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Men still dominating the IT sector

Category: Industry News, Women, IT, STEM, Opportunity, men

Men still dominating the IT sector

From Gameboys to working as the CIO, men continue to dominate the IT sector. Three quarters of women working in IT think men are offered more opportunities.

Men and women are in disagreement over whether both sexes are offered equal opportunities in the IT sector, new research by Spring Technology has found.  Over half (53 percent) of men working in the sector believe both genders are offered equal opportunities, but less than a quarter (23 percent) of women agree. Moreover, over a third of women surveyed (37 percent) believe that they have been passed over for a promotion due to their gender.The IT & Telecoms profession in the UK is dominated by men, with women making up a mere 16 percent of professionals in the industry1. The latest research by recruiter Spring Technology suggests that rather than seeing signs of improvement, this gender imbalance is gathering pace. Organisations naturally seek to hire a successful type when recruiting but the imbalanced gender mix of the current IT workforce means that this successful type will most likely be male.

On Spring Technology’s behalf, Thomas International conducted a bespoke piece of analysis to look at the differing behavioural characteristics of men and women in the Technology sector 2. They provided evidence that many men working in the sector displayed higher levels of Dominance-associated characteristics (e.g. being assertive, inquisitive, self-starting, direct, results-driven). These characteristics are often seen as highly desirable in potential leaders.  However, women working in Technology demonstrated a higher frequency of Influential-associated characteristics (e.g. being persuasive, talkative, demonstrative, optimistic) which may not be as valued as highly by employers looking for the next future leader in their organisation.

Recruiting to type may be part of the reason why currently only 3.6 percent of IT & Telecoms Directors arefemale3. Encouragingly three in ten (30.6 percent)4 of web designers and development professionals arewomen4, proving that in some IT roles women are better represented. Richard Protherough, Managing Director of Spring Technology, said: “These findings demonstrate both the significant gender imbalance that exists in the IT sector and the scale of the challenge for employers seeking to address it.

“Employers are missing out on a huge pool of potential talent and women are missing out on highly rewarding careers in Technology. Employers need to recognise that they are at risk of recruiting to type and be vigilant against it in order to encourage more women into the sector. A change needs to come from within and IT functions need to ‘normalise’ women at the top by promoting a culture that advocates and supports the development and progression of women who are working in the sector. Those companies that lead the change and harness the skills that women bring to the table; placing as much importance on these as they do the more ‘male’ skill-set, will ultimately win the battle for the best talent in the market but also reap the financial benefits too.”

Belinda Parmar OBE, CEO of Lady Geek, said: “This report shows that being proactive in encouraging young women into the IT & Telecoms occupations is more crucial than ever. We can’t be complacent; we need to show girls that technology is the most creative career you can have. We need to tell our girls that if they want to change the world, technology is best way to do it!”

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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