Monday, December 16, 2013

Introducing : GSE Ladies

We have a very active GSE community with lots of Working Groups here in Belgium. At the beginning of this year I already introduced you to the Young Professionals Working Group. And now I'm very pleased to announce you yet another group : the GSE Ladies.

Take a look at the logo : diamonds are a girl's best friend ! But that's the only stereotype you'll hear from me today. I had a talk with Nathalie Kempenaers, the chairwoman of this group and she gave me some information about their plans. So, let me introduce you to a couple of initiatives they will develop in the coming months. One is very clear : take away the stereotypes and prejudices that are still running around about women and ICT. And I believe it's really necessary. There's a shortage of IT personnel and only a small percentage of them are women. And as you all know, I can assure you that the mainframe world is no exception to this. On the contrary.

So the first initiative is organizing, let me give you the Dutch name first : 'snuffelstages'. Let's say, the equivalent is something like 'tag along training'. The goal is to give young women, who are about to go to college, the opportunity to tag along with a 'real' ICT lady in the field. So they can learn about the job, the challenges, the career opportunities in order to overcome their prejudices. The ultimate goal is of course to convince them to choose a training and career in IT. If you should be interested as a company, be sure to contact me.

I mentioned career opportunities and linked to that we (or rather women) are often still confronted with the glass ceiling. Therefore in the first quarter of 2014 they are organizing an event with as most renowned speaker Nelly Croes. Nelly Croes is the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda. Yes, a bit of a strange term, but as a member of the European Commission she is responsible for media and information issues such as telecoms and IT in the European Community.

So, lots of reasons to support this GSE Ladies working group and I'll sure keep you posted on their future activities.

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