Recommendations to solve Europe’s ICT and STEM skills gap released by ERT

A set of recommendations to increase employability and tackle youth employment in ICT and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) have been released by the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT).

According to the report Europe will face a shortage of 820,000 ICT professionals by 2020.

The recommendations have been made for European governments, schools, universities and businesses to work together to close the ICT and STEM skills gap. The report suggests a number of measures to boost hard and soft skills.

ERT recommends the modernisation of EU Member State’s education systems and that a more positive image of ICT and STEM should be promoted particularly towards females.Europe skills shortage

The report also recommends a regular EU-level platform involving business, national ministries of education and industry to promote STEM and ICT.

Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO, said: “Young generations need to be employable, that is, agile in adapting and entrepreneurial in acquiring skills and understanding, to succeed in a job market environment that is rapidly changing, spurred on by a digitally-driven economy.”

The full ERT recommendations for STEM and ICT are as follows:
  • Encourage the modernisation of the EU Member States’ education system

No student should leave school without a basic set of STEM and ICT skills as these are essential to operate and function in a fully digitised information society. Member States must develop and implement national STEM and ICT skills strategies which could include setting national targets.

  • Promote a positive image of STEM and ICT – in particular directed towards girls and women

STEM and ICT related professions are still perceived as unattractive by many young talents. All stakeholders should join forces to promote STEM and ICT as a rewarding domain with exciting career perspectives for men and women.

  • Raise awareness of future and new job profiles

The European Commission, business and research centres should co-operate to identify early on new STEM and ICT job profiles and the associated skill sets. The outcomes should be promoted via a dedicated pan-European and cross-industry campaign, leading to the required changes in university curricula and occupational standards.

  • Support innovative STEM and ICT training initiatives

Specific ICT training courses can address short-term qualification needs and help young unemployed people in particular to find a job. The European Commission and Member States should support such initiatives, for example by providing public funding for training platforms and IT training vouchers for unemployed talents.

  • Develop a regular EU-level platform involving business, national ministries of education and industry as well as other stakeholders working in the Member States on the promotion of STEM and ICT

The objective of the platform would be to:

- enable the partners to compare best practices throughout the EU

- compare how STEM and ICT skills shortages are tackled in a structural way with long-term impact

- identify common needs that could be addressed at EU level

- encourage other EU Member States that are not taking sufficient action

High performing companies devote best talent to digital, says McKinsey survey

Leadership and talent are the biggest hurdles to business success, a survey from McKinsey has revealed.

The Cracking the Digital Code: McKinsey Global Survey found overall that the most successful UK businesses are reshaping their strategies more often than others, devoting more of their best people to digital and making an effort to keep their employees engaged.shaking hand

High performing companies were found to be dedicating the best people to digital and were keeping them engaged through cutting edge and exciting work. High performing companies were also found to be more than twice as likely to allocate their best people to digital. 47% said working on cutting-edge digital projects helps to attract and retain digital talent. The culture, energy and morale within a company also placed high on respondents’ lists.

The survey of almost 1,000 respondents found that 31% of all businesses struggle to find internal leadership, both functional and technical, for digital projects.

Companies found to be outperforming others had more active digital agendas, with three quarters saying their business activities are in a digital nature.

High performing companies more often reported having strong digital leadership, true ownership for initiatives and a clear career path for digital employees.

In addition, successful companies said speed plays an important factor in their business, with 43% saying digital initiatives take less than six months to go from idea to implementation.

Two-thirds of high performing companies CEOs were found to be personally sponsoring digital initiatives within their businesses and that companies with more involved boards were more successful as a result. 35% of high performers said their boards sponsor digital initiatives compared to 16% of their peers.

“Diversity is not a nice to have” says Shadow Minister for Digital Industries at Socitm women in IT launch

“Diversity is not a nice to have” Chi Onwurah, Shadow Minister for Digital Industries, said  at the Society of Information Technology Management’s (Socitm) women in IT network launch this week.

Socitm launched its new network at an event sponsored by Canon in London.Laughing businesswoman at meeting

The network is the brainchild of the public sector body’s president Nadira Hussain, who also acts as customer services transformation manager at London Borough Tower Hamlets. She set up the network to continue the research and discussion around the benefits of employing a diverse workforce.

The launch event was held to discuss experiences and ideas on how to advance the prospects of women in IT and digital.

Speaking at the launch Onwurah, who recently became the Shadow Minister for Digital Industries under Jeremy Corbyn's new leadership, said: “I’m glad that Socitm are doing this and celebrating women in IT, which is something I have always been passionate about.”

She said if she is asked to speak at a conference with an all-male panel she refuses to take part: “It’s not acceptable anymore. Diversity is not a nice to have, diversity has benefits, and without women in IT we will never know the kind of tech we could really have.

“Technology could be far better and far more humane if more of humanity were working on it. I’m still waiting for the professional bodies to stand up and say technology needs ethics too.”

Onwurah added: “We don’t just need more women in IT, but for more women to understand tech and digital in the home and the workplace so they can make more of a difference.”

During the launch Hussain said she started the network because she “wanted to make a difference and to ensure members had a more diverse make up.

“This is just the start. There really are no boundaries for this network, so it is not just for senior women or those in the public sector. It is not an exclusive group for just women and we want to learn from others too. We have gone for far too long without a forum to share diversity issues.”

Harry Gooding, Associate Director at Mortimer Spinks, spoke of the recruitment company’s women in IT survey, which is conducted annually in partnership with Computer Weekly.

The results for 2015 found that the majority of women are happy with their roles in the tech industry: “If 94% of women are happy to be working in technology then why don’t we have more wanting to join?

“Worryingly, when asked the last time that you heard a conversation at work about diversity the figure only rose 1% from 44% in 2014 to 45% in 2015.”

Vanessa Vallely, founder of WeAreTheCity, said there are 1,500 women’s networks across London “but not enough of them are in tech.”

She spoke of the importance of networking and said: “I realised suddenly that my network used to be who I could see across the office and this needed to change. I also realised that I had also stopped asking for help when I needed and was trying to be superwoman doing everything.”

Rackspace tech lawyer speaks of invaluable mentors and risk taking

Technology lawyer Tiffany Lathe, VP & General Counsel International of cloud services provider Rackspace, says she owes her career to her mentors.

Lathe is a seasoned legal advisor and General Counsel with experience in guiding both public and private companies worldwide.Tiffany_APPROVED

Speaking to WeAreTheCity recently she explained how she was unsure of which direction to take after studying History and the History of Art at the University of York, when a mentor opened her eyes to the world of law.

“At the time I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. When I was working in several sales and marketing roles I had a mentor that was a contract lawyer and he encouraged me to consider a career in law. I later decided to go to the College of Law in Birmingham to take my LPC Distinction,” she said.

After Lathe graduated she joined her first law firm where she met another mentor who inspired her to move into technology: “When I got to the firm I met an amazing partner who blew me away. He was so good at what he did and encouraged me to get involved in more training. He really inspired me in intellectual property and IT.

“The firm law firm I joined was very forward thinking in diversity. I had a six month old daughter then and they took me on and retrained me. I moved into the tech team at this company and never looked back.”

Lathe said having mentors throughout her career has helped her to get to where she is today: “My mentors probably don’t realise how much they’ve done for me and for women in IT in general.

“Careers advice from someone you trust and who knows what you’re good at is invaluable. Ultimately you have to still have the drive yourself.”

Lathe now makes a point of mentoring women inside and outside of Rackspace, because she realises the benefits that this guidance can have.

Lathe said enjoys her job as a tech lawyer because it is so varied: “In tech law you don’t just have to know law such as IP law, but you need to know how to write a good contract.

“If you find a job you love you never have to work another day in your life – this was suddenly true for me and now I feel like I get paid to do my hobby.”

She later made a move to Rackspace and made her way up through the ranks. Lathe was later offered a role as Vice president legal and HR, which she said was a challenge but a risk she is pleased to have taken.

“I took over the HR department which was a real challenge. I took a risk trying HR but I ended up really loving it, so I’m please I stretch myself at that point. I was then asked onto the leadership team. I was the first woman on this team and I felt like things were really moving forward,” she added.

Lathe is now encouraging her own 13 year old to learn skills in technology, such as coding, as she sees the value of understanding IT.

Aussies add computer coding to national curriculum

Australia has scrapped history and geography as core national curriculum subjects and has replaced them with computer coding.

According to news site the Australian, the announcement was made by one of the country’s education ministers, Christopher Pyne, who revealed that children as young as Year 5 will learn to code and from Year 7 students will learn to program.child-internet

The UK introduced coding into primary schools last year, following successful programmes in the US such a and Hour of Code.

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull has pushed for a greater focus on coding and science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects in schools from primary level as part of his drive for more focus on innovation and preparing for jobs of the forte.

As part of the announcement the government has pledged to invest $12 million into four Stem initiatives; an innovative maths curriculum, adding computer coding to the curriculum, a P-TECH-style school pilot site and funding for summer schools for underrepresented Stem students.

In a statement Pyne said: “High quality school STEM education is critically important for Australia’s productivity and economy wellbeing, both now and into the future.

“We are restoring the focus on STEM subjects in schools and making sure our teachers get more instruction on STEM during initial teacher training.”

Pyne became the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science yesterday as Turnbull revealed his new team. New South Wales senator Marise Payne also become Australia’s first female defence minister.

National coding week in UK

Australia’s news comes as the UK kicks of National Coding Week. Running from September 21-27 the campaign aims to encourage adults to learn coding and potentially create new career opportunities.

Free sessions will run throughout the week, which will teach the basics of coding alongside other beginners.

Richard Rolfe, co-founder of National Coding Week, said: "The key aims of National Coding Week are to encourage adults of any age to learn an element of computer coding, to encourage digital experts to share their skills, and to collaborate, share, learn and have fun! If I can learn to code at age 51 then anyone can!"

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is supporting the event for the second year: "Coding is a language that is increasingly important for both young people and adults to understand, but it can be an intimidating prospect. National Coding Week will help to make whole generations of Brits more comfortable with coding, allowing them to embrace the business opportunities of the future."

Organisations supporting the 2015 campaign include Decoded, Women Who Code, We Got Coders, Codeclan, Incubus London and International tech conference organisers Future Insights. This year's event is sponsored by JT Group Global.

Results of an Accenture survey last week found that more than half of 12-year old girls in the UK and Ireland find Stem subjects too hard.

60% said Stem subjects are too difficult and 47% of the girls questions claimed such disciplines better suited their male counterparts.

Blendoor app aims to take unconscious biasness out of tech recruitment

A blind-recruitment mobile app called Blendoor has launched in a bid to tackle gender and minority imbalances across the tech sector.

Unveiled by CEO and founder Stephanie Lampkin, during Salesforce’s Dreamforce show in San Francisco this week, the app aims to address unconscious biasness within the tech sector’s recruitment process.Multi-ethnic business people in office

The app hides the applicant’s name and photo, to ensure any biasness is removed from the early stage of the recruitment process, and that candidates are selected on skills. The aim is to conceal the applicant’s school, orientation or gender in the early stages of the application process.

Through a series of swipes recruiters can screen potential candidates and job seekers can search through job opportunities. When there is a match between skills required and the candidate’s interest the app enables the recruitment process to move forward. The app is integrated with LinkedIN and Facebook.

The app will also recommend career development opportunities, such as courses and events of interest, to candidates based on their behaviours.

According to Lampkin the app was developed as a response to her own challenges faced working in IT. During her Dreamforce presentation she highlighted that 91% of tech sector workers are white or Asian and 75% of them are male. She noted that Google has 55,000 engineers but only 12 are African American women.

Lampkin has a technical background herself having learnt to code from the age of 13. She went on to study an engineering degree at Stanford University followed by an MBA from MIT. She has worked at several technology companies including Microsoft.

For the first time the Dreamforce conference has dedicated an entire day to women in technology, where CEO Marc Benioff and founder Parker Harris will discuss Salesforce’s efforts around diversity. Talks will also take place from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and actress and business owner Jessica Alba.

WeAreTheCity Top 50 Rising Star Winners | Announcement

Rising Stars Top 50 winners- bannersWeAreTheCity are proud to announce the winners of their Top 50 Rising Star awards. The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to create female 50 role models across 10 different industries and professions.  

The awards were entered by 340 individuals were judged by a panel of 14 independent judges. Over 15,000 public votes were received for the 100 shortlisted nominees from across 112 countries.  The awards were kindly sponsored and supported by Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, BNY Mellon, Newton Investments, Reed Smith, Twenty Recruitment, Ladbrokes, Guardian Women in Leadership, EY, Barclays, Bloomberg, RBS and the Government Equalities Office.

Vanessa Vallely, MD of WeAreTheCity said “It has been a total honour to run this years awards and highlight the achievements of so many amazing women, the calibre of entries was truly phenomenal.  WeAreTheCity is very much about supporting the female pipeline and introducing these awards was a perfect opportunity to showcase the amazing talent of women across the UK.  We are exceptionally proud of our winners and look forward to following their future success.  We wouldn't have been able to launch these awards without the support of so many organisations who took no convincing to support these women and recognise their achievements.  Both myself, my team, our sponsors, judges and supporters are very much looking forward to celebrating with all of our winners at the House of Lords in September”.

Once again, we would like to congratulate all our winners and extend a sincere thanks to our shortlist, judges, sponsors and to everyone who supported Rising Stars 2015.


The winners of each category can be found here

Proudly sponsored by:

A career in Technology is not what you expect | RBS Graduate Programme

Female Graduate in technology


When you think of a career in Technology, what springs to mind?

  • Being at the forefront of cutting edge developments, innovation, creativity and helping to drive businesses forward?
  • Whether studying a related Degree or not, a career in here could provide you with the experiences you least expect
  • We all use it, so why not be a part of it, helping to build our bank for the future
  • Keep an open mind, and remember:

It’s not all about coding!

  • Graduates use a range of skills and the wide variety of roles and our people reflect this (only 3 of our Graduates studied Computer Science in our 2014 intake).
  • All roles will be technical in nature, so an analytical mindset will help, but these roles are suitable for Graduates interested in a wide range of careers – Graduates go on to be Business Analysts or Project Managers as well as Software Developers

You don’t need experience

  • Learning and development is at the very heart of the Graduate Programme.
  • A complete training programme is provided to bring everyone up to the same level.
  • Your Manager provides you with a project that has been pre approved with clearly defined objectives which are achievable at your level of experience.
  • The Services Graduate Programme will bring a greater breadth of opportunities, and we still have opportunities available in Edinburgh starting this September.


The future you shape at RBS has the potential to be impressive. We’re an international financial services organisation operating in the UK, Europe, the Americas and Asia. We have a clear vision for the future and you’ll help make it a reality.

RBS is a bank with a history of looking ahead. Since we were established by Royal Charter in 1727, we have granted the world’s first overdraft, launched the first mobile bank and developed the first fully functional smartphone banking app.

Graduate opportunities in Technology & Transformation:


RBS is an empowering place to work. We believe there’s a right way to do business and we’ve created a fair, open, honest culture that will value the part you play. Get ready to drive positive change as you rise to the challenge of building a better bank for our customers.

We have high expectations of our employees and we’ll give you the tools and support to deliver on them. After all, the sooner you reach your potential, the sooner you can start shaping our future. Expect exposure to live projects and lots of responsibility from the word go, supported by a formal induction and structured training from industry experts.

Alongside your professional progress, we’re equally interested in your personal, ethical and social development. You’ll find four deeply-held values driving your work at RBS: serving customers, working together, doing the right thing and thinking long term. These are the principles making us a stronger bank and they’re something you need to believe in.

Prepare for broader horizons too. We’re an international bank with graduate opportunities on an impressive scale, whatever your degree subject. We have careers for analytical minds, strategic thinkers, technology heads and business brains. Wherever you join, you’ll get to see a huge range of business areas, with genuine internal mobility on offer.

What you can expect

An experience that spans all of the Services divisions including: technology development, infrastructure, technical architecture, transformation and change. The holistic approach will give you insight into how we impact the customer and work towards simplifying and creating new solutions for them. Technology & Transformation is a diverse field with functions and specialist teams in over 30 countries. It’s the key to everything we do and allows us to trade across time zones, perform complex calculations, transfer funds and disseminate information.

As a graduate based in Edinburgh, you'll complete placements around our business. You could work on major international change programmes or the delivery of next-generation solutions and play a vital part in building and maintaining the technology which allows us to retain our competitive edge. Throughout, your work will touch all aspects of RBS, so variety – and the chance to explore the full spectrum of what we do – is guaranteed.

Who we are looking for

You don’t need to come to us with advanced technical skills. Many of our graduate trainees have degrees in engineering, mathematics, economics, computing and sciences. But we’ll consider anyone showing a keen interest in and aptitude for technology. Plus, as well as technical development you will be encouraged to develop broader capabilities such as communication, project management, team working and influencing skills.

It’s also important that you’re resilient, articulate and great with people. This isn’t an inward-looking business area: you’ll establish and maintain strong relationships with stakeholders at all levels and work across different sites as you do so.

Whatever your degree discipline, we ask all our graduates to have a minimum 2:1. We’ll also consider your top three A-level (or equivalent) grades from the first sitting (excluding General Studies) and look for a minimum of 300 UCAS points.



Announcing WeAreTheCity’s Top 50 Rising Star Awards “Shining a spotlight on the female talent pipeline”

Rising Stars - Female talent awards

Nominations open 1st June 2015 - click here

WeAreTheCity is delighted to announce the launch of the WATC Top 50 Rising Stars Awards for 2015.  

These new awards are the first to focus on the UK's female talent pipeline below management level and will celebrate 50 female individual contributors that represent the leaders & role models of tomorrow.   We hope that by raising the profile of our short list and winners, we will also encourage organisations to consider how they strengthen the development of their female pipeline in the future.

Recognising that careers for women may follow different timescales, the Top 50 Rising Star awards will not have any age restrictions included within the criteria. We feel we have a responsibility to ensure that female talent regardless of age and background receives the necessary support and skills to transition into key decision-making roles within our organisations.

"The need for more women in senior leadership roles is widely recognised. At Barclays, we want to go further - we believe in cultivating a pipeline of female talent across all levels of the organisation, from the executive assistant right through to the boardroom. These awards recognise the considerable achievements of talented women and our sponsorship reflects our commitment to support the women that come through our ranks to stay until leadership." - Mark McLane, Managing Director, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays PLC

WeAreTheCity will use its extensive reach across the UK & Ireland to find 50 high-achieving women across 10 key industries and professions

The WATC awards will be officially launched on 01 June 2015 with support from organisations such as Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Lloyds, Societe Generale, Reed Smith, Ladbrokes & Twenty Recruitment.

The nominations process opens on 01 June 2015 for all categories and will take place online at   A shortlist of 10 for each category will be judged by WeAreTheCity and published during July. Judging of the final 5 winners for each category will take place with the category sponsors & independent judges during August. The 50 winners will be announced in September where they will be invited to celebrate their awards at a champagne reception.

  • Rising Stars in Banking
  • Rising Stars in Consulting
  • Rising Stars in Investment Management
  • Rising Stars in Law
  • Rising Stars in Technology
  • Rising Stars in Insurance
  • Rising Stars in Media & Journalism
  • Rising Stars Personal & Exec Assistants
  • Rising Stars in Recruitment & HR
  • Rising Stars in Sport

Sponsors of each category will be announced on the 1st of June

Criteria for entries
  • Open to all women regardless of age
  • Nominees must be below management
  • Nominees must be working within the industry of the category they are nominated for
  • Individuals can nominate themselves
How we define a rising star
  • Someone who is making a difference in their industry
  • Someone who demonstrates passion and drive
  • Someone who gives back or inspires others
  • Someone who is recognised by others as having the potential to become a future leader in their industry
The Process
  • 01 June: Nominations open for all categories
  • 26 June: Nominations close for all categories
  • 20 July: Top 10 short list from each category announced/public voting opens for all shortlisted nominees
  • 31 July: Public voting closes for all shortlisted nominees
  • 01 September: Top 5 Rising Stars for each category announced
  • Sept TBC: Top 50 Rising Stars drinks reception and awards for winners, guests and sponsors
Don't delay, visit us to nominate your rising star on the 1st of June

Rising Stars logo

WeAreTheCity are proud to support Future First and their Inspiring City Role Models project


Charter school-featured

Ladies, our youth needs you!  It is time to give back and to help build the pipeline of future City workers.

Future First are working with the City of London Corporation to inspire students in the city-fringe boroughs to aim high. Through the 'Inspiring City Role Models' project we aim to get 1,500 city workers signed up to their former school's alumni network. We want to provide state school students with relatable role models who work in the square mile.

We are looking for City workers like you, who attended a state secondary school or college in the UK, to sign up to your former school’s alumni network.

If you’re interested, please take five minutes to sign up for this opportunity here: City Role Models Go Back to School or pass on to a friend or colleague who might.

As well as making a crucial difference to the young people they worked with, 87% of volunteers taking part in Future First’s Employers Programme last year found that taking part enhanced their own job satisfaction and motivation.

Together we can make a difference.  There are 27,000 members of WeAreTheCity, so let’s do our bit to help Future First reach their target and really make a difference to these young people.

To find out more, click here