Women from across the UK IT channel have joined forces to promote diversity in the industry.
The International Association for Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) held an event this morning at Microsoft's Reading campus to launch its Women In IT (WIT) initiative.
The WIT aims to empower women working in the channel to achieve their professional goals as well as encourage the next generation of young women to enter the industry.
The IAMCP has more than 5,000 global members across 34 countries, but "just a handful" of local groups have a specific WIT division, according to the UK IAMCP's WIT lead Julie Simpson, who insisted this must change.
She said she was inspired to get more involved with the WIT cause after seeing what she described as a shocking statistic at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference last year.
"I was astounded at some of the information I saw there," she said. "One of the facts was that by 2020, in the US there will be 1.4 million jobs available in IT and, would you believe, 0.04 per cent of those – if current trends continue – will be filled by women. Come on – we can do something about this! We can work together to change the gender imbalance that exists and encourage each other to feel like we can succeed and make a difference together. At some point, someone has got to stand up and, yes, I have chosen to stand up.
"I am not a political activist, nor a campaigner for women's rights. I would certainly not burn my bra – let's face it, that would be a big fire! – but what I do believe is that we must remember the history of those who have gone before us to drive change."
Chief exec Jens Montanana claims Logicalis performed well despite 'currency headwinds'
All the photos from last night's event, which saw over 600 people congregate at the Hilton London Bankside
Five year deal with Essex NHS Trust will cover 400 sites, including hospitals, clinics and GP practices
18 individuals and three companies walked away as winners at CRN's inaugural Women in Channel Awards last night