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Why women should consider a career in IT in Bristol

by Heat Recruitment

Consistently regarded as one of the most desirable locations to live in Britain, Bristol is fast-becoming a star performer in the European tech industry. Ranked as one of the most productive tech clusters in the UK with the highest digital tech turnover per employee at £320,000 in 2017, an influx of investment and a thriving talent pool, the “cool, classy and supremely creative” city is maturing beyond a trendy hub to a major player on the global stage, reaching the top ten ‘super clusters’ for technology – alongside the likes of Zurich, Thames Valley and Prague – according to the latest research by real estate advisor CBRE.

Just like the digital tech industry across the UK, however, the IT sector in the South West could certainly do with a more diverse pool of talent. Fortunately, organisations such as Women’s Tech Hub have been founded to support and encourage women to reconsider IT as a career path and provide resources for those eager to break into the industry.

Women’s Tech Hub ~ Bristol grew out of Bristol Girl Geek Dinners, a group of Bristol-based women who began organising get-togethers to share recent achievements of women within the industry. The aim was to build a safe space for conversations about the lack of gender diversity in Bristol’s tech scheme while actively working to find practical solutions such as peer mentoring, training & confidence boosting, as well as re:Train for women who want to upskill or are completely new to tech.

In turn, the Women’s Tech Hub was born –  a trusted network for women in the South West either running a tech firm, considering founding a start-up or seeking support to develop their skills in the field of IT.

But WTH is not the only network that exists to encourage female tech talent in the South West: the ITGirls Collaborative, for instance, has been running since 2015 with the aim of bringing together female founders, freelancers and industry professionals in the South West tech sector to inspire collaboration, promote events and facilitate knowledge sharing through team-building activities and mentoring. Meanwhile, WomenWhoCode and Ladies That UX Bristol both help female developers, programmers and web designers to connect with each other and share stories of their experiences.

Aside from access to support networks throughout the city, a career in IT in Bristol offers a highly rewarding path for ambitious women eager to break the glass ceiling in the industry. According to the Tech Nation 2017 report, Bristol and Bath have emerged as two of the best places to live and work if you are or want to be employed in tech. With a variety of tech employers from innovative start-ups to multinationals, a vast range of IT jobs, competitive house prices and world-renowned schools and universities, it’s no secret that the city has a lot to offer.

In recent years, Bristol has experienced regeneration to make room for expansion and innovation: as well as the likes of Hewlett Packard, EE, SOMO and Just Eat, the city is home to a semi-conductor cluster that comprises of over 50 micro-electronic and silicon design companies who employ around 5,000 tech professionals.

Meanwhile, the economic landscape in Bristol has evolved as digital technology has brought transformation to every sector from the creative industry to aerospace and financial services. Employing roughly 59,000 people, the advent of banking technology has given way to a raft of new opportunities in the Bristol financial services market with companies such as Lloyds Banking Group and AXA looking for tech talent to help implement new solutions.

Moreover, as we stand on the precipice of the fourth industrial revolution, Bristol is cementing its place on the frontlines of technological innovation. The city’s influence in Industry 4.0 technology can be seen at The Bristol Robotics Laboratory, which is now the UK’s leading academic centre for robotics research.

With technological demands continuing to shape the business landscape, those skilled in IT will enjoy a handsome reward for their efforts. While the average UK wage sits around £28K, tech professionals in Bristol can expect a salary of around £42,500 according to data from PayScale.

As the need to digitise becomes crucial and staying competitive means adopting new technologies to improve efficiency, aspirational women will find a wealth of opportunities in Bristol – whether it’s working as a web developer or helping the city to roll out 5G.

If you are considering a career in IT, get in touch with our expert team of recruiters.

by Amber Rowbottom