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ACS-Women Introduction

Friday, 06 Feb 2015

Welcome to the inaugural ACS Women's supplement for Information Age

In this supplement you will find interviews with female Industry Insiders sharing their perspectives who share their experiences and their passion for our profession. Below we provide a short statement of the vision of the women within the ACS (ACSW), describe our goals as a Board within the ACS, the background to our Board and some of the exciting things we are doing.

I hope you enjoy this supplement, share it with your friends and colleagues and drop by to the ACS Women section of the ACS website.

We will add further content to this important supplement next week. 

Alison Orr
 


Alison Orr, director, ACS Women's Board and member, Western Australian Branch Executive.

Vision

To empower women and ACS members by influencing Government policies, providing educational and networking opportunities and by setting a strategic direction for state and territory branches and chapters to support women engaged in the ICT sector. 

Goals

The current goals of the ACS W Board are:

  • To increase participation of women in the ICT profession
  • To increase female membership in the ACS
  • To provide a forum for the ICT industry to access women in ICT and to forge alliances to support the development of women in their ICT careers.
  • To provide ACSW groups in some states who can be contacted by women to provide access to support in their ICT careers
  • Encourage diversity in the workplace whenever possible
  • Continue the discussion about differing wage levels for female versus male employees.

Background

ACSW was formed in 2004 to promote the interests of women working in ICT. The Board also had a mandate to encourage young women and girls to consider ICT as a viable, interesting and challenging career path; undertake research in the area of women in ICT; and to engage in issues affecting women in the ICT sector.

All Board members also work in conjunction with their respective state and territory branches on initiatives designed to support women in ICT

Nationally, the board provides strategic direction to the ACS governance groups and state run ACSW groups and undertakes various projects to help to promote advancement of women and girls in IT. The board members work with other organisations such as universities and relevant women's organisations to promote careers and support women.

Since 2008, ACSW has conducted three surveys of women in ICT in Australia (the only survey of its kind in Australia).The survey data has been published in journal articles, formed the basis of two national ACS road shows and contributed to the ACS position on a number of public policy submissions.

The 2010 ACSW survey was recognised by the European Union as an example of International practice in gender equality programs.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency (AWGEA) have also done research, all with similar results to the ACSW survey, AWGEA on diversity only.

Board members have also chaired a panel of judges (for the Women's prize) at the national iAwards in the recent past.

Current and future events

In this special edition of Information Age we feature video interviews with women in ICT and we will extend this video program and provide the interviews on YouTube.

Other events include:

  • Our ACSW State run events are aimed at providing education to women in ICT, but also to encourage people outside the profession to attend.
  • Various ACSW representatives often visit schools to promote ICT as a viable career for girls.
  • The Go Girl, Go for IT event is run in Victoria every two years in collaboration with VIC ICT for women and is scheduled for June this year.
  • ACS assisted in the Digital Divas project run in Victoria, which is aimed at changing school girls' perspectives on ICT. The curriculum is available free of charge for any school wanting to run the programme.
  • WA was involved in the inaugural event for Rail Girls in Perth. The next event will be held March 2014