Rebecca Sinnatt, head of UK&I Product Business at Fujitsu, on why Fujitsu is throwing its weight behind CRN's 2020 Women in Channel campaign
Why is Women in Channel an important issue for you and your company?
I believe that diversity, in all its forms, enables us to offer a far better service to our customers and partners. Delighting our customers is at the heart of all we do and we can only achieve this if we truly understand and reflect our customers.
How do you think we can get more women into technology?
It's so important to reach out to women and girls at an early stage and show them plenty of role models. Outreach really should begin as young as Primary School as this is when we form our earliest ideas about gender roles. I am very proud that we at Fujitsu do a lot of work with STEM outreach and engagement, supporting young women around the UK to get excited about careers in IT.
What do you think should be done to enable more women to rise through to the more senior roles in the IT sector?
There has been a lot of research into this and numerous studies have shown that for women to put themselves forward for roles they have to be 80 per cent sure they can do it where as men only need to be 50 per cent. This means women are less likely to even apply for a senior job in the first place. We can overcome this discrepancy in 2 simple ways. 1. Be really careful with job specs. The temptation is to write them to include every possible attribute we would like in our ideal candidate but this would instantly put off the majority of female applicants. Instead we should focus on the essential skills a candidate must bring to the role and leave off attributes that they could learn on the job. 2. We should actively be seeking out women that we feel could succeed in senior roles and asking them to apply. There have also been reports that one of the biggest blockers for women to progress into senior roles is lack of exposure to the financial aspects of business, so women need to seek out opportunities to develop their financial skills. Fujitsu have some very successful programmes to foster women into leadership roles, such as our Future Me mentoring programme.
What's your one piece of advice for younger people looking for a career in the IT sector?
My one piece of advice would be to understand your "Why". What do you ultimately see as your purpose regardless of what role you are in. Mine is to ‘inspire others to shine so that they feel empowered to contribute to making the world better'. Once you know your Why you need to make sure that you make space in whatever job you do to nurture and fulfil your why. This will not only give you more energy but you will find you role fun and you will thrive it.