Advancing women in ITEC
Equalitec was a project funded under the European Commission's EQUAL Programme, as part of the Social Fund Programme. It built on the pilot project funded by the UK government to address gender inequality issues in the Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITEC) areas.The EC funded project created an extensive collaborative partnership involving industry, education, professional institutions and women's groups in developing services and resources to help women with a background in SET, who have taken a career break, to return to the job market, and specifically to enter iTEC employment. The project ran from 2004 till 2007, during which time Portia involved 70 organisations and companies in providing support to over 200 women by creating better opportunities for a successful return. Equalitec was one of 10 out of over 300 European projects for a Best Practice Award in 2008, and was finalist in the British Computer Society award for Organisational Excellence, alongside with Google, Microsoft, Accenture.
“Overall the project quality is excellent, with high quality products and solutions. Its effects have reached beyond the initial project goals of promoting lifelong learning, increasing workforce diversity in the ITEC sector and improving the employability of women returning to work after a career break. The partnership was outstanding with more the 70 organisations participating. The products are specific and practically oriented and strong impacts have been documented in terms of bother skills development and improved career prospects among women.”
(Evaluation Summary, The Keeping on Track Conference, June 2008).
The sustainability and impact were ensured by transferring the results to different countries in Europe: Denmark, Romania and Portugal, as part of the EU Return project.