International Women's Day 2014

ITWales, the beacon for Computer Science at Swansea University, held its 15th annual celebration of International Women’s Day last night at a gala event held at the Liberty Stadium.

Jeff Cuthbert, Minister for Tackling Poverty and Communities at Welsh Government who supported the event, said, “International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to promote the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment.  It should celebrate achievements, but also highlight the very real issues and barriers still facing women and girls.”

IWD 2014 - Highlights Video

Wales has much to be proud of

He added, “Wales has much to be proud of in advancing the roles of women in employment, especially in the education sector.  But we all should be in no doubt that we are in very challenging time and we must re-double our efforts if we are to ensure that women play a full and effective role in Wales in the future.”

During a talk which was supported by the South Wales Branch of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT, the Minister complimented the vision shown by ITWales and said that is in line with Welsh Government aspirations, recognising that as well as skills, there needs to be enthusiasm.

“I welcome the potential that ITWales offers to break down barriers, so that everyone has the same opportunities to develop skills or to simply benefit more fully from what technology has to offer.”

Other keynote speakers included Julie Palmer, Head of IT Business Engagement at DVLA, Aimee Bateman, Founder of careercake.com and Julie James AM for Swansea West who also endorsed the vision shown by Professor Matt Jones, Head of Computer Science at Swansea University.

Professor Matt Jones, said, “This event is a great way to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and sets a blueprint for future leaders and innovators, including young girls and women, to continue to shape computing technologies at all stages of their lives".

The ‘From the Cradle to the Great’ event which was attended by over 100 business women from across the business and education sectors in the IT Industry proved a huge success and opened up potential collaboration opportunities for the future.

Matt concluded, “ITWales provides the gateway for the Computer Science journey that starts at an early age through education through to business and worked based opportunities; equipping us all with the skills we need for life."

Article by Bethan Lauder, Software Alliance Wales