Celebrating women in technology

Hannah Brooks, Technical Content Manager
International Women's Day celebration

International Women’s Day 2024: Inspire Inclusion

Every March, Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (IWD) raise awareness of women’s social, economic, cultural and political contributions to the world. With 2024’s IWD theme calling on everyone to #InspireInclusion, Pax8 is honoured to play a role in promoting careers for women in tech and encouraging girls to pursue further education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.

Recognising opportunity

According to research conducted by PwC, only 27% of women surveyed said they would consider a career in tech compared to 61% of men. What’s more, only 3% of women responded that a tech career would be their first choice.

Encouraging more women into IT is a priority for Pax8 and Vicky Critchley, CVP of Partner Experience and Chairwoman of the Women in Dynamics organisation, highlights the need for a holistic approach. ‘Working towards gender equity isn’t limited to women alone. Allies are incredibly important for making real progress in this space and we’re grateful to have already found many supportive allies in the business.’

Aaron Watts, VP of Sales in EMEA at Pax8, spoke about his allyship journey at Pax8’s recent IWD celebration in Bristol. He highlighted the power in the Pax8 corporate value of being ‘intentionally inclusive’ and how true allyship starts with self-reflection and individual work to recognise privilege.

Steve Brooks, Senior Director of Partner Enablement Experience, presented at the IWD Microsoft Business Applications community celebration in London. His keynote focused on how men can be effective allies and champions of change in the workplace and how increasing inclusion benefits businesses by leading to innovation, creativity and profitability improvements.

Addressing barriers to STEM careers

Lucie Hutchison, Channel Account Manager and President of the Pax8 Women’s Resources Group, believes that society needs to do more than simply deliver the same opportunities to men and women. It is essential to also address unconscious bias and help women build confidence.

‘There are so many disadvantages that women have simply from the unconscious biases that they have grown up with and internalised. Women aren’t taught to fail in the same way that men are, and this causes a huge difference when it comes to confidence. There is a lot of work to be done to get women to the point where they feel empowered enough to take risks that they weren’t inherently brought up to do.’

Debby Clement, VP of Talent, has been a diversity and inclusion champion throughout her career and agrees with Hutchison: ‘Until we can teach our young children that there are no “boys do this” and “girls do that” boundaries in play, we will continue to suffer the talent gap. It will take a long time to fix this – until then, we will continue to chase the shortages. At Pax8, we run robotics workshops for local schoolchildren… and as Women in Tech, we should talk to our local enterprise partnership and volunteer to be a school’s careers advisor. There is a national shortage of inspirational role models, and schools are crying out for this.’

Interest in STEM is developed at an early age, according to Chloe Cameron, Chief People Officer. However, one considerable issue is that long-standing gender stereotypes have pushed women away from pursuing such careers. ‘Careers in the STEM field have historically been male-dominated, and this wrongly perpetuated the stereotype that women were unable to achieve careers in this area. These gender stereotypes are incredibly powerful and create self-limiting beliefs for women which are reinforced over time.’

‘There is work to be done, and it is important that when girls develop an initial interest in STEM, they are not only given the same opportunities as boys, but the interest is actively encouraged and nurtured by those around them.’

International Women’s Day at Pax8

To celebrate IWD, all Pax8 offices across Europe held celebrations and open discussions around the theme of Inspire Inclusion. Attended by women and allies across the business, these events prompted valuable conversations around allyship, tackling unconscious bias, and the power of amplifying women’s voices.

Some of the next steps from these events include expanding involvement in employee resource groups and a commitment to continuing the conversation around exactly what allyship looks like in Pax8 and how to empower colleagues to become better allies. When it comes to learning about diversity and how to better support marginalised groups, this is a lifelong journey and one that Pax8 is deeply committed to.

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