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National Coding Week: Diversity is key to the skills shortage

Sarah Kaiser, Diversity and Inclusion lead for Fujitsu EMEIA

National Coding Week kicks off today, and to mark the occasion Sarah Kaiser, Diversity & Inclusion Lead at Fujitsu, has offered her thoughts on the technical skills shortage and how pursuing more diversity in the technology sector can help address:

To sustain the competitiveness of the technology sector and to ensure it’s driving forward the UK economy, we need to bring in a wide array of people from different backgrounds and with distinct ways of thinking. The problem often starts early on, with, for example, a shortage of girls enrolling in STEM subjects at A Level despite achieving top grades in science and math at GCSE. National Coding Week therefore provides a fantastic opportunity to push forward the diversity agenda.

Developing technical skills, whether that’s studying computer science or learning new coding languages, can open the door to all kinds of careers, from design to technology marketing to managing a business division. Yet too often there’s a flawed perception that some groups, such as women, don’t belong in STEM professions. This has contributed to the enduring shortage of technically skilled people who can embrace new technology and figure out where it can help solve the most difficult problems in business, the economy, and society as a whole.

As we fast progress towards a ‘digital first’ nation we need to ensure we are investing in both girls and boys at the very beginning of the digital journey and developing the right skills to support the future digital economy. National Coding Week is a great way to raise awareness, but we as a country, whether it’s policymakers or private organisations, must make consistent efforts to create the talent pool of the future.

Sarah Kaiser, Diversity and Inclusion lead for Fujitsu EMEIA

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