Category: IT, workforce, companies, women in IT, technologies, digital skills gap
Women remain underrepresented in the technologies sector but are key to filling the digital skills gap.
Women account for less than one fifth of the IT workforce in the UK.
One in 40 London tech companies have an all-male workforce.
Just 9% of females graduating from IT degrees go on to an IT career compared to 26% of male IT graduates.
Only one in twenty IT job applicants are women.
Men within the IT sector are twice as likely to be hired as women even if equally qualified.
These are just some of the findings from a report launched today by recruiter Randstad. There’s a digital skills shortage in the UK and one way to fill the gap is by encouraging more women to the sector. The industry pays well, is flexible with a variety of permanent, contract and working from home roles and can be a stable and well-paid career.
In any large town, or UK city, you are likely to find an IT company where all the staff are male. Unequal treatment in the workplace is still taking place with women being paid less than men in IT jobs, and less likely to be promoted. They are also more than twice as likely to quit their jobs.
Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad Technologies says…
"As the UK IT sector booms, with an eye-opening 50% more investment than any major European competitor, it's also in danger of running out of talent. One in every seven job adverts posted at the start of 2017 were for 'tech jobs'. But women account for just one in 20 of applicants for IT jobs.”
“Today, women are still underrepresented in the IT industry. The number of working women in technology is significantly lower than most other sectors in the UK. Just 17% of those working in technology are female.”
“The good news is that employers are starting to address this as they realise to fill the digital skills gap more women are needed in the industry. Empathy and emotional understanding, which studies show come more naturally to women, are really important these days because many digital products are people-focused by their nature.”
“For women embarking on IT careers then the digital skills gap, coupled with an increased need for IT specialisms such as cyber security, then a tech career can be a long, fruitful and well-paid one."
With employers offering career breaks, sabbaticals and flexible working this should encourage more women to stay in their successful tech careers than in previous years. The industry itself can be both flexible and portable. It can also open up short term and long-term opportunities to work overseas for those that are interested.
How to be an IT woman
Females are vastly underrepresented in the world of IT, so you'll always have a look-in with companies that value diversity. Certain skills are particularly in demand, so training yourself up in those areas can increase your chances of securing work. Job roles that are in short supply include software programmers, computer systems and information security analysts, data scientists, web developers, system administrators and general IT staff.
Getting an IT career
It is never too late to enter a career in technologies. There are plenty of online forums, lots of free demonstrations on YouTube where you can learn to code, a variety of groups on social media aimed at women in tech as well as free online Massive Open Online Courses (Mooc’s) that cover areas of IT.
Girls getting IT
The industry suffers from a gender bias as IT is still seen as a male industry, and parents often don't encourage girls into tech roles. Schools are starting to offer coding now so it is more accessible than before. However a 2012 study showed that only half as many girls (17%) learned computer coding in schools as boys (33%).
Tips to encourage girls into IT
Attitudes need to be changed about IT as a male-dominated industry, and portrayals of male-centric tech offices in popular culture.
Start young. Encourage girls to get into tech from as early an age as possible, and to learn coding and computer science in school.. Continue that encouragement at every stage of their development, from school to college to university to employment.
Celebrate more female successful tech role models - Ada Lovelace wasn’t on Celebrity Love Island but was in fact an early pioneer in IT. Born back in 1815, Ada was the world’s first ever computer programmer after she write an algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine.
At year-end 2016, Randstad had 36,524 corporate employees and 4,752 branches and In-house locations in 39 countries around the world. In 2016, Randstad generated revenue of €20.7 billion. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad Holding nv is listed on the NYSE Euronext. Amsterdam, where options for stocks in Randstad are also traded. For more information, see www.randstad.com.
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