|Issue No 4||12 March 1999|
IT Key Tor Gender Pay Parity
By Grant Doran
It is with great interest that I note the increased discussion on the gender pay equity issue.
I work in the Information Technology sector, which has been one of the great growth sectors for employment.
I find it disappointing that the industry, in particular the more lucrative areas, is predominantly male.
It strikes me that the IT industry is an ideal place for women to make some inroads into overall equity.
The industry is safe, clean, challenging, financially rewarding and not very "blokey". In my experience I have seen little, if any, gender bias in the industry. And yet...where are they?
I feel that not enough is being done to promote IT careers to girls in schools. The image of IT people as "nerds" is a stereotype that is widely reinforced in the media and popular culture.
Programs should be developed to encourage girls to use computers (and not just for typing!).
To deal with the worsening shortage of skilled local people, there is now pressure to allow more IT people from overseas to fill the places. Whilst this is an attractive form of immigration (bringing in qualified people with good employment prospects), the long-term solution has to be more IT places at TAFEs and Universities and MORE GIRLS!
I really think that this is a golden (nay, platinum) opportunity wasted!
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