector’
Date: 6th Mar 2019
“I think it's really important we get more women into technology, not just because we need more diversity in the workplace, but also to give other women inspiration and role models to encourage them into the sector.”
That is the opinion of 24-year-old apprentice Kavita Sharma, and thankfully also the view of many others who are switching on to increasing the number of females in STEM workforces.
Kavita is an apprentice software developer at Sky who is studying for her Digital & Technology Solutions Professional degree with Bucks New University.
Before taking her job at Sky, Kavita was unsure of the career she wanted but knew she didn’t want to go to university. Instead she took various jobs including working in a toy shop, and being a project analyst for GSK.
“I always knew I didn’t want to go to university as I learn more from ‘doing’,” said Kavita, from Southall. “When I came across this Sky apprenticeship, I knew it was the perfect approach to take for me - especially in IT as everything is always changing.”
Sky run a Women in Technology scheme, a grass roots initiative that launched to help encourage more women to pursue careers in technology. Although the number of women in STEM roles is increasing slowly, they still only account for 22%* of the total UK STEM workforce.
Given the significant lack of gender diversity within the technology world, the Sky scheme aims to provide a unique and supportive environment in which women can learn and hone skills needed for a successful career in this field.
And Kavita, who works four days a week and trains for one, couldn’t speak more highly of her employer and the support she has received.
She said: “I know quite a few women and young girls, who are not confident about moving into a tech roles, because society has made them think it's not ‘normal’.
“I feel like I have had to battle this problem myself. People have certain expectations and ideals of you, and that did not make it easy for me to choose to do a role in IT, let alone an apprenticeship.
“Now that I'm here though, I'm happy I'm doing what I want and giving inspiration to other women. One of my close friends was so afraid to get into tech, but after seeing me in this role, she has changed her career path and is so much happier for it.”
So what advice would Kavita give people thinking of taking up an apprenticeship?
“Go for it, it might be challenging, but it is not an opportunity you should miss.”
For more information about the Digital & Technology Solutions Professional or how Bucks can help your businesses develop its workforce please visit our dedicated pages.
*Office for National Statistic Labour Force Survey data, Sept 2018