Women ReBOOT will provide a route back to work for qualified women with existing ICT skills
Software Skillnet programme aims to help address the gender imbalance in Ireland’s tech sector
Open Information evening at Wood Quay Venue, Dublin on Thursday, February 16th

Have you still got IT? Some of Ireland’s leading tech companies are supporting a ground-breaking new skills initiative aimed at women who have taken a break from the sector and who wish to return.

It’s the first time that a group of Irish tech companies have come together to lead a response to the gender imbalance in IT by attracting experienced women back to ICT careers.

It is a sectoral response to a ‘gender brain drain’ and comes at a time when tech companies here are reporting a shortage of female skilled talent.

The Women ReBOOT programme is the brainchild of Software Skillnet – part of Technology Ireland.

It’s hoped the initiative will be mutually beneficial for both the industry and women interested in re-entering the tech workforce – many of whom may have decided to take a career break for a number of reasons, including raising families.

Tech companies such as Accenture, SAP, S3 Group, Openet. Version 1 and MongoDB, are all supporting the initiative.

Industry experts will offer coaching and professional guidance to women on the programme in a bid to rebuild confidence and support flexible access to work placements with partner companies.

The programme will include monthly seminars and access to customised learning paths in a flexible online learning platform.

Some women may have the impression that the sector has moved beyond them, since their time away, and that tech companies are now dominated by younger professionals and millennials. However, tech leaders say this is not the case.

Joe Hogan, Founder of global software company Openet says:

“There is a crying need for experienced talent in the IT sector and many women could perfectly meet these key needs with a little retraining. Their abilities would be a huge asset.”

Maire Hunt, Network Director of the Software Skillnet says:

‘Highly talented women can lose belief in their potential and ability if they are out of the sector for a few years. Building confidence in their potential though technology upskilling, individual coaching and offering a look inside the sector through engagement with our sponsor companies is crucial’

Paul Sweetman, Director, ICT Ireland & the ISA, Ibec says:
“Addressing the gender balance in technology companies and ensuring that we retain and re-engage women in the sector, is an important priority for the Irish tech sector. The Women ReBOOT programme will build a bridge between highly-skilled women and technology employers.”
One woman who is attending the information evening after taking an extended career break is Mairin Dunne. She says:
“I took a career break from the tech sector to look after family but I am now really interested in joining the Women ReBOOT information evening to hear more about how this programme can support me if I choose to step back into the sector. It’s essential and welcome that there are opportunities like this for experienced women to get back into IT.”

An Information Evening on the ReBOOT programme will take place at 6pm on Thursday, February 16th at the Wood Quay Venue, Amphitheatre, Dublin 2.

The ReBOOT programme is funded under the Skillnets grant agencies Job-Seekers Support Programme (JSSP) through the National Training Fund and the Department of Education and Skills.

To book a place for the information evening and for further information on the programme, see www.isa-skillnet.com/women-reboot

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