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Friday, 10 September 2010

IT’s a Man’s World

The global IT industry has traditionally been a male dominated industry with males outnumbering females by 4:1 in the UK*. This has been further highlighted by a report release by the US National Center for Women and Information Technology this month (June), which reveals women’s participation in IT jobs has been on the decline since 1991.

Aileen Scott, Indigo Technologies

Aileen Scott, Indigo Technologies

One of the few women working in the IT industry in the North East of Scotland is 25 year old Aileen Scott. Aileen started working at Indigo almost two years ago when she took up the role of Sales Executive at Aberdeen-based Indigo Technologies (Indigo), an independent information technology specialist.

Aileen’s route into IT wasn’t a conventional one, after leaving school she went to Aberdeen College where she completed an HND in Legal Studies. She then went on to gain a BA (Hons) in Law and Management from The Robert Gordon University in 2008. So her career path was never destined to be in IT.

“While I was studying at college I fell pregnant with my son Aaron,” says Aileen. “I was determined to get my degree and so went back to college just six weeks after he was born. Balancing a part-time job as a para-legal at an Aberdeen based solicitor with my study and spending time with my son was no easy task, but thanks to the support of family I was able to achieve this.

“After graduating I attended a recruitment day organised by Pareto Law, the UK’s largest graduate assessment, placement and training organisation, where I found out about the vacancy at Indigo. I thought the job sounded interesting and all my friends have always said I was a total geek anyway as it was always me whofixed their PC’s so it just seemed like a good move. I was a bit daunted by the fact that IT was renowned as being a largely male dominated industry at first, especially as I didn’t have much background knowledge of the sector. However, I soon settled in and in fact I often find that being a woman can offer its advantages!

Founded in 2005, Indigo is a leading information technology specialist and provides a comprehensive range of IT support and server virtualisation services to small, medium and large businesses throughout the Aberdeen area.

“IT can have a reputation as being dull, but that is far from the truth. My role is incredibly diverse and includes customer service as well as providing IT advice to clients, so each day can be very different,” Aileen continues. “One of my key roles is business development, this gives me the opportunity to get out and about meeting new people at networking events.  This is an aspect of my job which I really enjoy. The team at Indigo are not your stereotypical IT guys. We all have fun and go on regular nights out and activity days such as rock climbing, and quad biking.

“Indigo is a great company to work for and invest heavily in training their staff. Since I joined I have not only gone on a number of sales, marketing and customer service training courses, I have also received extensive IT training. I am a certified VMware (global provider of IT solutions) technical sales professional and one  of only a few people in the area who has gained the Expert Microsoft Volume Licensing competency”.

Aileen concludes, “I would definitely recommend that more women should think about a career in IT. The industry offers fantastic career opportunities and due to ever-changing technology you are continually learn knew things which keeps the role interesting and challenging”.

*Women in IT Scorecard, November 2009

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