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Apprentice Franchesca is aspiring to bridge the gender gap in IT

In the UK, it is reported that only 17% of those working in technology are female. The rest of the world has also seen a lack of representation of women working in tech at some of the largest corporations.

According to an article released by recode, 29% of women represent the tech industry at Pinterest, compared to 19% at Microsoft.
The issue within the industry has gained worldwide recognition and businesses are urged to edge closer to a solution of recruiting and retaining female staff in tech.

Studies report that women are less likely to apply for a tech role due to constructed stereotypes and the biological nature of the role.

We recently partnered with Aspire Technology Solutions to inspire women to break into the tech industry and end the stereotype attached to IT technicians.

Aspire’s Operations Director, Tony Dougan, commented: "IT is known for being a male-dominated industry. However things are changing - we're working hard to attract the brightest female minds."

We spoke to Franchesca at Aspire who told us about her experience as an apprentice:

What is your previous experience?
I went to Sixth Form and studied applied science, IT and business. I’ve always had an interest in IT, and my friend used to work at Aspire and recommended it to me, which is when I started looking into doing an apprenticeship.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?
I thought that the apprenticeship would have been a better and quicker way to get into the industry. I see a lot of people going to university to study IT-related qualifications, then move into a job like mine after graduating. Whereas when you do an apprenticeship, you can leave college and start working in the sector straight away.

How do you gain skills needed to do the job?
I’ve found that the best way to learn during my IT apprenticeship is watching how other people do their job then practising it afterwards. It’s all about gaining experience. Aspire give us a lot of training outside of the apprenticeship including training videos, and using a training programme where we have a simulation environment to build our own network and test it until it breaks, then fix the issue.

Is there a challenging aspect to your apprenticeship?
The role can be challenging at times as it is technical but there are people here to help and who already have the skills that they can teach me.

What is your biggest achievement so far?
Achieving 10-star feedback ratings when helping solve customer’s technical issues and hitting all my targets on Quick Fix.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting an apprenticeship?
Before applying for an apprenticeship, research the company. Look at their website and social media pages and compare them with your other options; such as what their offering is and if these are the skills you want to learn.

What do you hope to achieve out of this apprenticeship?
I hope to move into a Service Desk role, as I enjoy speaking with the customers and helping to resolve their technical problems.

If you want to break into the IT sector, check out our latest apprenticeship vacancies here.

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