The theme for this year’s international women’s day is #BreakTheBias and one of the missions is to celebrate digital advancement and champion women forging innovation through technology. More women than ever are working in IT yet, in the UK, women still only account for 20% of IT specialists.
Geraldine Evans, a co-founder of Prosperity 24/7 is one such woman in the technology sector. Having already held a C-suite role for the business over the last 11 years as Chief Learning Officer, the move to Chief Operating Officer reflects the many operational capabilities she has helped to develop over the years and will steer the business to be operationally sound for future growth. Her new role will continue to have responsibility for the Learning & Engagement team with the addition of the HR and general Operations teams. So, talent acquisition and retention will be key to her expanded remit.
She believes that ‘Breaking the Bias’ needs to come from both men and women recognising the different strengths that they can bring to their roles and within teams. “In a way gender and technology are intrinsically linked by code. We’re coded to see men and women differently. Historically women have been stereotyped into creative and caring roles, men into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) focussed roles. We need to break down all barriers that make women feel they shouldn’t apply for a particular role and to recognise that our different qualities complement each other, that one isn’t better than the other.”
Women make up 22% of Prosperity 24/7’s workforce, and that number is expected to increase during 2022. Prosperity 24/7 has purposefully built a corporate culture reflective of the need to recruit women into technology to help diversify the sector, the latest initiative being to sign up to the Diversity Network’s 51 Employer pledge to break down the taboo around menopause.
“Diversity and Inclusion is extremely important to us at Prosperity 24/7, it is central to our philosophy of doing our best to help each other so that we can all prosper. That means looking after our clients, our colleagues and our community equally. Prosperity 24/7 is committed to building a team equipped with both the technical and soft skills that meet the needs of our clients, our business and their personal goals. We want to cultivate talent regardless of gender and ensure everyone in our business is able to reach their full potential in an environment where they feel included, supported and able to flourish.”
You will often hear Geraldine talk about the ‘Art of the Possible,’ which is about helping others to understand what is possible with the technology tools at their disposal. “Technology is such a fundamental part of our daily lives that it is important for people to be free to explore and experiment, creating a culture of innovation which drives better businesses to work smarter. So it is essential that everyone can have an equal say in its evolution, regardless of the gender they identify as.”