Women in IT

Why are there so few women in IT?

29 January 2018
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We have recently welcomed a new member of our 2nd line support team, Paige Nicklin. We are not only delighted to welcome Paige into the Lumina family, we are also delighted to welcome a woman into such a male-dominated environment.

Paige’s appointment has prompted our MD Richard McBarnet to think about why the appointment of a woman is noteworthy. “Whilst we are excited about a woman coming to work for us, it is actually quite sad that in the 21st century, it is still an unusual enough occurrence to prompt articles like this one.

“The IT field is very stereotyped and mostly that geeky stereotyping is based on fact – The Big Bang Theory has a huge element of truth in it, of men who are happier sitting at home playing online games than meeting for a drink in the pub.

“In the last 10 years we have only had three women put forward for technology positions, which is a tiny percentage. We have been told of the benefits of diversity in the workplace for many years, but our industry continues to be disregarded by 50% of the population, which begs the question, why?

“I think it is a fundamental problem that can only be tackled in primary schools. We need to encourage the education system to provide the right stimulus for girls to become interested in the STEM subjects from a young age, with a particular emphasis on IT, which appears to be less desirable to girls than the other sciences.”

No champions

Paige has always had an interest in IT and was coding HTML websites whilst still at school and built her own PC when she was 18. Whilst she has only been working in IT support for the past three years, she has already pondered the question of why she finds herself the lone woman engineer. She believes the stigma of the stereotypical ‘nerd’ has got a lot to do with it, even though she identifies with a lot of stereotypical traits such as playing games online – she confesses to be a big Pokémon fan.

“I think the main problem is that there are no heroes! There is no movement attracting women in IT, and no champion for the cause.”

And Paige would definitely like to have more female colleagues doing the same job. “I would love to encourage more women to get into IT because I’d love to have some girls in the department! I get on very well with the guys and have never had any trouble fitting in, but it would be nice if I could have a female friend who I could also chat about IT with.”

The IT Crowd stereotype is not necessarily true

Paige also challenges the stereotype of men in the IT industry. She regularly meets up with friends and has other interests, including fish keeping – indeed, before deciding to go into IT, she seriously considered a career as a marine biologist. “I think the stereotype of the ‘nerd’ culture drives people – men and women – away from the industry. I’d like people to see that you don’t need to be a stereotype nerd to get into IT, and that most people who work in the IT sector naturally have hobbies that fall outside of this. At my last place of work, an overwhelming percentage of my department enjoyed football and going to the gym, which I don’t think is usually associated with IT.”

Diversity

Richard McBarnet would love to see more women in IT careers, but isn’t hopeful of major changes happening soon. “Even if we make greater efforts to encourage girls to study technology at school, I do not think I will ever see equal numbers applying for jobs before I retire. As part of Lumina’s CSR policy, I am asked to visit schools to give advice and interview training, but have yet to be asked to do any work around encouraging girls to consider IT as a career option.”

Diversity is a major part of the Lumina ethos, though it is a much broader term than just creating equilibrium between the sexes.

“As Lumina’s USP is people first, technology second, we are keen to fight the ‘IT dark arts’ stereotype popularised by programmes like the IT Crowd, and instead embrace different ways of thinking.

“We run our business on the basis of our value system which is ready to accommodate diversity. We offered Paige the job because her knowledge, experience and attitude, as well as her youthful enthusiasm, are exactly what we were looking for. It is testament to the success of our diversity policy that the only way we have had to put ourselves out in order to accommodate her is that we needed to order a smaller sized uniform!”

Click here to find out more about the members of the Lumina family and find out more about their diverse hobbies and interests.

What our customers say

Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.

Luke Harrison, Keidan Harrison LLP

Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020.  They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully.The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.

The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.

Adams & Remers

The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.

Martin David
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc

Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.

Carolyn Addison
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis

Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.

Katherine Roe
Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC

The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.

Patrick Agar
Lambert Energy Advisory

It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.

Cindy Withey
Connect Dacorum

Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.

Stephen Pembury
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd

Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.

Charles Douglas
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP

The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.

Adam Helmy
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd

Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.

John Bell
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc

Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.

Clementine McKinley
COO, Perrett Laver Limited

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Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.

Simon Lucas
Managing Director, Society Limited

The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.

Joe Menendez
CEO, The Vita Group

We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.

Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories

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