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International Girls in ICT Day

As we recognise International Girls in ICT Day, Anne Fox, Strategic Accounts Director, Canada at Xalient, discusses the significance of empowering girls and women in the technology field. In an age of rapid technological advancement, it is critical to close the gender gap in the ICT industry and inspire the next generation of female leaders and innovators. We caught up with Anne to find out her thoughts and see how organisations like Xalient are playing an important role in promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

Anne Fox
Anne Fox, Strategic Accounts Director, Canada.

As we celebrate International Girls in ICT Day, could you share your thoughts on the importance of empowering girls and women in the technology field?

In today’s rapidly advancing technological landscape, it’s crucial to bridge the gender gap in the ICT industry and inspire the next generation of female leaders and innovators. At Xalient, we recognize the significance of empowering girls and women in technology to ensure a diverse and inclusive future.

According to the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU), there’s a projected shortfall of over two million jobs in the ICT sector within the next five years. What steps do you think should be taken to address this gap, particularly in terms of attracting more girls and women to pursue careers in technology?

It’s evident that there’s a growing need for talent in the technology sector, and it’s essential to encourage more girls and women to explore opportunities in this field. While some may be inclined towards coding and app development, it’s equally important to showcase the diverse range of roles available in technology, including sales, marketing, and customer service. By highlighting these opportunities and fostering an inclusive environment, we can attract a broader talent pool to the industry.

How do you believe organizations like Xalient can play a role in promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry?

Organizations like Xalient have a crucial role to play in promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. By creating a welcoming environment that values diverse perspectives and providing mentorship opportunities for girls and young women interested in technology, we can help close the gender gap. Additionally, showcasing successful women leaders in technology and highlighting their contributions can inspire others to pursue careers in this field.

Many girls and women may feel discouraged from pursuing careers in technology due to stereotypes or perceived barriers. What message would you convey to them about the opportunities available in the industry?

It’s important for girls and women to understand that a career in technology is not limited to coding or technical roles. The industry encompasses a wide range of skills and expertise, including softer skills like empathy and communication, which are highly valued. Regardless of their background or interests, there are numerous opportunities for women to thrive in technology, and organizations like Xalient are committed to supporting their success.

Looking ahead, how do you envision the future of women in technology, and what role do you see organizations playing in shaping that future?

I believe the future of women in technology is bright, but it requires collective effort from organizations, governments, and educational institutions to create a more inclusive and supportive environment. By investing in initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion, providing mentorship and support for aspiring female technologists, and breaking down barriers to entry, we can empower more women to pursue careers in technology and drive innovation forward. Ultimately, companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion will not only benefit from a more talented workforce but also contribute to a more equitable and prosperous future for all.

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Portrait of Mark Foulsham, Board Advisor, NED, COO/CIO, Fractional Support, Digital Leadership Coach

Mark Foulsham

Board Advisor, NED, COO/CIO, Fractional Support, Digital Leadership Coach

With a broad background as a COO/CIO/CDO, C-Suite Advisor, NED, Senior Transformation Leader and Coach, Mark tackles multiple fronts from the advantage of diverse experience in business operations, technology, procurement, delivery and risk. With a deep knowledge of business models from multiple sectors and extensive experience in fast-paced digital start-ups.

Mark’s work across extensive business types, functions and countries empowers him with experience to bear across silos. Mark has built a reputation for advocating cross-business collaboration, taking a pragmatic approach and championing transformative change.