Originally posted on Data Center POST

One of the primary hurdles for women looking to break into the tech industry is a lack of exposure at an early age. Further complicating this is the fact that there is a lot of confusion about opportunities in the tech industry.  For instance, fewer girls than boys enroll in IT or computer science courses in university, which often has a cascading effect when it comes time to enter the workforce. While a role in the tech industry doesn’t often always require IT or computer science degrees, the lack of awareness, coupled with a lack of understanding of qualifications, put many female workers off. Further complicating matters is the IT industry’s reputation of a male dominated workforce that could manifest in hostile or unwelcoming work environments. This perception is being aggressively addressed, with equal opportunity positions available to all.  To discuss many of these issues, concerns, and to explore how the industry can do better to attract a qualified female workforce, we  sat down with Tampnet’s HR Director, Hilde Mattingsdal, to discuss the company’s “Women in Tech” initiative.

Q: Tell us about your role at Tampnet, and how long you’ve been with the company.

A: I am the HR Director at Tampnet and have worked there for five years after working for a shipping company. I am responsible for all Human Resources of Tampnet and our strategy and operations across all regions. As the only woman on Tampnet’s Executive leadership team  I firmly believe more women should be in management positions.

Q: Can you elaborate on Tampnet’s Women in Tech initiative?

A: Tampnet’s Women in Tech initiative was created when the company began to focus on our new ESG and social responsibility initiatives. Tampnet aims to be an inclusive company with a diverse team; therefore, we focus on aspects of culture and diversity that help the company grow. The initiative was the result of a question that the rest of the Executive leadership team and I had: “What more can Tampnet do?” We created the Women in Tech initiative to focus on employee branding and to actively demonstrate our commitment to opening opportunities to women in the industry.

Q: What are some of the steps Tampnet is taking to achieve the Tampnet Women in Tech initiative goals?

A:  One of the first things we did was start recruiting from the increasing percentage of women enrolled in tech-related courses. While Tampnet now has 19% women employees, with 13% of management positions held by women, we want to achieve 30% female employees and 25% women in management by 2025. To reach our 2025 goals, there are many steps Tampnet plans to take with our Women in Tech initiative. We aim to raise awareness, report on gender balance monthly, and remain consistent with our commitment to equal opportunity employment. We also encourage female participation in networking events. With zero tolerance for sexual harassment in our company, we aim to have 1 out of 3 final candidates be women for all of our open positions. We ensure the wording and focus of our job recruitment ads promote the company’s Women in Tech initiative and its goals in our job postings. We also plan to facilitate flexible work hours that enable the working mothers on our team to schedule around child care duties in alignment with our family-oriented culture.

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