The Women ReBoot programme is expanding nationally, aiming to help women in tech return to the workforce.
After a successful pilot scheme earlier this year, Women ReBoot, led by Technology Ireland and Software Skillnet, is looking for new recruits as it expands.
The aim of the initiative is to reintroduce experienced women to tech jobs after career breaks, with programmes to commence in Dublin and Cork this coming autumn.
Talent retention is vital
With coaching, online learning, honing networking skills and work placements, Women ReBoot will create a new talent pool of qualified and experienced women to fill some of the glaring talent gaps in the IT sector.
‘Women who have left the sector often feel that things have moved on too far for them to return; they feel that they may need to hide the fact that they have been on career break or companies just won’t want to talk to them’
– SIOBHAN MAUGHAN
The proportion of women in technology roles in Ireland is less than 20pc, and Software Skillnet believes that retaining female talent is as much of a challenge as attracting them in the first instance.
Network director of Software Skillnet, Maire Hunt, said that tech companies need people with strong analytical and creative skills, as well as individuals with the ability to form connections with others and be persuasive.
She said that confidence is the key that many of these returning women are missing. “The sector-led pilot programme for Women ReBoot attracted huge interest from highly qualified and experienced tech women who are looking to step back into work following a career break. What they lack, possibly more than anything, is the confidence to recognise their abilities.”
Siobhan Maughan, programme director for Women ReBoot, added: “Women who have left the sector often feel that things have moved on too far for them to return; they feel that they may need to hide the fact that they have been on career break or companies just won’t want to talk to them.”
Guidance and training
There are up to 50 free places open for applications for women interested in returning to work in the tech sector, with information evenings taking place in Cork on 3 October, and Dublin on 5 October.
Deirdre Noonan had been away from the tech sector for 14 years, and now works for Novitas, an e-learning and training provider. Taking part in the pilot scheme gave her a sense of direction. “It’s helped me to structure my job search and focus on what I want to achieve in my professional life role. It has also clarified the trade-offs between working full-time and part-time.
“Women ReBoot has given me lots of insights into the opportunities in technology companies, particularly for my specific skill set. It’s been a fantastic experience.”