Getting back into IT

Getting you back into IT 

 Novel recruitment process for getting talented women into IT


iamge of small child with apple laptop computer used in Portia advertisingIn this project, Portia partnered with agile software development company ThoughtWorks to take a radical new approach to the company’s recruitment needs. An advertisement was placed in a free London newspaper announcing an opportunity to be re-trained for a job in IT.  60 people responded.  Portia selected 12 women who were looking for opportunities to return to work after a career break.  They took part in a 3-month long in-house training on Java programming and agile software development.  

On completion, four of the women were offered jobs at ThoughtWorks and the remaining 7 received coaching by Portia to help them find job placements elsewhere.

The key lessons of this project were that despite of the initial doubts, the company found that the women scored highly on the relevant psychometric tests, had no problem in keeping up and completing the training; have passed the programming competency tests; and that as a recruitment tool this was cheaper than the traditional methods the company used.    

This project, which can be easily replicated in other organisations, shows that women who have taken a career break represent an important and highly under-utilised pool of talent, and that the traditional recruitment methods tend to exclude them as their CV's fail to match the expected norms.