Insight

Women in Tech 2022 year in review

By Rebecca Knowlayne

Dec 20, 2022

The PA Women in Tech Network is passionate about increasing gender diversity and inclusion within technical fields, both inside and beyond our offices. We use our experience to ensure the future of technology is more diverse, inclusive, and benefits everyone. We provide learning and development opportunities, build supportive communities of engaged women, industry partners and allies, and ensure our recruitment activities promote equal opportunities.

This year, we’re proud to celebrate a wide-ranging set of achievements, which would not have been possible without the dedication of every single member of our internal and external community of 800 people. Not only have we expanded by 30 percent from 2022, but due to the impact the network is having on society at large, we’ve been awarded ‘Best Women in Tech Employer Network in the UK’.

As we approach 2023, we remember some standout moments from 2022 and reflect on future priorities:

We’ve expanded the breadth of our recruitment initiatives to allow even more women to enter and thrive in STEM careers

Effectively attracting and recruiting women into STEM careers is challenging, but it’s an area that brings tangible value. This year, we reflected on the importance of creating new career paths for women who are keen to join the technology force.

We partnered with CFG and sponsored 11 places on the CFG Degree. The initiative entails a three-month condensed learning experience that upskills students in technical subjects, providing courses in Data, Full Stack, and Software Engineering. Upon joining PA, new candidates had the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of training including software engineering, data, and consulting skills. The feedback received was exceptional, gaining a 100 pe cent ‘excellent’ rating and 8.7 out of 10 in overall candidate experience.

We also set up and delivered a career changer scheme, where we recruited women and non-binary candidates with no technical professional experience, but who demonstrated exceptional promise, into PA’s Analytics and Architecture practices. We created a tailored two-month long training experience covering consultancy skills, cloud, agile ways of working, as well as technical specialist skills such as data engineering, dashboard building, and coding languages. This allowed candidates from diverse backgrounds to enter the scheme and kick start their technical careers with confidence and support.

So, what’s next for recruitment? As enter 2023, we have plans to expand our career changer scheme to other STEM disciplines. We are also due to launch WiT school outreach programmes, where we’ll visit schools and universities to share excitement about careers in STEM. Please contact us at womenintech@paconsulting.com if you’d be interested in possible partnership opportunities.

We’ve created a community and support network for PA’s tech talent through events, mentorship, and cross-organisational partnerships

But we know that getting women into tech is only half the challenge. We also need to fix the so-called ‘leaky pipeline.’

To support retention, we’ve held over 25 events this year, bringing our female, non-binary, and ally community together through virtual and in person events, lunch and learning sessions, conferences, and panels. We’ve also contributed to podcasts with Bright Network, CFG, WeAreTech, Google, and The Home Office.

Most notably, this year, we hosted our first in-person hackathon, where 40 women and non-binary people came together to discuss conscious consumerism in the cost-of-living crisis. We were joined by our partners from Pret, Unilever, and Go Code Green. The teams created ingenious solutions to foster a more positive and transparent relationship between consumers and businesses. We were amazed by all the ideas that the teams developed, but the winning team took to the stage with ‘Commu-e-share’, an app to promote the cost and benefits of buying in bulk across your community.

And finally, we know that coming together at events is not going to fix everything. To support PA’s tech workforce, this year, we expanded our renowned mentorship scheme for 70 women to receive dedicated mentoring from allies and senior women in the industry.

As we continue to expand, we aim to start offering our mentorship scheme externally to enable cross organisational support. We’ll also focus on running more external in person events, so watch this space.

We provided women with technology skills to help them thrive in their careers

This year we super charged our learning and development efforts and trained over 350 women in coding. These are a mixture of internal and CFG-backed coding courses. Internally, we expanded our curriculum by launching a new ‘Intro to Data Science with Python’ course.

The Web Development course provides training in high level infrastructure, user research, user experience, design, HTML, CSS, and FE frameworks. Our Python course covers coding fundamentals, data structures, logic, functions, and working with files. And our newest Data Science course covers visualisation basics, and several machine learning models. The feedback has been remarkable across all courses, with 100 percent of attendees saying they would recommend this course to their network.

Thanks to the courses, women across PA have started their journey into digital and technology and are now thinking about how they can fulfil their career ambitions further.

So, what’s next?

As we move towards 2023, we’ve kick-started some exciting new initiatives to continue to bridge the gender diversity in STEM gap. We’ve partnered with Stemmette’s and Code4000, and together, we’ll provide an opportunity for WiT volunteers to deliver workshops, training, and mentoring. We’ll also focus on supporting other organisations to accelerate the efforts of their WiT Networks through access to digitised coding courses and material.

Finally, we’re excited to launch new thought leadership report on gender diversity in STEM in early 2023. Having surveyed senior women across 300 companies, we’ll shed light on the most effective actions companies can take to tackle the gender in STEM gap.

We look forward to seeing you next year as we continue to build diversity in tech.

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Rebecca Knowlayne

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