Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom - April 2009, Memset, the UK's award-winning dedicated Web & IT hosting provider has today announced its official sponsorship of Sophie Johnson, a finalist competing to become Miss Universe GB 2009.
Sophie, 21 from Merseyside studied Computer Information Systems at the University of Liverpool, where she was one of 5 women on a course of over 1000 students (and came top of her year). Memset hopes their sponsorship of Sophie will bring exposure to a young successful woman working in IT in the hope that it will attract more women to the predominantly male industry.
Currently, only 11% of IT professionals working within the industry are women, according to the recently updated Women
in IT Scorecard.
Kate Craig-Wood, MD of Memset said, "We desperately need to encourage more girls to get into IT, and I could honestly not hope to find a better role model than Sophie; she has brains, beauty & talent, and hatters the out-dated preconception that technologists are all sandal-wearing blokes with no social skills!"
"Sophie is also a perfect example of how women are vital to IT. She works as a software developer using the "agile" methodology; a high-efficiency technique that relies on a lot of collaboration and communication between all parties - skills that women tend to bring to a team."
Craig-Wood concluded, "IT is the one of the UK's most vital industries, and the lack of young women joining the profession is a significant threat to IT, and therefore Britain's future prosperity. Please help us support Sophie and see her crowned
Miss Universe GB 2009!"
Sophie, who is now working as a software developer said: "I entered the Miss Universe GB competition because I want to challenge the stereotypes about IT professionals, not to become just another girl exposing her body for 15 minutes of fame. I want women to know that you don't have to lose your femininity to become 'one of the boys' just to fit into a technical team, or to gain respect from other men working in this area."
"I am delighted to have been named a finalist, and hope to win so that I can use the publicity to encourage more girls into technology careers. To this day coming top of my year in university on a male dominated course and getting a place in an extremely competitive company is my greatest achievement and is difficult to top, but winning the competition and becoming an ambassador for women in IT would come mightily close!" said Johnson.
The Miss Universe GB competition is organised by Vibe Models and takes place in London on the 3rd May 2009. Forty women from England, Scotland and Wales will compete for the coveted title. Proceeds from the competition go to The Joshua Foundation.
To vote for Sophie, phone 0901 656 1555 followed by 25. Or text: Sophie Johnson to 84205. To donate visit Just Giving page.
Votes and donations count towards the final judging - please be generous! Deadline is 1st May for voting and donations.