Viatel Technology Group is delighted to announce that we have joined Connecting Women in Technology, or CWiT. CWiT is a network of Irish-based technology companies with a shared mission to attract, retain and promote women in the tech sector. Our fellow CWiT members include Accenture, Cisco, Google, IBM, LinkedIn and Meta among others.
Making the announcement, Lauren Kehoe, Head of Group Product Strategy at Viatel Technology Group, said “We are excited to collaborate with all of the other member organisations and to become part of CWiT’s collective voice. We want to grow our own DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) initiatives that have already seen us make huge, huge progress. For example, we are proud to say that our Senior Leadership Team is now a 50:50 split.”
On publishing our Gender Pay Gap Report, Viatel Technology Group committed to increasing female representation at all levels of our organisation. Many positive steps have already been taken. Leave policies, flexitime and hybrid working have all been extended and improved. These changes are intended to create a supportive workplace that allows each employee, regardless of gender, to fulfil their potential while balancing their home and work life.
To make a meaningful impact, Viatel is eager to tackle broader questions around increasing representation of women in technology. At the Guaranteed Irish Technology Think Tank, recently hosted by Viatel, much discussion centred on the “gender STEM gap”. Panellist Martina Naughton, Global Partner Sales Director Microsoft Ireland, a fellow CWiT member, highlighted that as the gap emerges in schools; schools are one place the gap must be addressed. “Up until Junior Cert, girls and boys do the same profile of subjects [but] come Leaving Cert, the girls who are participating in biology and chemistry subjects far out passes their male counterparts. Their participation in physics goes down. If you think about that trend and then you map it to the landscape in Ireland, the jobs market, engineering and ICT jobs, their salaries are higher, yet only a third of those jobs are occupied by women. I believe fundamentally that to try and address the gender pay gap, you need to go back earlier and you need to look at schools”.
Many CWiT initiatives are concentrated on schools including STEM Teacher Internships and Teen Turn, an organisation that works with girls from DEIS schools and disadvantaged communities. Speaking to many of the women who hold technical roles within Viatel, they identified the need for visible role models as a prerequisite for change. Another resounding call was for greater awareness of the wide variety of roles within the industry. It was repeatedly flagged that there are many routes into the sector and not all roles are “tech heavy”, or as our Chief Technical Officer, Eilish O ‘Connor commented, “A career in tech doesn’t mean wearing a hoody behind a screen in a darkened room.” This is exactly the challenge tackled by Digital Futures, a CWiT programme developed to raise students’ awareness of the diverse nature of career opportunities in the technology sector.
The team at Viatel Technology Group is excited to begin volunteering with CWiT initiatives. Lauren has had the opportunity to volunteer with CWiT in the past. She recalls just how impactful the initiatives in schools can be. “I would ask at the start of my presentation for a show of hands from anyone considering a career in tech. You would see one or two hands in the air. When I’d ask the same question at the end of my presentation, generally, there would be at least ten more hands in the air. That response is incredibly rewarding and shows the meaningful contribution that networks and initiatives like CWiT can make.”
For more information on Connecting Women in Technology, visit www.cwit.ie