PCA Predict’s chief sales officer Emma Stone has recently been honoured with a prestigious 2016 Women in IT Award.
Devised by technology magazine Information Age, Emma secured the award in the Editor’s Choice category which was for outstanding achievement. The judging criteria also specified that the winning candidate had to demonstrate that she had achieved something exceptional in the IT industry.
Emma was also commended for her strong leadership in developing and delivering an ambitious growth strategy which is on target to be fulfilled. The nominations included high profile women representing a number of multi-national super brands, such as consumer products group Reckitt Benckiser for example.
Other well- known household brands who had female representatives included in the awards line-up were Barclays, Fujitsu and Ericsson. Despite the impressive shortlist Emma remained undaunted and felt that being nominated was an honour so coming home with the trophy was doubly exciting.
Now in their second year, the Women in IT Awards is a celebration of diversity, inclusion, leadership and IT excellence. The event showcases the achievements and innovation of women in technology, identifying new role models who are really making a difference to an industry that has been traditionally male dominated.
The technology industry is the mainstay of both modern society and the UK’s economy. Digital business revenues account for more than 10% of the UK’s GDP. So while employment opportunities are increasing and also tech start-ups are flourishing there’s a worry that the skills gap is widening, particularly in areas such as cyber security, software development and data science.
On top of the skills deficit in technology it is also widely recognised that girls are less likely to take IT-related subjects at school. This then follows on in higher education where subjects such as Computer Science are less likely to be pursued by women. In fact for every one woman studying computer courses at university there are five men.
As an employer PCA Predict is trying to help to influence change by supporting organisations such as Code Club for example, the volunteer led coding clubs for primary school children. Our CEO Jamie Turner and President Guy Mucklow feel it’s important to empower a young generation of ‘would be’ coders at an early age.
Emma believes that it is vitally important that PCA Predict continues to support IT related learning initiatives in schools to help influence attitudes with a view to nurturing change. She also feels strongly that gender disparity in the technology sector is not a fight for female domination but more to do with women and men supporting each other both at home and in the workplace.
She said: “I don’t think our industry is any less male boardroom heavy than a lot of other sectors. For example it’s well documented that the UK’s most prominent companies have men at the helm. For me personally I could not be as successful and committed to PCA Predict without the support of my husband and my male and female colleagues.
“My husband Neil was quite willing to take a back seat with his career so I could pursue mine. Things like picking up the children from school and attending parents’ evening can be quite difficult to commit to as I never know when I might be called away unexpectedly to attend an important meeting in London or even New York for example.
“At PCA Predict we have introduced flexible working patterns which I feel will not only benefit individual employees but I think certain advantages will be gained by the company too. For example our core hours telephone cover, which includes sales, customer service and technical support will be extended so it’s a ’win-win’ situation all round.”