Report shows that IT holds little appeal for the fairer sex….

Report shows that IT holds little appeal for the fairer sex….

We’re living in the age of equality; women are breaking the glass ceiling and sitting in boardrooms

more and more. But, according to new research from Technojobs, they’re not so enamoured with

the digital industry, as figures show only 1 in 20 applicants for vacancies in IT are female.

2013 statistics show that there were 176,000 female IT professionals, compared with 953,000 men.

When surveyed, women claimed the industry does little to lure them in, with its image as a male-

dominated industry. A vicious circle, perhaps. We all know of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates – perhaps a

contributory factor is that there are so few female role models in the industry, which does little to

encourage women’s interest in technological positions.

Given that technology is one of the fastest growing global industries, there’s no doubt such an

approach is wrong. Women use technology as widely as men, so surely the ongoing development of

IT products would benefit from a female perspective? IT support fares even worse, with only 10% of

the support staff workforce being women.

The education system has been cited as another hurdle for females to combat; poor support and a

lack of information seem to be all that’s on offer when women show interest in technology and the

digital industry. However, other sources refute this claim, saying that education can no longer be

used as an excuse. A recent study by Catalyst showed that a good proportion of women are

graduating with technical degrees, yet the industry fails to appeal from that point onwards.

The report suggests a gender gap rears its head from the very start of a woman’s career in IT, with

pay and positions affected as a result. Being in an entry-level position is why 53% of women leave

the industry. This is compounded by the feeling they’re the ‘outsider’ when working on projects and

in teams – 75% of women feel ostracised, compared with only 17% of men.

Suggestions to combat this include mentoring programmes and sponsorship for women towards

higher positions. Irrespective of gender, having so many people leaving the industry at the outset

affects the whole bottom line; pretending the issue doesn’t exist is costly.

Do your IT vacancies appeal to both genders? Would you like feedback on other aspects of your site?

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