LEADERSHIP: Support well-being resilience amongst women in tech.

By Lucy Ashton

A NEW, leadership programme for women working in Scotland’s technology sector will launch on Monday 25 January – after being overwhelmed with demand.

Delivered by Women’s Enterprise Scotland, the programme will develop leadership skills and support resilience and well-being resilience amongst women in tech.

It consists of six single day workshops for 20 participants over six weeks, from 25 January to 2 March, plus one-to-one discussions and access to ongoing digital support.

The aim of the programme is to enable leadership development, address inequalities and retain women already in the sector, boost women’s career prospects, and increase employer awareness of the economic benefits of equality and diversity.

During the programme, participants will be tasked with reviewing their current workplace diversity and inclusion policies, identify one proposal for improvement and present their proposal to their management team.

Women’s Enterprise Scotland chief executive, Carolyn Currie.

Women’s Enterprise Scotland chief executive, Carolyn Currie said: “We know that women account for just 23 per cent of the workforce in digital technology roles.

“The strategic importance of engaging more women in the technology and digital sector was raised in the recent Logan Report on the Scottish technology eco-system and we simply cannot continue to allow the huge gender disparity in this sector to continue.

“We need to both enable women currently working in tech to fulfil their potential by empowering them with the leadership skills they need, as well as providing visible role models for the next generation of young women coming into the sector.”

WES Digital Leaders is funded by the Workplace Equality Fund and supported by expert digital industry body, ScotlandIS, as well as Radiant and Brighter, who will provide expert leadership sessions on BAME diversity, inclusion and anti-racism, and Mel McIntyre – who will deliver sessions on well-being.

ScotlandIS, the membership and cluster management organisation for Scotland’s digital technologies industry, is supporting the WES Digital Leaders programme.

Karen Meechan, ScotlandIS chief operating officer, said: “Scotland’s digital tech sector currently contributes about £7.5bn to Scotland’s GVA but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“By tackling diversity and inclusion issues in the digital tech sector, we will access a wealth of untapped potential, leading to a wide range of economic and social benefits for Scotland.”

Carolyn Currie concluded: “Gender diversity is a key driver of innovation, which impacts on our national competitiveness and productivity.

“Inclusive economic growth will be the lynchpin of Scotland’s recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic and gender-based interventions are just one of the ways we can help to achieve this.

“Our WES Digital Leaders programme will deliver leadership training for women in tech on key areas ranging from strategy and planning to managing change and leadership in the boardroom. By the end of the programme, the participants will have increased skills, confidence and awareness and have a clear focus on diversity and inclusion improvements in their respective workplaces.”

For further information on the WES Digital Leaders programme, visit https://www.wesdigitalleaders.com/

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