Why have only 23% of girls considered an IT career? How can parents, educators and IT professionals encourage girls in to Tech? As a proud entrepreneur and #womanintech I don’t mind admitting that these two questions had me gasping behind my computer screen. 23%? Seriously?! As a working mother of one and founder of a brand-new business, TeachTech Solutions, I don’t have time to take on a new mission, especially one that involves needing soul, grit and determination. Having been invited as a guest to CompTIA’s EMEA Annual Conference in London I began to ponder the implications of 69% of girls who didn’t even know what a career in IT could involve; CompTIA’s campaign #maketechherstory seemed to be speaking directly to me. I’ve decided I cannot opt out, it is time to tell my story.
I was the first person in my family to go to University. I was always excited by business and creativity but I didn’t have the encouragement to ‘think bold’ at home. Once I finally found my way to University, I relied heavily on informal and formal mentoring and support from peers, teachers, and kind strangers. I know how important timely intervention and influence can be. Whilst at University studying English Language & Literature I started my first business. I saw a gap in the market for students who used English as a second language. I employed a team of English Language students, whose grades and English were both far better than mine, to provide a proofreading service. I relied on IT to communicate with the customer and deliver the product. I also used IT to market the business, moderate the work and take payment. It worked – and I managed to make some money for when University life was finished. I got an early lesson in the rewards of utilising IT. I had an idea, figured out how to deliver it with IT and grew a small business that not only gave me great satisfaction, but also generated a small amount of profit. Not a bad first start hey? I’ve now repeated that process – had an idea and six months ago I founded my first Limited company, TeachTech Solutions. We are dedicated to recruiting certified, industry experienced IT Trainers and Assessors, in effect doing our bit for the IT Skills Gap. It’s my new baby and I intend to use my brand and this platform to help the IT minds of tomorrow. Watch this space….
Girls, look, my career in Tech makes my heart beat fast every day. And it can do the same for you. IT is the industry to get in to. Don’t think it’s all men with trendy beards sitting in faceless offices. Software, Hardware, Cyber Security, Web Design. You can be behind the scenes or in front of the crowds – the opportunities in Tech are limitless. You could travel the world, or work from home in your pajamas, you could cross your skills to other sectors, move from MTV to Medicine if you wish. EVERY sector needs Tech. It is a financially rewarding sector too, with IT roles always present in ‘Top 10 best paid salaries’ lists. Tech can give you the sports car, the bling house, the life in Australia – or give it all up after ten years and run a donkey sanctuary – No one is going to judge you! The point is, it is a career that has no limits. It has been a great career for me; one that has seen me out-earn my peers, feed my family and love work every day. How many people are lucky enough to say that?
I realised at the CompTIA event that once comfortable I couldn’t stop talking, connecting and sharing! #maketechherstory made me realise it is time for all of us, men and women, to wear our hearts on our sleeves (or our tech stories on our sleeves anyway). People, lets get responsive. IT is that kind of environment. We’re all innovators and ‘can dos’ and people are happy to get behind one another and show their support.
Girls, be the smart ones. Think about IT; IT needs you. And we often don’t realise how much we girls need IT. I found my voice in London witnessing #maketechherstory in action, let’s make it OUR story.
If you need a point in the right direction just contact me direct @TeachTech_UK or @keshiateachtech