The Women in Tech Excellence Awards will be held in London next week. GFT Chief HR Officer Judy Pitrakou explains why she supports efforts to increase diversity in tech and shares some of the initiatives GFT has launched to increase the proportion of women in technical roles.
Why do you support Computing’s Women in Tech Excellence campaign?
It’s great that we have a body that actively encourages women in tech. We have many amazing women at GFT and this gives us a platform to have our incredible talent recognized in the industry. There is a wealth of research that supports the fact that more diverse teams drive innovation and enable better decision making, leading to better business and enterprise performance.
How did you get into the IT industry?
I am actively looking for an organization that is progressive but people driven. GFT’s core values are caring, committed, collaborative, bold and creative, and I follow these values in the recruitment process. GFT actively encourages its employees not only to explore, but also to develop their potential. These values and ethos resonate with me personally and I think GFT is a business that is moving forward and striving to go beyond traditional industry norms and cultures and truly become an employer of choice. Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our business.
What do you think is the main reason why the IT industry is dominated by men, especially in technical and management positions?
There are many reasons for this. In a study by the European Commission on women in the digital environment:
- 53% of companies trying to recruit ICT professionals report difficulties in finding qualified people.
- Only 1 in 3 science technology engineering and math (STEM) graduates are women.
- Women make up more than half of Europe’s population. However, only 17% (1 in 6) of IT professionals in the EU are women.
- Women working in ICT earn almost 20% less than men.
- Only 19% of European ICT entrepreneurs are women.
- 93% of capital invested in European companies this year went to all-male founding teams.
However, there are inspiring female leaders at the top of major tech companies:
Safra Catz – CEO of Oracle
Susan Wojcicki – CEO of YouTube
Amy Hood – CFO of Microsoft
Marika Lulay – CEO of GFT
I am proud to say that at GFT we are taking significant steps to attract more women into technology roles through our internship programmes, [email protected] forum, Women in Tech events and our many partnerships with other IT industries/partners. As part of our DEI strategy, we are continually exploring how we can develop a more diverse and inclusive culture, and as part of our remuneration philosophy we are looking at our gender pay gap and equal pay to ensure stable and equal remuneration packages. Our learning and development programs also aim to ensure that we foster diverse talent and provide diverse forums for the voices of our employees to be actively heard. We’re also looking to get our talented people in the industry recognized through the Women in Tech Awards, and we have a nominee for the 2022 awards that recognizes the strong female talent at GFT.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career?
This hard work is always recognized and always rewarded not only financially but also in terms of opportunities. One of my core values is to put people at ease, treat others as you would want to be treated, and be humble. I haven’t always had it all right (who does?!), but I remain focused and aim to provide exceptional service to our GFT staff and teams.
What are your top three pieces of advice for women looking to start a career in IT? / What advice would you give to young women who want to take on a leadership role?
- Be brave and trust your abilities
- Be open to constructive feedback
- Your reputation will be determined by what you do, not what you say you will/can do