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Google & National Grid sign women in technology charter

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National Grid and Google are the latest companies to sign up to a charter promoting women in science, engineering and technology.

Now more than ever there is a requirement for a diverse workforce – it is estimated that by 2011 only one third of the workforce will be white, male and under 45. Women form only 24.1% of those employed in science, engineering and technology and at this stage of heightened skills shortages, employers cannot afford not to address this imbalance, says the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology.

Signing up to the resource centre charter shows a commitment by organisations to actively support the increasing participation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET) at all levels and promote best practice in gender equality and diversity.

The UKRC is encouraging companies to follow the example set by National Grid and Google, who have recently joined the likes of NG Bailey, Atkins and BT Openreach by signing the agreement.

By signing the CEO charter, the top management of these companies agree to:
* Actively support the aim of increasing the participation, at all levels, of women in science, engineering and technology
* Develop and communicate the business case for gender equality within their company, their supply chain and their wider networks
* Promote and showcase their company’s approach and examples of best practice at relevant events and forums
* Develop clearly defined strategies and implement practices which encourage women to enter and progress in, or return to, SET careers

Steve Holliday, chief executive of National Grid, comments: “We have mechanisms in place to ensure that we maintain our ongoing commitment to inclusion and diversity, such as our mentoring scheme and focus groups to identify the needs of our female employees; signing the UKRC’s CEO charter underlines that commitment and our efforts, sending out a positive message both to our employees and externally.”

Nelson Mattos, vice president for engineering of Google in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, adds: "We're happy to sign the UKRC's CEO charter, which reinforces our longstanding commitment to women in IT. We recognise the value of the UKRC's work in this area and are happy to join them in promoting our mutual goals."

Details of the support and advice services available to employers through the UKRC can be found at: www.ukrc4setwomen.org or alternatively, through the helpline: 01274 436485; [email protected].

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