Sunday, 22 January 2012

Oracle Academy and Women in IT

Women in IT - I almost hate that phrase – not the organisation, in fact I carry my Oyster Card (London Transport) in a pink Women in Technology wallet, a gift from an event I attended on Social Media Branding. The event was excellent but WHY was it only for women?

I have worked in IT for ……….. a long time, and I don’t believe being a woman has held me back. I was asked when I first took the role of Chairman at UKOUG what did I think about being the first woman? To be honest the press release only mentioned it because we knew we would get more column inches. 
To me the reason there are less women in IT is simply because they are not encouraged to go into IT. I would love to talk to schools about my career, IT covers so much and there is something for everyone. I myself only got into IT by accident.
So I want to applaud Oracle on their Oracle Academy, a way of reaching out to schools and higher education to ensure that what is being taught is relevant, interesting and a stepping stone to a career.

The Oracle Academy program helps 1.5 million students in 95 countries gain industry-relevant skills prior to entering the workplace. The Academy offers students in all educational institutions a complete, fully-supported curriculum of learning in software, hosted technology and faculty training, with industry-recognised certification. Introduction to Computer Science Designed for high schools, technical schools, and vocational schools, this program, provided at no cost to participants, includes a highly structured curriculum to help students master entry-level Database Programming (SQL/PLSQL) and related technical and business skills.

This program is well established giving free training to educators and a program of studies for their classes, which can form part of the IT Diploma (level 3) and now for the first time it is coming to the UK.

Oracle do care about the workforce of tomorrow, I had the privilege of speaking in Latin America this year and in Chile at the University San Sebastian, Oracle funded their top IT student to take full Oracle Certified Professional exams.
So if you read my blog and are involved in IT education or know someone who is please encourage them to look into the Oracle Academy. This ‘Introduction to Computer Science' prepares teachers and lecturers to teach the Academy's database design and programming curriculum. It includes ten weeks of online training and five days of in-class training at their Edinburgh HQ, led by experienced Oracle Academy instructors at the Institute. Registration is by March 1st.

And there is actually a benefit to being a woman at IT, the queues for the toilets at events are better than for the mens'.

Let us change that.


Joel Garry said...

Back in the '80s, I noticed there were a lot of women in IT. But not a lot in the hard-core service/consulting organizations. Looking back, I think this is because women are so much better at the important soft skills, so they tend to be better in the analyst and middle management career tracks. Of course, from the '90's middle management in general got, er, displaced.

Now that women are the majority in higher education, and the workplace is generally more equal (especially for male paternity time off), hopefully things will continue to balance out between genders. At least if you ignore the third world.

word: ligog
word: scorcote

Marcelle Kratochvil said...

I would say I have a unique perspective on this. Over the last twenty years I have seen more women in IT, though the numbers vary depending on the field. From what I notice at conferences, I see that its about 50/50 split between men and women in the Applications field. For developers, I see about a 60/40 split (women at 40), for database administrator about 80/20 and for Sys Admin (storage, operating system) the figures are incredibly low but growing.
It is good to see what Oracle is doing and I have always seen Oracle as being an open employer looking at skills and talent (that's in Australia). I do know that amongst the senior (older-ish) generation brought up in the 70's and 80's, the attitude was that computing (like maths) was a natural male field. In the 90's this changed when it was shown this was more due to culture than potential. From what I can see in the generation coming out today, that attitude has changed and IT is an equally attractive field to be in for men and women.
As for IT entrepreneurs, my perception from reading magazines is that its still very male dominated.
Finally for the advantage in smaller toilet queues women have at conferences, I fully agree unless you are on the top floor in Moscone West. That's always packed.

Misha Vaughan said...

Thanks for the post about the Oracle Academy. I just learned something new!

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