Accenture backs UK's 'IT Girl' Awards
The 'A' Star Awards are aimed at attracting more girls to take up careers in Information Technology (IT) and redress a serious skills shortage in some sectors of the industry. Fewer than one-quarter of UK computing professionals - and under 10% of programmers - are women.
The event is organized by principal sponsor Axios Systems, the Edinburgh-based international IT Service Management software firm. Accenture's backing is a further major boost for the 'A' Star Awards which last month won the backing of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).
They are being run under the auspices of e-competitions, the UK umbrella body for ICT competitions. e-competitions is led by e-skills UK and works closely with the DfES e-Learning Strategy Unit. Its members include the British Computer Society and leading IT companies.
"With changing workforce demographics and growing demand for computing skills, promoting and encouraging women in IT is crucial for business and economic success," said Dil Thomas, Lead Partner of Accenture's Balanced Workforce Program.
"This needs to start with girls in schools and universities, increasing the awareness and profile of IT careers and dispelling the idea that 'IT is for nerds.' The 'A' Star Awards are a tangible way in which we can start achieving this and Accenture is pleased to be a key sponsor this year," he added.
Awards to the top female computing students in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales - based on results in 'A Level' and Scottish Advanced Higher examinations - will be handed over in September. Prizes will be presented to the leading girl in England and the overall UK winner in November in Manchester. The top prize will include cash, a laptop computer and a trip to the USA.
EOC Commissioner Tesse Apkepi will be one of the members of the independent panel of experts who will judge the UK final. The Awards are also backed by all six major UK exam awarding bodies.
Ailsa Symeonides, Sales and Marketing Director of Axios Systems, said Accenture's support was further evidence that UK businesses were determined to help end computing's position as a predominantly male bastion. "There is a growing realization within the IT industry and other business sectors that many more women are needed to ensure computing makes the best possible contribution to the nation's economy," she added.
Axios Systems is a leading provider of Best Practice-based IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions. Our customer-centric approach combined with our award-winning solutions, ensure customers worldwide can align their Service and Support organizations with the overall business goals. Our core solution, assyst, intuitively steers users through the ITIL® processes. Axios Global Services provides a range of consulting, project management and training services. Our commitment to Best Practice is demonstrated through being the first to achieve BS 15000 certification which has now become, ISO/IEC 20000, the International standard for ITSM. Axios is headquartered in the UK, with offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.