March marks Women’s History Month, a time for countries around the world to commemorate and celebrate the vital role of women in history, culture and society. The 2022 theme for the month, according to the U.S. National Women’s History Alliance, is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” It is a fitting theme two years after COVID-19 became a household term. The theme represents “both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.”
Information technology (IT) owes a huge degree of gratitude to the women who helped pioneer the industry. The late Grace Murray Hopper, was certainly one. She is credited with inventing the COBOL programming language while working at Sperry Corporation, one of Unisys’ two primary predecessor companies, from 1955 to 1967. Hopper’s innovations also led to programming for the UNIVAC that enabled effective communications throughout the Apollo missions. Her groundbreaking work was foundational for women in IT, and President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
Women like Hopper also opened the door for generations of women to follow their lead. Vera Faludi, joined Unisys as a service desk agent and succeeded in a variety of roles, bringing to life our core beliefs of creativity and curiosity to seek innovative solutions to address challenges. Vera was instrumental in developing the multilingual service center for Unisys in Hungary, and is now service desk director for Unisys in Europe.
Vera is leaving her own mark on our people, not only on processes. She led the launch of our UGrow program, which aims to provide developmental opportunities for service desk agents eager to grow their careers at Unisys. We recently announced Vera as the inaugural winner of our company’s Rising Star Award.
Unisys is actively on the lookout for talented women to join our workforce. We are expanding early career programs through internships and building relationships with universities, community colleges and apprenticeships. We are using technology to reach talent working remotely, enabling our ability to enter new talent markets. Once a new associate arrives, we provide best-in-class training programs to ensure continuous professional growth and development throughout their career. And our Associate Impact Group for women associates, Women + Network, provides a forum for leadership, networking and collaboration, as well as personal and professional development.
As an industry, however, we must challenge ourselves to do better. Deloitte Insights predicts that large global technology firms, on average, will only reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022, up slightly more than 2 percentage points from 2019. While that signals progress, there is still much to do and much to improve to ensure gender equality and representation.
Thank you to Grace Hopper, Vera Faludi and all the women at Unisys – past, present and future – who have led, and who will lead, the way forward. Not only for Unisys, but for the IT industry as a whole.
To the women who have yet to join us and our industry, there are endless opportunities for you.
How will you leave your mark?