A solid grounding in education and professional qualifications is the best way for women to get a sure footing on the IT career ladder, but other assets such as strong role models and mentors are also key, according to networking and jobs site Women in Technology.
The organisation recently conducted a survey of 150 female IT professionals and found that the majority believe that the best thing they had done to further their careers was to take training courses or earn qualifications.
"It seems that, in this competitive industry, having a professional or technical qualification really can put you ahead of your rivals and benefit your career," said Maggie Berry, managing director of Women in Technology.
Roughly one fifth of respondents said that training is the way ahead, 15 per cent said that changing jobs had been the best thing they had done, and seven per cent said that working for themselves, going abroad, or setting up their own business had been their key moves.
This was followed closely by networking and mentoring, but surprisingly just 14 per cent said that they have, or had, such a mentor.
"It is interesting to see that so many people have found that a new job had been key to success," said Berry. "With the jobs market improving all the time, there are companies out there really struggling to find female talent and offering great opportunities."
Berry added that, while IT has typically been seen as a male preserve, an influx of senior female IT leaders had changed this perspective and encouraged more women to sign up for such roles.
"IT has typically been seen as a boys' club, but things are definitely changing and this belief is almost a stereotype these days," she said. "We are seeing more and more successful females in the IT sector, and this will continue in the future."
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