Darlington College student Martyna Wojewodzka, 25, of Darlington, thinks that more women should pursue careers in computer technology
A POLISH student with designs on a career in web technology is hoping to encourage more women to develop an interest in IT.
Martyna Wojewodzka, who settled in Darlington in 2011 from her native Poland, found herself the only female in a class full of men after enrolling on an IT diploma course at Darlington College.
Martyna, 25, who hopes to pursue a career as a web designer, thinks more women would enjoy learning about computer technology if they only gave it a go.
“I’d always been interested in IT ever since studying the subject at school in Poland,” explained Martyna.
“When I came to England I had no recognisable qualifications but was very ambitious to get a good job.
“I wanted to study computers but thought that I would be out of my depth, as my skills were very basic, and I had never done any sort of programming before.”
After enrolling at Darlington College, Martyna was placed on a level 2 software development course.
“The tutors weren’t sure where my skill level was at first,” said Martyna. “But I found the course quite easy and was very quickly moved up to level 3.
“I was very surprised to be the only female in the class, as there are some incredible opportunities for women within the technology industries, but I think there is still a strong gender stereotype that women tend to move into administration, childcare, and hairdressing careers and boys into computing, engineering and construction
“But women can’t just be the users of technology – we need to learn to be the creators of it.”
Darlington College programme leader for software development Simon Blood insists that gender in no way affects ability or outcome when it comes to studying computer technology.
“There has always been a gender gap in the field of IT,” said Simon.
“People generally associate men with gadgets and computers but women we have had on this course have tended to do as well or even better than the men.
“There may be a gender imbalance in number but certainly not in ability or skills and we need to help bridge the gap that exists in the number of women employed within the technical industries.”