Kate's Comment

Thoughts on British ICT, energy & environment, cloud computing and security from Memset's MD

Fire men first – they are 23% more expensive!

Man firedPress response:

– IT Companies Should Look At Who Costs The Most Before Making Redundancies –

Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom – 9 March 2009, Kate-Craig-Wood, MD of Web & IT hosting company, Memset and recent NatWest Everywoman of the Year winner is calling on technology companies to look at who costs the most before making redundancies.

Kate Craig-Wood is reacting to Friday’s report from the International Labour Organisation, which warns that the recession world-wide could increase the number of unemployed women by 22 million in 2009.

“In the IT industry women earn a massive 23% less than male counterparts, despite being equally capable.” says Craig-Wood, “Before making redundancies IT companies should conduct a quick pay audit, then let go those who are on higher wages for the same job.”

“Such actions will also serve to counter-act the danger of the boy’s club mentality within the sector resulting in women being preferentially targeted for redundancy,” Craig-Wood claims.

Craig-Wood, 32 and a member of the Women in IT committee at the IT industry’s trade body Intellect, argues that sacking the ‘more expensive’ first would also help to redress the serious imbalance in an industry massively dominated by males. The number of women has plummeted from 21 per cent to 16 per cent in the last five years.

“According to Intellect, ‘the under-representation of women in IT remains a significant and worsening issue’,” she says. “We also know from research by Cataylst that companies with the highest representation of women on top management teams perform more than 30% better financially.”

Memset itself, which is a Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 company, is in the fortunate position of not needing to make redundancies as it is growing fast, thanks to the current wave of cost-driven IT outsourcing. Regardless, Memset remunerates staff in line with merit, not gender, unlike many IT companies.

For further views and coverage of Kate’s advocacy around women in IT, please see: