The President of the Society of IT Management (Socitm) is to launch a programme of work to encourage more women into the IT profession.
Nadira Hussain, whose day job is Programme Manager for London shared service organisation One Oracle, plans to establish Socitm’s first womens’ group since the organisation opened its doors in 1986, as well as a younger women’s mentoring initiative.
She told Local Digital that the lack of a women’s group in the organisation is “an obvious omission” and that it is “a passion and a necessity” to create a more inclusive organisation. Hussain, whose presidency began at the end of April, said that her mostly male Socitm colleagues are “keen to address the imbalance”.
“It’s something I felt very strongly about – to give women the opportunity to progress through the ranks. For a long while Socitm has focused on leadership. What about succession planning and encouraging younger people in to the Society?” she said.
The women’s group will initially have a presence within online public sector networking site Knowledge Hub to share information and “tap into the established repository that other women networks have created” she said. Hussain is also planning a couple of conferences in the coming year, open to international delegates and Socitm members of any gender, including one to formally launch the group.
As part of the plan to encourage more women into the IT profession, a coaching and mentoring scheme for younger women will launch this Autumn, sponsored by Socitm’s private sector partners. Hussain is now seeking schools and colleges from which to recruit participants, who would also gain IT work experience in both public and private sector organisations under the scheme.
“It would give them exposure and an early indication of what the options are, get an understanding of where you might prefer to work and see the working practices of both sectors”, she said.
The initiative would sit within Socitm’s existing Top Talent leadership development programme, under which a new ‘leadership academy’ is in the pipeline.
“I want to put the mechanism in place for a sustainable way for Socitm to attract young talent. Whatever I establish, my ambition is to ensure that it’s sustainable beyond this year”.
Hussain is the fifth female Socitm President in 28 years.