"More diverse teams drive innovation," says Judy Pitrakou, GFT's Chief People Officer

“More diverse teams drive innovation,” says Judy Pitrakou, GFT’s Chief People Officer

The Women in Tech Excellence Awards will take place next week in London. GFT’s Director of Human Resources, Judy Pitrakou, explains why she supports the drive to increase diversity in tech and shares details of some of GFT’s ongoing initiatives to increase the proportion of women in technical roles.

Why are you supporting Computing’s Women in Tech Excellence campaign?

It’s great to have an organization that actively encourages women in technology. We have many exceptional women in GFT, and this provides us with a platform for our incredible talent to be recognized in the industry. There is plenty of research that attests to the fact that more diverse teams drive innovation and lead to better decisions, leading to better business and enterprise performance.

How did you get into the computer industry?

I actively sought out an organization that was progressive but put people at the heart of what it did. GFT’s core values ​​are caring, commitment, collaboration, courage and creativity and I observed these values ​​during the recruitment process. GFT proactively encourages its employees not only to explore but also to develop their potential. These values ​​and philosophy resonate with me personally, and I believe that GFT is an ever-growing company that seeks to move beyond traditional industry norms and cultures and truly become an employer of choice. Diversity and inclusion are at the very heart of our business.

What do you think is the main reason why the IT industry is predominantly male, especially in technical roles and leadership positions?

There are several reasons for this. In European Commission research on women in digital:

  • 53% of companies trying to recruit ICT specialists report difficulties in finding qualified people.
  • Only 1 in 3 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates are women.
  • Women represent more than half of the European population. However, only 17% (1 in 6) of IT specialists in the EU are women.
  • Women working in ICT earn almost 20% less than men.
  • Only 19% of European ICT entrepreneurs are women.
  • 93% of capital invested in European companies this year went to all-male founding teams.

There are, however, some inspiring female leaders in leadership positions at big tech companies:

Safra Catz – CEO of Oracle

Susan Wojcicki – CEO of YouTube

Amy Hood – Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft

Marika Lulay – CEO of GFT

I am proud to say that at GFT we are taking significant steps to attract more women into tech roles, through our internship programs, [email protected] forum, Women in Tech events and our many partnerships with other IT sectors/partners. As part of our DEI strategy, we continuously explore how we can develop a more diverse and inclusive culture, and as part of our rewards philosophy, we review our gender pay gap and equal pay to ensure solid and equal remuneration. Our learning and development programs also aim to promote diverse talent and provide various forums for the voice of our employees to be actively heard. We are also looking to have our talents recognized in the industry through the Women in Tech awards and to have a shortlisted candidate at the 2022 awards ceremony, which is a testament to GFT’s strong female talent.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?

This hard work is always recognized and invariably rewarded, not only financially but also in terms of opportunities. One of my core values ​​is to put people at ease, to treat others as you would like to be treated, and to be humble. I haven’t always done things right (who has?!) but I stay focused and my goal is to provide exceptional service to our employees and teams at GFT.

What are your top three tips for women looking to start a career in IT? / What advice would you give to young women aspiring to take on leadership roles?

  1. Be brave and have confidence in your own abilities
  2. Stay open to constructive feedback
  3. Your recognition will be determined by what you do, not what you say you will/can do

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