NR contest offers IT career path for young women

Network Rail launched the third year of its Could IT Be You? competition on October 13, aimed at encouraging girls aged 16 to 18 to pursue a technology-related career,

Could IT Be You? was set up in 2013 by Network Rail Chief Information Officer Susan Cooklin, after she raised concerns about the slide in the number of women entering the UK’s IT sector.

Launching the 2015 competition, Cooklin said: “Popular culture has helped create a perception among young women that a career in IT is all about writing code in basement offices.

“The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Technology plays a crucial role in all our lives and is absolutely vital to Network Rail as we carry out our Railway Upgrade Plan. This competition is a fantastic way for young women to learn about the great opportunities that a career in IT can offer.”

The winner and four runners-up receive paid work experience and a year’s coaching and mentoring with Network Rail’s IT team. The competition also offers the chance to win up to £9,000 towards the first year of university tuition fees.

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