Home » Women in STEM » Encouraging tech careers through community engagement

Joana Ganilho

Lead for Ireland Women’s Network & Customer Relations Manager, HPE

Molina Oung

Lead of Women in Security Galway & Cybersecurity Analyst, HPE

Community-oriented initiatives and meaningful partnerships can help companies close the gender gap in tech and cultivate a diverse, multi-skilled workforce.

Cybersecurity is a great career opportunity for everyone. The wide scope of STEM roles means people can study law or finance and still end up in tech, which brings a diverse skill set to companies, as Molina Oung, Cybersecurity Analyst at Hewlett Packard Enterprise explains:

“We try to emphasise that you can have any sort of background before coming into cybersecurity. People who are willing to learn and work on the job can become a cybersecurity analyst or a security engineer. When you have people from different areas of work, it creates more diverse backgrounds and promotes different ways of thinking.”

Promoting diversity in cybersecurity

Despite the increasing number of women in security careers, it currently remains a male-dominated environment. One way of addressing this gender imbalance is by engaging and educating the community through school and university visits with keynote speakers who share career tips and experience working in tech.

Joana Ganilho, Customer Relations Manager at HPE says: “We want to provide an example that people can aspire to as most of these girls have nobody in tech they can look up to. We want to pass on that information, open up the possibility and plant the seed that can then grow to a potential career in the future.”

Technology is everywhere and that there is a place for everyone in tech.

Joana Ganilho

Creating an impact through partnerships

Establishing partnerships with like-minded organisations can also enhance the visibility of tech careers. HPE has partnered on a number of programmes focused on improving female representation, including the Sophie Hayes foundation, that makes an impact by providing employment and skills development to women survivors of human trafficking.

Another connection includes CodePlus, a learning programme that teaches coding to secondary school girls in Ireland to widen their career choices before going to university. “Together with partners like CWIT, the ‘Connecting Women in Technology’ network, we’re trying to raise awareness that technology is everywhere and that there is a place for everyone in tech,” says Ganilho.

Empowering top talent

Once companies have attracted female talent, the focus shifts to developing, empowering and retaining them. This includes meeting inclusion goals and including women in all levels across the company.

“We need mentoring, development and leadership projects to make sure we’re raising the visibility of women so they can reach higher places,” says Ganilho.

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