Tech firm Leighton celebrates getting more women into technology

On average only 11% of IT employees in the UK are women, but Leighton are bucking that trend

Growing digital specialists Leighton have welcomed an influx of women to technology related positions
Growing digital specialists Leighton have welcomed an influx of women to technology related positions

It may traditionally be a male dominated sector, yet more and more women are taking up top roles within digital firms.

One North East firm is particularly committed to ensuring they attract the most talented developers around... and the winners onto the workforce were predominantly women, proving that the tide is turning.

Digital strategists Leighton are celebrating a significant rise in the number of women who have secured key positions within the company.

In the last year the County Durham company has more than doubled the amount of women employed, as part of a recruitment drive that saw their workforce grow by more than 20% in the first six months of 2014.

According to recent research from The Chartered Institute for IT and E-Skills UK, only 11% of employees in IT are women.

However Houghton-le-spring-based Leighton, which now employ 95 staff and provide digital transformation services to a host of international brands like British Airways, are certainly bucking that trend with key technology related appointments in design, web development, management and business development.

Birgitte Johnsen, a senior developer at Leighton, said: “There is no denying that most technology based occupation is still male dominated, which is no doubt where the ‘IT-guy’ stereotype originates from.

“However, what’s great is that the female developers that work for Leighton were hired purely because of their suitability for the job, not because they are women.

“The quality of our work, as a well as our passion and dedication to technology has always been the overriding factor.”

The increase in women employed by Leighton, which also has an office in London, has improved gender diversity within a male dominated sector, and Leighton’s chief executive officer Lyle McCalmont is delighted to see a shift in the gender split at his company: “Doubling our number of female employees in one year is testament to the rising number of talented women interested and passionate about technology in the North East.

“There is no doubt that we are directly benefiting from the success that education and local and national schemes have had in persuading young women that a bright future is easily achievable in technology.”

The future is bright for women in technology, and as Birgitte Johnsen said: “It’s worth noting that history is riddled with females within IT, such as Ada Lovelace the world’s first computer programmer and writer of the first algorithm.

“Fifty percent of senior developers at Leighton are female which definitely reflects the healthy balance of talented men and women we have in technical positions at Leighton today.”

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