Women in IT Careers - The Gender Gap

The UK faces a worsening gender gap in its flourishing IT industry, according to a new study.

The Women in IT scorecard looked at gender trends from secondary education through to the work place. It indicates women account for just 16% of the UK IT workforce.  And the problem starts early - despite consistently out-performing boys in computing A-level results, girls account for just 6.5% of those taking the exam.

The study was compiled by BCS, the chartered institute for IT, and E-skills UK.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Girls account for just 13% of entries for computer science GCSEs
  • In 2013, within the IT sector itself little more than one in ten (11%) IT specialists were women
  • The proportion of women working as self-employed IT specialists has more than doubled over the past decade
  • Just under one in five (18%) of females working as IT specialists were employed on a part-time basis - a figure well below that for other occupations
  • At £640 per week, the median gross weekly rate of pay for female IT specialists was 16% (£120) less than the comparison figure for men working in IT roles (£760) and the recorded level of pay for women IT roles has been consistently below that of male IT specialists in each of the past 10 years
  • IT gender imbalance is a problem across the whole of Europe, but female representation is lower in the UK

Gillian Arnold, chairwoman of BCS Women, said: "The continuing decline in women entering the IT profession is a real threat for the UK and an issue that clearly we need to address."

Karen Price, chief executive of E-skills UK, said: "Women have a significant contribution to make to the IT sector, and it is vital for the economy that we ensure they have the opportunity.

"This joint report provides the evidence we need to face the problem head-on, and to develop hard hitting and effective interventions to solve it."

RWA’s experience backs up the study’s findings. Approximately 1 in 10 candidates RWA shortlists to IT hiring managers are female.

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