It’s no secret that the IT and tech sector is male dominated and unfortunately new research suggests that’s not going to change for the foreseeable future.
A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) (Women in tech: Time to close the gender gap) has highlighted the worrying undersupply of female tech and IT workers in Britain, as it appears that young women are being put off the sector at a young age. Despite recent efforts it would still appear that the technology gender gap starts at school and widens as girls grow up. IT and tech roles appeal to just 27% of female students, while tech careers are the first choice of just 3% of the 1,102 women currently taking A-levels or doing a university degree, according to the accountancy firm. To compare, 62% of the 1,074 men PwC surveyed said they would consider a career in tech, with 15% making the industry their first job priority, found the report. A further worrying statistic was that only 22% of students studied for the PwC research could name a famous woman working in technology, while 66% could think of a well-known man in such a job, with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs the most cited individuals.
So, why are girls and women feeling so far removed from the sector? Nearly two-thirds of the female respondents told PwC they were put off the tech sector because they have received too little information about what it’s like, while a quarter said tech is too male-dominated.
PwC head of women in technology, Sheridan Ash, said: “It’s hard for girls to aspire to what they can’t see – we need to shout louder about the great women already working in technology and work harder to promote more women to senior and visible positions.
“Highlighting the role technology plays in solving the world’s important problems could be the differentiator that sparks wider female interest in the sector.
“Technology careers have evolved considerably over the past decade and we need to make sure that women play a greater role in shaping what they look like in the next decade.”
Growing evidence suggests that a diverse workforce can lead to increased productivity and innovation; there are concerns that a lack of female workers could be a missed business opportunity for Britain.
The report added: “More interaction with technology companies at school level will benefit both females and males and help to grow the pipeline of technology talent that we need in the UK. The key is to ensure that technology is presented to girls as a potential career choice by people in positions of influence: today it’s hardly even mentioned to them as a possibility.”
At Integrity ITS we’re determined to get more women in to the IT sector so that businesses can benefit from the potential currently going wasted. It’s a fantastic flexible industry to work in that has a lot of room for development. Are you a female interested in the sector? Contact us today to see how we can help you.<-- Return to Blog