Entries have opened for the third annual Scottish Women in Technology Awards (SWiT), which aims to celebrate the achievements of women and girls in a male-dominated industry.
Designed to promote and celebrate the incredible female talent working in tech today, the SWiT Awards are paving the way to a more diverse and inclusive future for technology in Scotland.
Elaine McKechnie, vice-chair of SWiT, said: “We want to shine a light on the teachers who are inspiring young people, as well as recognising those already working within the technology industry, championing diversity and leading by example.”
According to Skills Development Scotland (SDS), there are nearly 13,000 jobs a year available in the digital sector, and that is growing fast.
Ketty Lawrence, digital skills project manager with SDS, who has just been appointed on to the SWiT judging panel, said that more females “are needed to not only improve diversity, but also to plug the real and worrying skills gap.”
She added: “It’s a real honour to be part of such a prestigious and important event. Although there has been a significant increase in women working in tech – a rise from 18% to 23.4% in the last two years – much still needs to be done to address the gender imbalance. The awards play a central role in getting the message out there that the tech industry is a place for everyone to enjoy an exciting and rewarding career.”
Winner of the 2018 SWiT award for Secondary Teacher of the Year, Toni Scullion of St Kentigern’s Academy, said: “Visible role models are vital to encourage and motivate girls into tech, as it allows them to see people who have found success in their chosen career, motivating and reassuring them that there is a viable career in their sector that they can aspire to and work towards.
“Events such as work experience opportunities, open days and career fairs allow pupils to get face to face with amazing role models, to allow them to talk to them, question them, be inspired by them. Pupils have told me that this makes everything seem more achievable and realistic than seeing, for example, an American success story.”