The ongoing issue of female to male parity across different business units in the ICT sector continues to frustrate many women.

Statistics paint a clear picture. A recent study by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) confirms the disparity and gender discrimination.

The ACS reveals that discrimination based on gender and age is a pressing issue for the ICT sector with 32.1 per cent saying they encountered some form of discrimination when applying for ICT positions.

The 2012 ACS Employment survey of 2250 ICT professionals from across a variety of industries found that 46.8 per cent of female respondents experienced some form of discrimination when applying for a job, and that 37.2 per cent of these respondents report the discrimination being based on their gender.

A recent ARN Women in ICT Roundtable lunch highlighted the challenges faced by women and the ongoing struggle to get noticed. One of the main hurdles for women in ICT is taking a direct approach and 'asking' for promotions and advancement -- the concept is often foreign and intimidating.

Additionally, women find they lack not only mentors, but sponsors to help them reach the next level in their career development. Clearly, there is a hesitation on behalf of women to promote themselves -- and the problem goes deeper in that the business leaders of the organisation don't always recognise the achievements of women and legitimise the struggle.

But there are pockets of advancement and IT companies that are championing the roles of diverse groups within ICT. One diversity initiative on the horizon is ARN's newly launched Women in ICT awards (WIICTA). The nomination process is now underway and open for submissions.

There's still a chance to put 'your best foot forward' in the Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA). Please visit <<a href="">the WIICTA website.