Global Computing Industry Association CompTIA Throws Support Behind Female Student Awards
CompTIA, representing more than 13,000 computing and communications companies, said it had decided to support the Awards because it was keen to see more women take up careers in Information Technology.
The 'A' Star Awards, organized by Edinburgh-based international software firm Axios Systems, are aimed at attracting more women into IT and redressing a serious skills shortage in the industry. Less than one-quarter of UK computing professionals - and under 10 percent of programmers - are women.
Matthew Poyiadgi, Regional Director, UK and Scandinavia, CompTIA, commented: "One of our main goals is to bridge the gap between educational institutions and the IT industry worldwide. We are working to ensure that students are given the right skills and incentives to successfully enter the IT profession. This award will go a long way to opening the ICT sector up to more women across the UK."
One of the ways CompTIA helps its members to stay competitive and profitable is by providing vendor-neutral standards in certification, e-commerce, customer service and workforce development to meet industry-wide challenges. CompTIA's certifications are internationally recognized by the ICT industry as the de facto global standard for benchmarking entry-level technical proficiency and has been formally adopted by industry players such as Microsoft, Novell, Cisco and IBM.
Other co-sponsors of the 'A' Star Awards are Ford Motor Company and Accenture, the world's leading management and technology services organization. The event is being run under the auspices of e-competitions, the UK umbrella body for ICT competitions.
Ailsa Symeonides, Sales and Marketing Director of Axios Systems, said CompTIA's sponsorship represented another important milestone for the 'A' Star Awards which were launched last year.
"We are thrilled to have the support of such a prestigious worldwide organization," she commented. "This is the latest initiative which we are building to improve the computing industry's image. We want to create a more level playing field for women and end the industry's status as a male-dominated bastion."
Finalists have qualified from throughout the UK through their high scores in this year's 'A' Level or Scottish Advanced Higher Computing examinations marked by the country's six main exam awarding bodies.
Their entries have been submitted over the Internet where they are being judged by a panel of independent judges including British Computer Society Chief Executive David Clarke, Equal Opportunities Commissioner Tesse Akpeki and Computing Magazine Skills Editor Mark Samuels.
The top prizes, which will be presented at SkillCity, Manchester, on 15 November, will include cash, a laptop computer and an all-expenses-paid trip to the U.S.
Last year's UK winner was Clara Boyd from Portadown College, Northern Ireland, now at Cambridge University.