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ClearEdge Marketing, Harvey Nash and McCann Partners Team to Launch ARA Chicago, Supporting Women in Technology

Program to focus on Attracting, Retaining and Advancing women in IT

Chicago (February 26, 2013) – ClearEdge Marketing, Harvey Nash and McCann Partners today announced the launch of ARA Chicago, a group committed to supporting women in technology by helping Attract, Retain and Advance women in the traditionally male-driven field. ARA’s goal is to provide up-and-coming women in IT with career support and mentoring.  In partnership with the Illinois Technology Association (ITA), ARA will host four Chicago-based events annually beginning in April 2013.

Harvey Nash Managing Director and Vice President Jane Gilligan, McCann Partners President and Founder Megan McCann, and ClearEdge Marketing CEO and Founder Leslie Vickrey decided to form ARA based on the success of the Chicago Executive Women’s Networking Group, which they founded more than eight years ago.  The group, which began as a quarterly dinner with three leaders in technology, has grown into a network of more than 150 women in the technology industry across Chicago and a partnership with the ITA, providing additional value to its membership base and supporting its focus on talent-driven programs.

“We wanted to offer a more formal process for supporting and mentoring women in technology,” said McCann. “We are committed to helping bridge the talent and gender gaps in the technology industry by helping companies attract, retain and advance women in IT.”

Addressing a Significant Need in IT
According to the Harvey Nash CIO Survey of 450 IT leaders surveyed in the U.S., only 9 percent are female compared to only 7 percent globally. This represents a decline three years running in the U.S. from 12 percent in 2010 and 11 percent in 2011 and 9 percent in 2012. Almost a third of respondents said their IT organization has no women at all in management. Moreover, 56 percent of respondents indicated a technology skills shortage would prevent their organization from keeping up with the pace of change.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of ARA Chicago, which will deliver much needed services to women in our industry,” commented Ellen Barry, principal of the EBarry Group and former CIO of the City of Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority. “As women in technology, we must focus on mentoring and championing other women in all phases of their careers and lives.”

The first ARA meeting – a speed networking event at which mentees will be matched with CIO mentors – will take place on Tuesday, April 30 at 4:30 pm at the ITA offices, 200 South Wacker Drive, 15th Floor, Chicago. For more information about the program, please send an email to ara@clearedgemarketing.com.

About ClearEdge Marketing
ClearEdge Marketing provides marketing solutions to technology professional services and software firms around the world. Through extensive industry experience and creative talent, the firm helps clients strategically and cost-effectively achieve critical marketing, branding, digital, social media, sales and PR goals. With its unique and flexible outsourced model, ClearEdge provides companies the benefits of a full-time marketing department without the associated overhead costs. Companies that rely on ClearEdge’s expertise include Harvey Nash, TechServe Alliance, SPR Companies, Inavero, Fieldglass and Ifbyphone.

ClearEdge Marketing is the exclusive Illinois Technology Association Affinity Marketing Partner and a WBENC-certified Women's Business Enterprise headquartered in Chicago. To learn more, please visit www.clearedgemarketing.com. Follow ClearEdge on Twitter at www.twitter.com/clearedgemktg and view ClearEdge’s Facebook profile at www.facebook.com/ClearEdgeMarketing.

About Harvey Nash USA
Harvey Nash USA is the U.S. division of the Harvey Nash Group, a global professional recruitment firm and IT outsourcing service provider traded on the London Stock Exchange since 1997. Around the world, Harvey Nash is committed to delivering talent and IT solutions to a broad base of clients. The Group is a trusted advisor to some of the world's leading businesses. Operating from more than 40 offices in the USA, Europe and Asia, Harvey Nash professionals pursue integrity and quality in providing a unique portfolio of services: executive search, IT professional services and IT staffing. To learn more, please visit www.harveynashusa.com. Follow Harvey Nash on Twitter at www.twitter.com/harveynashusa  and view Harvey Nash’s Facebook profile at www.facebook.com/HarveyNashUSA.

About McCann Partners
McCann Partners is a Chicago-based IT recruitment firm committed to providing businesses with highly customized talent solutions. Led by a team of recruitment and technology experts who have a combined 50 years of industry experience, McCann Partners offers a comprehensive range of IT recruitment services that includes recruitment process outsourcing, co-sourcing/sourcing, training and contract/contract-to-hire staffing. McCann Partners is the pioneer of a unique and highly effective assimilation process, which integrates teams deep into client businesses in order to provide truly collaborative, customized and results-driven recruitment solutions. To learn more, visit www.mccannpartners.com. You can follow McCann Partners on Twitter at www.twitter.com/McCannPartners and Facebook at www.facebook.com/McCannPartners.

About the ITA
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) drives the success of technology companies through programs in development, talent and visibility. Through its focus on growth acceleration and sustainability, the ITA is a driving force behind the advancement of Illinois' vibrant technology industry. The ITA's 650 member organizations, reflecting a collective workforce of more than 50,000, benefit from resources, collaboration, networking and access to a curated network of experts. Member companies utilize the transformative nature of technology to differentiate their products and services across a broad spectrum of industries.  For more information, visit www.illinoistech.org, follow @ITAbuzz on Twitter, and visit the ITA's Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

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