International Women’s Day: College Staff Buck the Trend by Thriving in IT

THREE women at the heart of a college’s information technology have revealed the key to their success in a male dominated profession.

Management information systems manager Louise Kindleyside, network manager Rachael Broughton and MIS report writer Kirsty Parfitt have spoken of their IT roles at Darlington College as the world marks International Women’s Day.

Estimates show that just 20 per cent of the technology workforce are women, a statistic that often puts them off entering a lucrative and rewarding profession.

“I was actually spurred on by this fact, I love what I do and would highly recommend it,” said Louise, who is responsible for the information systems and SQL databases at the college.

“It feels great to be part of a strong female presence of senior roles at Darlington College. I remember getting a ZX Spectrum and a magazine on coding when I was young and it all went from there.”

Rachael, who runs the college’s computer network, added: “I have always loved computers because my dad was into them and we played a lot of games when I was young. I then developed my interest through self-study.”

Kirsty said: “I have worked in further education all my career and didn’t know that much about IT until I was trained by the college. Now, I find it fascinating collating student data and providing funding reports for the college’s management.”

During the pandemic the trio found themselves under greater pressure as the college moved learning online.

“There were fewer people in college but the challenges changed as we had to ensure that students and staff could connect remotely from their homes – we certainly learnt a lot from the experience,” said Rachael.

“It has been interesting diverse, and challenging. You get to meet lots of people with similar interests and try out of lot of new technology.”

For more information on opportunities at Darlington College visit www.darlington.ac.uk.

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