Hey Ladies, Re-enter the Tech Work Force

 
 
By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2009-03-04 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Women of technology, listen up: There is a growing demand for your talents, especially for those who left temporarily or for the long haul to focus on having and raising families.

According to the Wall Street Journal, many high-tech companies are seeking the skill sets of women who may have left high-paying careers. Some well-known and smaller companies are implementing what are known as job re-entry programs. Why job re-entry programs for women? Here is what the article says:

The new efforts aim to counteract a "brain drain" caused by the exodus of large numbers of women from these fields in the prime of their careers. While 41% of highly qualified scientists, engineers and technicians in lower-tier jobs are female, more than half eventually quit midcareer, based on research by the Center for Work-Life Policy's Sylvia Hewlett and others, published last year in the Harvard Business Review. Women in these fields face isolation, extreme job pressures and long hours; they often become most discouraged about 10 years into their careers -- just as family pressures also tend to intensify.

The article mentions programs from General Electric, Honeywell and IBM and a "career reengineering" program from MIT that helps retrain, refresh and update highly technical skills. In one sense, this seems like a good way to combat the growing concern among the political set about American companies letting go American workers before H-1B visa holders. By focusing on talent in the United States and not outside, companies and the government can talk up efforts to support re-entry for women--which is a good thing.

The H-1B drama, however, has its own set of issues. I digress.

Recession Mapping In other colorful, but saddening news, take a look-see at the New York Times' latest interactive map that allows you to see the levels of unemployment in every county in the United States, complete with gradations of orange, pink and red coloration to show the varied levels from region to region. Fancy and depressing. Sweet.

When you place your cursor over any county on the map, it displays the county name and level of unemployment by percentage. It's informative, if not downright frown-inducing, and certainly worth a gander. For those in the online media (at the very least), it's refreshing to see another example of how media can continue to be relevant (and a downer) online by being very interactive.

The most interesting thing here is how much deeper the recession is on the coasts compared with the Northern Plains, the Dust Bowl and Northern Texas. Is that because the ratio of land to people (and jobs for people) is such a contrast in that region?

I've driven through the plains. I would have to say it is.

 
 
 
 
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