Here at the ATS Group and Galileo Performance Explorer, you don’t need to look far to find women who are role models within our company as well as to their peers, families and the tech industry overall. In fact, two of our very own – Vice President of Marketing, Kelly Nuckolls, and Vice President of Partner and Channel Sales, Jo McCausland – were recently recognized within CRN’s prestigious 2018 Women of the Channel List. Their contributions have helped mold Galileo into what it is today, as well as redefined what it means to be a mover and a shaker within IT.
As Shannon Heidemann, Senior Account Executive for Galileo noted, the IT industry of the past very much resembled a “good ol’ boys club,” where women’s’ contributions were often overlooked.
Although attitudes are changing and positive shifts are being made in organizations across the technology sector, there is still room for improvement when it comes to female inclusion, particularly for women in minority communities.
According to the most recent statistics from the National Center for Women and Information Technology, Asian women comprised just 5 percent of the total IT workforce last year. African American women made up only 3 percent, and Hispanic women accounted for only 1 percent of the tech workforce in 2017. And overall, women hold only about one quarter of all available roles in the IT sector. Yet the irony of all this is that it wasn’t always this way.
“The number of women in tech in the United States has declined steadily since 1984,” said Mercedes Petrellis, Chief Operating Officer of the ATS Group, Galileo’s parent company. “And to make it worse, women are leaving the field faster than they are entering it. In a largely male-dominated field, we may feel like the ‘odd one out,’ where we may not fit in socially, limiting our ability to collaborate, network and advance our careers.”
Bringing a fresh perspective
Female representation is essential within the technology sector, particularly as the industry is responsible for some of the most innovative and unprecedented advances, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. Supporting transformative IT concepts like these with a diversity of backgrounds and perspective can enable organizations to bring a fresh approach to an existing problem, or find an opportunity that others may have missed, Petrellis said.
“Women bring their own unique talents and experiences to technology solutions,” Petrellis noted. “Technology drives all aspects of our world and it’s important for women to be represented. It’s about inclusion and diversity to make a better product that serves everyone. To avoid bias, we need more women writing the algorithms.”
Such an example of this kind of inclusive and supportive workforce is clearly evident within ATS and Galileo, Heidemann noted.
“The dynamic and hands-on nature of support between the women of ATS and Galileo is very unique,” Heidemann said. “I’m fortunate to be surrounded by and work with brilliant, disciplined and strategic women that you can rely on to get things done.”
And, as the recent CRN recognition of Nuckolls and McCausland shows, Galileo and the ATS Group will continue to maintain a culture wherein the contributions of women are highly valued.
“As things have changed to a more equal distribution of IT jobs for women, that contribution needs to be not only acknowledge but also commended,” Heidemann said.