Minister gives top marks to 'IT Girls' contest
Commenting on the 'A' Star Awards, she said: "It is good to see that more is being done to redress the gender imbalance in IT. A competition like this will help encourage women into the IT sector - and so help reduce skill shortages within it."
The Awards, launched last year, are aimed at attracting more girls to take up careers in IT and redress a serious skills shortage in 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. Co-sponsors are Ford Motor Company and Accenture, the world's leading management and technology services organization. The top 12 female students scoring highest marks in this year’s 'A' Level or Scottish Advanced Higher Computing exams qualify for a tiebreaker competition to be held over the Internet.
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.
The top prizes will be presented in November in Manchester at SkillCity, an event expected to attract 50,000 visitors. They will include cash, laptop computer and a trip to the USA. Mrs Morris said SkillCity "offers a key opportunity to demonstrate and celebrate the best in the skills of our young people."
Ailsa Symeonides, Sales and Marketing Director of Axios Systems, welcomed the Minister’s backing, adding: "It is gratifying to see the gender issue in IT moving higher up the political agenda. We’re delighted to receive the Secretary of State’s endorsement and look forward to seeing even more progress achieved in the months and years ahead to end computing’s current status as an overwhelmingly male bastion."
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.